The New PADI Dive Shop Locator (Beta) is Live!

padi dive shop locator

Getting people to learn scuba diving (and continue on after they’re certified) is a team effort, and PADI® is always looking for ways to make Members’ businesses stand out and shine. The Dive Shop Locator (DSL) was created more than a decade ago so new divers could find dive training they could trust.

padi dive shop locator

With the newly redesigned and repackaged PADI.com, it was time for the DSL to get a refresh. As the new PADI DSL Beta is unveiled, PADI Members will see a host of exciting features – all with the goal of making sure their business keeps growing. Here’s a quick FAQ of what you can expect from the new PADI Dive Shop Locator.

What are the key features to the new DSL?

Check out the value and sheer number of these new features of the PADI DSL Beta.

  • Better User Experience – The user journey matches what users expect from a location-based search experience from sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google Maps. This includes cleaner page layouts and information hierarchy, intuitive task flows and visual consistency.
  • Enhanced Map View – Adjustments to the way search looks at geography has improved the look and feel of the visual indicator dive shop flags to clearly indicate the type of dive center shown on the map (e.g. a PADI 5 Star).
  • Improved Filtering – New filters use more descriptive terminology and intuitive filter groupings.
  • Faster Loading Speed/Performance – The new PADI DSL is a quicker experience regardless of whether your area has high or low bandwidth.
  • More Detailed Dive Shop Pages – Each dive shop has a unique URL and page. This will allow the pages to be “deeplinked,” which helps marketing teams and members share the URL via email and on websites, and allows pages to be indexed by search engines like Google.
  • Better Mobile Experience – The new DSL is a fully mobile friendly and responsive experience.
  • Improved Search – Users will have the ability to search by almost any (reasonable) dive-related phrase to locate a dive shop or location.
  • More Clearly Delineated Ads – Sponsored ads are displayed within the search results list and map, making them more visible to end-users.
  • Filter by Freediving Centers and Adaptive Techniques – Individual dive shop pages and filter menu includes the ability to filter by freediving centers and Adaptive Techniques program services.
  • Visibility for PADI 5 Star – Search results show all shops but, list 5 Star Dive Centers and Resorts more prominently.

What is a “Beta” and how will this work?

The Dive Shop Locator is an important tool that divers find and connect with dive centers and resorts. To fully understand how any new design affects this process, the PADI team will make both the current and new design available to users and allow them to switch between each experience and leave feedback. For the next two to three months, the team will monitor interact with each, adjusting each design as needed and sharing the learnings. 

How long will the DSL Beta run?

The DSL Beta will initially run for eight to 12 weeks, but will be flexible so that enough data can be collected to make the DSL the best it can be.

Dive Shops Significantly Increase Certifications After Going All in with PADI

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A increase of 14 times is what happened to Aqua Sport’s specialty certifications in 2015, the year after the dive facility with operations in Eilat, Israel, and Taba, Egypt, went all in with PADI.

In addition to the increase in specialty divers, PADI® Divemaster certifications quintupled after this dive center chose to make the change. Certifications across the board continued to increase throughout 2016 and this year as a PADI Five Star Instructor Development Center, Aqua Sport is on track to train more instructors than in any year previous.

“We began crossing over all our instructors to PADI at the end of 2015,” says Dafna Budden, co-owner of Aqua Sport. “We understood that further education was key to increasing our sales and that PADI would be the best diving organization to help us achieve that. With PADI’s marketing materials, resources and professional support, we felt we could increase our sales in specialties and professional education and are pleased to report this was achieved.”

Aqua Sport credits PADI’s strong brand as a key factor in its monumental business growth. In 2016, more than two billion consumers learned about PADI Dive Centers and Resorts through media exposures and targeted advertising, including social media messages encouraging certified divers to seek additional training.

Of PADI’s education materials, particularly the digital options, such as PADI eLearning® and the PADI Open Water Diver TouchTM, Budden says, “This is a great marketing tool. Students really enjoy the PADI digital learning and love the interaction with the Touch manuals.”

In addition to benefitting from PADI’s marketing horsepower and educational materials, Aqua Sport appreciates the dedicated customer support team. “The customer service that we and our clients receive from PADI is very important to us,” says Budden. “The PADI staff assigned to our account are professional, helpful, friendly and always on hand to resolve any issues, offer professional advice and guide us where necessary. We are very pleased with the PADI programs and how successful they have proven to be.”

These are just a few reasons why more dive centers and resorts joined PADI in 2016 than in any previous year; retail and resort membership now exceeds 6400 members globally. If you have questions about going all PADI, contact the Territory Director, Regional Manager, or Regional Training Consultant for your area at your local PADI Regional Headquarters.