“You’ve got to listen to your customers and more and more we are getting clients that demand eco-friendly trips, and we have just scratched the surface. ” ~ Steve Weaver
Steve Weaver of Dreamweaver Travel has organized one trip a month for 31 years. In Weaver’s experience, the interest in eco-friendly travel is the trend of the future. “Your customers are asking for this kind of travel experience and if you don’t offer it they will find it somewhere else,” asserts Weaver.
“If you don’t have healthy reefs you won’t have a business”
“You need to be on the forefront. If you don’t have healthy reefs you won’t have a business in the future.” Steve says protecting what we love and rely on for our livelihood will sustain the dive travel industry. “People generally want to take care of the environment” and for those resorts that are not following environmentally sustainable practices, Weaver says we should see this as an opportunity to help them make changes, have conversations with them for a successful future. Weaver names eco-resorts in Raja Ampat and Matava in Fiji that have phenomenal programs that are eco-friendly. “People don’t know what to do and that is why this Blue Ocean Summit is an awesome thing. It gives them information and choices that they would otherwise not have.”
Ocean Ambassadors spread the word on environmental issues and about making responsible and sustainable choices.
The Colorado Ocean Coalition trains people to become Ocean Ambassadors and to go into their community to spread the word on environmental issues. The program encourages having a good time on vacation while making responsible and sustainable choices. “If you are not ahead of your customers on these issues,” says Weaver, “and they demand these things from you then it makes you look bad to your customers. You don’t want a customer coming to you and saying you should run your business more sustainably—that would be embarrassing.”
The one thing that everyone can do is “be more aware of what options are out there for your travel and make better choices.” Steve stresses that as a customer you should actively support sustainable travel programs with your travel choices. And if you are a sustainable business, educate your dive customers on what is happening in the world and give them tips for sustainable diving. Use this summit as a source of information.
“we cannot sit back and think someone else is going to do it“
“I am an optimist when it comes to our environment and our industry, I think it is not too late but we need to pay attention, we cannot sit back and think someone else is going to do it. Do what you can, every little bit helps. Pledge to do your part.”
Steve passionately believes that retailers are the backbone of the scuba diving industry. He also believes that it is critically important for retailers to work together not only with each other but with the other stakeholders in the industry in order to help business grow for all. Steve Weaver is the owner operator of Weaver’s Dive & Travel Center & Dream Weaver Travel in Boulder Colorado. He has been in the dive industry for over 30 years.
Steve was a founding member of the Colorado Scuba Retailers Association and president for 2 years. He has served on the board of CSRA from its inception. He was voted Colorado Scuba Retailer of the year for 2 consecutive years. Steve also co-founded the Professional Scuba Retailers association and served as president of the organization. He has spoken to retailer groups around the country actively participating in the organization of several other regional retailers associations. He has been a regular speaker at the DEMA shows on the topic of dive travel.
To learn more about how Steve chooses sustainable dive resort destinations for his customers hear his entire interview at the Blue Ocean Summit 2014: Steve Weaver. You can visit Steve’s Dream Weaver website, see what the Colorado Ocean Coalition is doing and learn more about the Ocean Ambassadors Program.
Another of our Blue Ocean speakers discussing the theme “Traveling Towards Sustainability” is Steve Mussman. Steve has traveled extensively, and has owned and operated Sea Lab Diving in the Atlanta area since 1985.
Sea Lab differentiates itself by emphasizing an ecological approach to diving that focuses on promoting a better understanding of the many issues affecting marine ecosystems. Sea Lab introduces all its students to topics such as coral reef ecology, whale/dolphin captivity, shark finning and sustainable seafood.
Sea Lab believes divers have a unique and inherent responsibility to help keep our oceans blue and wild. To understand the Ocean Friendly philosophy that underpins all of Steve’s work read his entire article “Diving Professionals as Ambassadors of the Blue” found at: Ocean Profiles: Steve Mussman.