The Scuba Dive Industry in Australia: towards estimates of economic size and impact

The recreational Scuba Dive industry undoubtedly makes a large and important contribution to the Australian economy. Despite this importance, little work has been done to measure or quantify the true size of the industry, either in dollar terms or in the employment numbers.

While highlighting the need for further research, this paper seeks to sketch a broad outline around the potential size and contribution of the Australian Scuba dive industry.

While the results should be used with considerable caution, and while they demonstrate a clear need for better data, the figures presented here clearly show that Scuba Diving makes a large and important contribution to the Australian economy.

Working with the limited data available, we estimate that dive-related spending in Australia is potentially worth as much as $2.2 billion a year.

Table 1. Estimated dive related spending in Australia.

Dive Related Spending

Club Divers

$125m

Domestic Tourists

$406m

International Tourists

$1.7bn

Total

$2.2bn

Total Economic Contribution

$4.2bn

 

The bulk of Scuba Diving occurs in Queensland, where dive related spending is potentially worth as much as $950 million a year. However there are major dive industries in NSW and WA as well.

Table 2. Estimated dive related spending by state.

State

Share

Dive Spend

Cont. to GSP

NSW

23%

$513m

$969m

QLD

43%

$951m

$1,803m

    Nth Qld*

21%

$462m

$877m

WA

20%

$446m

$843m

Other

13%

$289m

$541m

 

              * figure excludes club divers

 

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