Scubaqua Dive Centre showcasing its virtual display at the Duikvaker Expo. (STDF photo)
ST. EUSTATIUS–St. Eustatius Tourism Development Foundation (STDF) teams up with the dive centres on the island annually to secure attendance at the Duikvaker Expo in Houten, the Netherlands.
Duikvaker is an annual event for divers, free-divers and snorkelers. This year’s event was held February 6-7. Unlike previous years, exhibitors showcased in a virtual setting.
Despite the lack of face-to-face contact, Scubaqua Dive Centre reported some actual bookings. Director of Tourism Charles Lindo said it is a “reassuring indication” that Statia’s presence did not go unnoticed, “and it also shows that being there was still important.”
According to Scubaqua’s Marieke van de Wetering, the virtual show was “nicely set up,” and she feels “it is important to attend virtual shows to show the world we are still up and running.” The indication is that people are still catching on to this “new normal” even in the dive sector, she said.
“It is the hope that things will soon return to some sense of normalcy where live, in-person meetings can again take place,” said STDF’s clerical assistant Shanettie Carty.
As participation in these virtual events continues, the Tourism Office is optimistic that post-COVID, Statia will see an increase in visiting diving enthusiasts.
STDF hopes that spreading the word about the underwater experiences and eco-adventures one can enjoy in Statia within the now-globally-embraced virtual environment is a step in the right direction.
“The Statia Tourism Office will continue to work closely with the dive centres in ensuring our product stays current,” said STDF’s product development and research manager Maya Leon-Pandt.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/statia-represented-at-duikvaker-expo-2021