The Asia Dive Expo (ADEX) is the longest-running and largest dive expo in Asia. Held from April 7th–9th in Singapore, the 22nd edition of ADEX, is dedicated to the theme of climate change. We spoke to Cassandra Dragon, brand manager for ADEX, about what to expect from this year’s event.
ADEX has a 21-year history in the dive industry. What is ADEX’s mission?
ADEX is an annual advocacy tool aimed at raising awareness of the diving world. Our main goal is the future development of this industry. We believe that only through collaboration among all stakeholders will the industry continue to thrive. From across the globe, ADEX brings together distinguished VIPs and speakers, business owners, dive operators, enthusiasts, marine conservationists and all those with a passion for the underwater world.
How successful has ADEX been in meeting its goals?
With a steady 15% to 20% exponential growth each year, it is a good sign of a healthy industry and we believe that ADEX has played an integral part in keeping scuba diving a compelling industry in Asia and beyond.
What sets ADEX apart from other diving industry exhibitions?
As a dive show, we are always looking for new and creative ways to inspire people. Over the years, we have implemented new activities and events to appeal to larger audiences and support the growth of the industry. For example, at this year’s show, we are introducing a Freediving Pavilion and Waterplay360, a collaboration with stakeholders from the water sports industry.
The theme of the year at ADEX is climate change. Why was this theme chosen?
ADEX chose climate change as a theme to highlight the impact it is having on our oceans. As the biggest challenge facing nature and humanity, we feel that the dive industry needs to lead the way in combating this threat to life on our blue planet.
How does choosing a theme influence divers to act?
By bringing together artists, photographers, scientists, researchers, explorers and many other advocates of conservation, we hope to educate the public through various presentations and visual interpretations of the plight we are all currently facing at this 11th hour.
This year ADEX is broadening its focus from diving to the watersports industry by introducing Waterplay 360 and the Asia Surf Expo. What can we expect from these new additions?
We wanted to bring together everybody with a passion for water. Whether you’re a surfer, a stand-up paddle boarder, kite-surfer, wake boarder or scuba diver, we all have an appreciation of the oceans and our environment. With these new components now added to ADEX, we hope to offer more opportunities and growth for both diving and water sports tourism. Asia Surf Expo will offer a marketplace to manufacturers, distributors and retailers in the surf, skate, stand up paddle, wake, and wind industries. Asia, with over 30,000 Islands, offers endless opportunities and growth for water sports tourism.
There will be several freediving workshops at ADEX this year. How is the growing popularity of freediving affecting the diving industry?
Freediving is affecting the diving industry in an extremely positive way. With newly gained interest in the sport, this can only mean growth for the diving industry. Freediving will soon be the new ‘cult’ sport that enables a person to look at the world from a different perspective.
ADEX has recently expanded to China. What opportunities does the China market hold for the diving industry in Asia?
The rapidly expanding tourism sector in China poses many opportunities for dive operators as more Chinese citizens travel abroad. Over the last decade, China has been the fastest-growing outbound tourism market in the world. With the sheer number of potential Chinese visitors traveling abroad and with so much revenue at stake, countries around the world are aggressively trying to lure potential travellers. There is no question that the market potential for significant growth out of China has caught the attention of the diving industry.
Who are some of the special guests that will be attending ADEX this year?
Our VIPs for this year include Her Deepness Dr. Sylvia Earle, who will be making a guest appearance; the former President of Timore Leste Mr. Jose Ramos Horta; the Ansel Adams of the underwater world, Mr. Ernie Brooks; Emmy Award-winning cinematographer and photographer Cristian Dimitrus; 5 time Emmy Award-winning underwater photographer Becky Kagan Schott; and AIDA World Record-holder Alexey Molchanov, to mention only a few.
What special activities will be taking place at ADEX this year?
We have long-distance swimmer Benoit Lecomte doing a 3-hour non-stop swim in the ADEX on-site pool. Mr. Lecomte has plans to swim across the Pacific Ocean from Japan to California to raise awareness about sustainability and the impact of excessive human garbage polluting the world's oceans.
We are also holding the SCUBA360 Business Forum. It will be a gathering of major industry players to discuss the future resilience of the diving business. This forum will provide an unprecedented opportunity to openly discuss sustainability within the diving industry.
Also, we are introducing the BlueGreen360 Awards, which will celebrate businesses and individuals in the marine tourism industry who are dedicated to inspiring and championing sustainable solutions in their day-to-day operations and sharing their invaluable knowledge with the wider community. The awards also honor those pioneers who attempt to strive above the rest by adopting and utilizing new technologies to ensure the sustainability of our oceans for the generations to come.
About Cassandra Dragon
Cassandra is an avid scuba diver and passionate underwater photographer. Her highest priorities are her love for the ocean and raising awareness against shark finning. She is active in the diving industry in Southeast Asia and is the current Brand Manager for ADEX.
Cassandra was instrumental in bringing the Celebrate the Sea Festival to Indonesia in 2002 and when she is not leading small groups on dive expeditions around the world, she is organizing marine conservation-based activities in Asia. Her images and articles have been published in Ocean Geographic, Scuba Diver Magazine and other international dive and travel publications.
Visit Deepblu at ADEX!
Deepblu has a soft spot for ADEX, as it is where we first launched the COSMIQ Dive Computer and the Deepblu app in 2016. Deepblu will be sharing a booth at ADEX 2017 with the Taveuni Dive Resort (Booth G10) where representatives will be on hand to answer any questions about the COSMIQ+ Dive Computer and our social network for divers. Come visit us for a chance to win a diving holiday in Fiji and a COSMIQ+!
This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity and style.