I'm curious where their #3 number comes from (edit: upon closer read, i found it, interesting that they are using just PADI per captia numbers vs. DEMA) Historically 20-30+ year ago we used to vie for the top spot for certified divers with California and Florida. We've fallen off more recently, and would be interesting to see the numbers, but I'm not gonna pay DEMA just to sate my curiosity http://www.scubahellas.com/wp-content/u ... s-2015.pdf
this report from DEMA (albeit a couple years old) doesn't even have us in top 5, but again, looking at different data set and numbers (certifications per year). The fall off of diving certifications is significant, and to a degree can be reflected in overall health of dive shops (although that is fuzzy as online sales become more prevalent but the drop off began well before online sales took hold) I believe in our heyday there were something like 64 dive shops in the greater puget sound region compared to the current 40 (as stated in article). If we really want to look at economic benefit of diving in our region, we need to also take into account trends, attrition and how PADI counted the certified diver numbers (every certification does not mean another diver) and if those folks have continued to dive at all.