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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Australia International Dive Expo Bringing the Underwater World to Aussies

Blue Marlin by Scott Portelli. Courtesy of the Underwater FestivalAccording to the organisers of The Australia International Dive Expo (AIDE), which debuts at the Royal Hall of Industries in Moore Park, Sydney on 22-23 Feb, travellers are missing out on seeing more than 70% of this world. This is because it is all underwater.

Director and Organiser of AIDE, Ness Puvanes, says with an abundance of information, hi-tech equipment and affordable scuba diving classes widely available, there really is no reason why travellers should miss out on exploring the biggest part of the world.
“While scuba diving, especially recreational diving, is a fast growing travel market with more holiday resorts offering dive classes and tours today than ever before, there remains an opportunity to further educate and encourage even more people, including the disabled, to get into the sport,” says Ness.
“Not only is scuba diving a social recreational activity to bond with friends, family or even colleagues, it is an easy sport to learn and provides a non-strenuous full body workout,” she says. “It's also an incredible sensory experience where one will see new colours and textures; hear unique sounds of the marine world; feel the soothing currents of varying water temperatures and experience a certain calm that can only be had deep underwater. Crystal Rock by Gavin Ee. Courtesy of the Underwater Festival
“Furthermore, travel opportunities are endless with not only oceans, but lakes and rivers to explore as well. And it’s not just the exotic marine life one will see, but stunning ship wrecks, lost worlds and volcanoes, too,” she adds.
“Importantly, scuba diving helps travellers to better understand and appreciate the world we live in and encourages positive change on the conservation front.
“And a major travel bonus enjoyed by divers is the 5-10kg extra baggage allowance on many legacy airlines.”
PADI Members in the Asia Pacific Region alone certified more PADI students in 2013 than any year in PADI's 48 year history, the fourth successive year in a row that PADI Members in the region has set new records and numbers continue to grow.
Disabled Divers International reports that since its introduction in 2010, the number of disabled divers around the world has increased tremendously, by more than 100 fold. According to the association, the physical rehabilitation, freedom of movement and social aspects of the sport have proven massive benefits to disabled individuals.
With a mission to encourage more Australians to explore the fascinating marine world, the hotly anticipated Australia International Dive Show has brought together a selection of dive operators, tourism boards, holiday dive resorts, equipment suppliers and camera specialists to engage with keen Aussie divers.
The Expo will also see a panel of experts including George Evatt (multi award-winning underwater cinematographer), Christophe Bailhache (Underwater Earth), Sarah Richmond (Sarah Shark Project), marine biology lecturer and underwater photographer Mike Scotland, dive blogger Michael McFadyen, University Lecturer Dr Kay Dimmock and others speak about the sport and provide valuable tips to divers. They will also be sharing information on new and current marine conservation projects, practices and efforts that will help visitors appreciate and understand more of the underwater world; and their role to protect it for future generations to come.
Over the two-day Expo, visitors will have the opportunity to marvel at a selection of award-winning photos of the weird and wonderful marine life, courtesy of Underwater Festival™. Now in its eighth year, the organisers of the Underwater Festival will also be introducing its new project, the world’s first perpetual photo competition at the Expo.
Families with young kids would be kept entertained with endless photo opportunities, face painting, a variety of art classes and other games that will be available throughout the weekend.
Keen holiday-goers will enjoy exclusive holiday deals and dive courses offered by the exhibitors. Some of the destinations visitors can be excited about include Christmas Island, Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort, East and Peninsular Malaysia, Indonesia, Guam, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, the Maldives, Solomon Islands and many more.
With more than $10,000 worth of gifts and prizes to be won over the weekend, all visitors to the Expo will also receive goody-bags valued at $80. Also, each day, one lucky visitor will win a dive holiday to one of the world’s most exotic locations.
As part of the many door prizes and giveaways at this inaugural Expo, PADI will also be giving out four e-learning vouchers valued at over $160 each. The vouchers entitle the winners access to theoretical knowledge for one of the certification courses (PADI Open Water Diver Course, PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Course or PADI Rescue Diver Course). Practical scuba dive lessons are not included as part of the vouchers.
The general admission fee is $5 for adults on site, $4 for online registrants, $3 for PADI divers and free for children under 17 years of age. Online registrants will have a choice of door gift options as well.
Also, new divers who sign up for any PADI courses at the Expo will receive a PADI t-shirt, while existing divers who get their friends signed up for a dive course will receive a free PADI Diving Society Bag (while stocks last).
To find out more about the Expo, freebies, activities and more, visit www.australiadiveexpo.com.

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