SEVENSEAS Marine Conservation & Travel Issue 15, August 2016 - Page 23

that we rolled out this program with the people at the forefront of sustainable scuba diving. We see the paradigm shifting and the consumer pressure shifting. “I started Ocean First to instill a sense of appreciation and accountability in divers everywhere. A part of shifting the paradigm lies within dive centers: to educate customers about the marine environment, take steps to address their impact, and protect the very resource the industry depends on for its livelihood,” says Graham Casden, owner of Ocean First. We hope to inspire that consciousness and help people understand that the choices you make matter—from how you run your business to how you travel.

Tourism is a booming industry—and it has the power to create positive change on a global scale if done correctly. As one of the world’s leading employment sectors, tourism provides important livelihood opportunities, helping to alleviate poverty and drive inclusive and sustainable development. Tourism is making a genuine difference in the lives of millions of people. Tourist dollars can boost community economic development by hiring and empowering local staff, purchasing locally made items, and supporting locally owned and managed businesses. Fortunately, travelers today are increasingly looking for meaningful experiences and green vacations.

As a traveler, think about how your trip can have a positive impact the next time you go diving—dive with a shop that cares. As a dive shop, join us to inspire your customers and be ready for their questions about your sustainable diving practices—join the industry leaders as a dive shop that is doing the right thing.

Stay tuned for our upcoming article series on dive resorts in our Blue Certified program, as well as tips for sustainable diving and tourism as part of Blue Certified’s partnership with SEVENSEAS Magazine.