AWARDS

DIVER AWARDS 2019

THE NAMES BELOW represent the cream of the cream in the diving industry. How do we know that?

Because you voted for them in this year’s DIVER Awards and you don’t bestow your favours lightly. Your choices are now the proud possessors of runner-up certificates or the coveted deep blue awards themselves.

The accolades were presented, fittingly, at the UK’s great annual diver gathering at DIVER Group’s DIVE 2019 show at the NEC in October. Monty Halls and Paul Rose did the honours, and the trophies stand as the best evidence that all these winners mean business.

DIVER Brand of the Year

Last year, Scubapro was back in the top three after a brief absence – and this year the manufacturer has grabbed the number one slot.

1st – Scubapro

“We’re deeply honoured and extremely proud to have been nominated in this category in the annual DIVER Awards,” said Marketing Manager North & East Europe Tina Kopseel. “We’d like to thank all the DIVER s who voted for Scubapro. Thank you for believing in us and also for feeling that deep down you want the best!”

2nd – Apeks

3rd – Suunto

DIVER Product of the Year

Computers do well in this category, but the ground-breaking Teric has really captured your imagination.

1st – Shearwater
Teric computer

“We are delighted and grateful to know that the Teric has been voted for in the 2019 Product of the Year Award,“ said Serena Yau, Creative Brand Manager at the clearly well-staffed Shearwater Research Inc in British Colombia, Canada.

“Thank you for all the support from our community of Shearwater DIVER s. We will continue to work in creating and producing dive-computers that are powerful, simple and reliable.”

2nd – Apeks XL4 regulator

3rd – Suunto D5 computer

DIVER Tour Operator of the Year

As you were – there has been no change in this top three. You can’t argue with consistency!

1st – blue o two

“We’re absolutely delighted to have won Tour Operator of the Year for the fourth consecutive time,” said Laura Greenland, Marketing Manager for Blue O Two. “It’s certainly been a challenging year for us. We’ve faced a hurricane in the Bahamas, and worked on fund-raising for the relief efforts. We were also heavily impacted by the collapse of Thomas Cook, which sent shockwaves throughout the entire travel industry.

“However, we’re hugely encouraged to still have the support of our customers here in the UK, and would like to thank everybody who voted for us. Plus huge congratulations to our crew aboard Blue Horizon, runner-up in Liveaboard of the Year. Well done to all!”

2nd – Scuba Travel

3rd – Regaldive

DIVER Dive Centre of the Year

The top three names are the same, but since last year first and third, both iconic UK inland diving locations, have flipped, with the National Diving Centre winning out.

1st – Stoney Cove, UK

“Wow, It’s fantastic to win this award and it’s a huge honour to have so many fabulous customers that have good times at Stoney Cove,” said Managing Director Martin Woodward (right). “We look forward to many more great dives.

“Huge thanks to our amazing, wonderful, talented, brilliant DIVER s and visitors who voted for us – we love you all!”

2nd – Maltaqua, Malta

3rd – Andark Diving & Watersports, UK

Appeared in DIVER December 2019

DIVER Destination of the Year

What, no Maldives? That’s a first for the top three, but what isn’t new is the winner, back in the game as Sharm flights resume.

1st – Egypt

“This excellent news comes at a very exciting time, when we have just heard that direct flights to Sharm el Sheikh from the UK will soon be resumed,” Amr el Ezabi, Director of the Egyptian Tourist Authority in London, told DIVER. He is seen right with Monty Halls accepting the award at the DIVE 2019 show at the NEC.

“We can now offer two large, world-class resorts to British scuba divers – our much-loved treasure, Sharm el Sheikh, and also our old-faithful Hurghada which has been greatly rejuvenated over the past four years.

“Our heart-felt thanks go out to DIVER readers, who have remained loyal during difficult times and continued to vote for us. A warm, friendly welcome awaits you all in the Egyptian Red Sea and on shore.”

2nd – Malta

3rd – Indonesia

DIVER Liveaboard of the Year

A touch of deja vu here – this category remains unchanged!

1st – Hurricane

“Wow!” exclaimed Angela Nordin, MD of Scuba Travel, which represents operator Tornado Marine Fleet in the UK. “This is the fourth year Hurricane has won Liveaboard of the Year – what an accolade!

“We believe the crew and guides on Hurricane are the best in the Red Sea, and we’re so proud to see that our fellow-divers agree. This award goes to show that when it comes to amazing diving holidays, experience matters… that and brilliant food!

“We believe this is what keeps people coming back year after year. Hurricane is a Red Sea legend, and we look forward to welcoming folks back on board in 2020.”

2nd – blue Horizon

3rd – Valkyrie

DIVER Resort of the Year

It’s a new category this year to complement Liveaboards and you voted with great enthusiasm – especially the many Bonaire devotees!

1st – Buddy Dive Resort, Bonaire

‘’We are very happy to be awarded Resort of the Year and would like to thank everyone who voted for us,” said Buddy’s Dive Operations Manager Augusto Montbrun.

“We’re celebrating our 40th anniversary next year, and we look forward to hosting our guests for another 40 years!

“We’ll keep renewing and improving our resort and we hope to see you all (again) on Bonaire soon!’’

2nd – Siladen Resort & Spa, Indonesia

3rd – Roots, Egypt

DIVER Retailer of the Year

Persistence pays – 10-times-in-a-row winner Simply Scuba has been eased off its top spot this year! And Go Dive is back.

1st – Mike’s Dive Store

“Mike Calder would be proud to know that, after 27 years of putting the customer first, Mike’s Dive Store has won this accolade,” said MD Steve Brown on behalf of his London-based team.

“Mike may no longer be with us, but the philosophy he established is alive and well. Besides the busy shop, staffed entirely by keen divers, Mike’s has moved with the times to provide industry-leading online shopping, advice blogs and other handy resources. We work hard to make shopping an all-round great experience.

“We’ve recently been responsible for the replanting of 20 acres of Amazon rainforest (so far) by green-energising our warehouse and we donate to Sea-Changers who have funded over 150 marine conservation projects. So keeping our customers happy helps the environment too!”

2nd – Simply Scuba

3rd – Go Dive