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Moscow Dive Show 2018 aftermath

February 28, 2018

This is the ultimate scene for underwater people: 3rd annual edition, same place, same date, Sokolniki Convention Center, early February, but bigger and better. This is the editorial aftermath of the major industry event which is now the starting point of the new underwater season.

The Moscow Dive Show stands full tilt for its status as the major turning point for Russia and the ex-SU. All major players showed off, both dive tourism and equipment retail, from Russia, Belorussia, Ukraine (despite all odds), from the Batlic, from Kazakhstan, from Azerbaijan. Coming to Moscow to push the business is of certain convenience for all of them. The local markets are OK doing business via Moscow.

Along with the massive traffic from Moscow and suburbs, visitors from other part of Russia and from abroad gave been well visible.

Where the visitors came from, and male/female percentage: based on Expodat census, 7128 questionnaires processed


The fair is growing. Visibly more exhibitors, maximum space used, now all three halls in the building, and the entertainment area has also grown considerably. The dive show has to deliver some show. Two big screens and an intense on-stage program is the the key for good mood. Time well spent for visitors in the venue.

New formats are full in. Those who are in some relation to water over its surface, yachtsmen, surfers, board riders, standup paddlers, have been last year just testing and looking around. For now, they are regular exhibitors, and add some thrill to the overall picture. Styles mixed up as the modern trend. Yacht skippers launch dive regatas, boardriders invite their fellow divers to challenge the wave between dives, underwater photographers shoot surfers from below water, liveaboards go for kite safari. Skippers and riders are positively impressed, and the overwater section is yet to grow with new exhibitors to join. Now officially, the slogan for 2019 is appealing to water people, not just underwater. The Moscow Dive Show is where humans go water.

Skipper Michael Savelyev, Russian Yachting Center / Russian Volvo Sailing Week: The show is so cool, almost unreal. Compared to this show, the events we've been part of, those for yachtsmen only, can't keep up. Well surprised that such a crowd of people came their way to Sokolniki despite the icy winter. A line at the entrance three full days is quite a good sign.

Dr Dmitry Orlov, RuDIVE group: Many thanks to the organisers of the Moscow Dive Show for this feast for divers. This year many international exhibitors came, alion with colleagues from Russian regions. This clearly means that the Show absolutely does its job as the central hub for the Russian diving industry to meet up and to talk business. We of course have confirmed to participate in 2019, and are already preparing.

Wider assortment and variety of dive gear, certification agencies and dive tourism. New faces, new international brands, and, most valuable, new national manufacturers. What makes this fair unique is that there are things to see and to touch well before they appear in the shops, in the tour op listings and even on the official websites.

Considerable growth in offer for inland dive tourism. Most visible proactivity from the White Sea and the Barents Sea, the Far East and Kamchatka.


The Moscow Dive Show is like both Düsseldorf and Paris, trying to combine a B2B spot with proactive marketing of products and travel packages, as some live cash flow goes well for everyone. This is of some use for liveaboards and dive resorts which not just scout local resellers among dive clubs and tour ops but also collect preorders from individuals backed by instant deposits.

Unique in-show events. Along with numerous presentations on main stage, worth mentioning is the special screening of the Hercules C-130 scuttling. Dive leaders from 5 countries teamed up under the umbrella of the Ultimate Depth magazine have witnessed this event in Aqaba by invitation of ASEZA. Aqaba is the featured partner destination of the Moscow Dive Show the second year in row. 

Overall environment. Totally positive feedback from visitors and exhibitors. Most common quote: this was the best show for maybe the last 15 years.

Conversion of activities. The overwhater part has grown bigger. Boards, kayaks, sailboats are visible in the venue. No longer they are special guests, rather part of the fellowship. While divers and freedivers have noticed only 5% interest for yachts and boards, 68% of skippers and riders are also diving. With activities mashing up, they're comfortable to share the same venue, the must-go scene for water humans.

Based on Expodat census, 7128 questionnaires processed

Attendance: 22+ thousand in 4 days, part of them twice and more. Over 245 exhibitors from 27 countries have shown their flag.

NB: 11% stated they came to choose an activity, and it's exactly them the promo campaign was targeted to scout, with FM radio stations, outdoor video boards, city portals, papers and billboards. This is growth potential. Newcomers whos saud they're in the 1st or 2nd year of their diving, this is the fresh blood: these 15% are the market growth over 2 years. Quite a good conversion reagrding the potential.



Both diving and yachting are activities for some wealth over average, which is reached at relevant age. Like everywhere worldwide, the underwater fellowship is mostly aged between 30 and 50, and this audience made up two thirds of the attendance. Nevertheless the younger ones are considerably visible in freediving and among those making up their minds what water activity to choose.

Visitors by age, based on 7127 Expodat questionnaires processed

Among divers (who declared diving as their activity) elder people prevailed, median age 42, and divers are male for more than two thirds. Meanwhile the novices are visibly younger: median 39 years, male and female almost equal. Though men dominate among underwater photographers (barely a quarter female) and cave-tech-wreck divers (8 out of 9 are male).

Ages for divers and newcomers, based on 7127 Expodat questionnaires processed

Beginners in the 1st and 2nd year of diving are 16%, this is the market growth estimate for past 2 years. With ten per cent growth potential, this is quite a conversion. The female share is visibly shrinking with experience, maybe men stay loyal to their hobby for longer or they for longer feel like boys.

Male vs female by underwater experience, based on 7127 Expodat questionnaires


At least 4 out of 5 (or even 9 out of 10) respondents traveled 2017 to dive abroad, while 46% went diving to Egypt, for half of them (23%) did not go elsewhere abroad, just Egypt. Yes, Egypt still stands apart from other divin destinations as the most popular one for Russian-speaking divers as they're strongly used to, and complicated flights are no real handicap. Nevertheless, for the first time Jordan is now visible in the statistics, with Aqaba being not just the Northern gate of the Red Sea but also featuring an onshore program of not less than world heritage level. Mid March Turkish Airlines introduced a regular flight to Aqaba, making it considerably easier getting there e.g. from Moscow and other ex-USSR capitals. This is expected to reflect in the 2018 numbers.

Based on 7127 Expodat questionnaires collected in the Moscow Dive Show 2017

No surprise the USA appeared in the top 10: a considerable part of this traffic falls on the tiny island of Guam which is the connection point for those flying to Yap, Palau, Truk lagoon etc Micronesian places. Of course there is a visible result of the promo efforts invested by Guam Visitor Bureau.

The overall geography is rather segmented: the top-10 cover up some 75% of the destination variety, some 25% chose other places to dive. Beyond the top 10 are e.g. Mexico and Cuba, though they have quite a potential for growth.


Already pinned the dates for the Moscow Dive Show 2019: Jan 31st to Feb 3rd, Thursday to Sunday. Same location: Sokolniki Convention Center, halls 4, 4.1, 4.2, almost 10 thousand square meters. It would definitely be even better and more fun. These are the new features to premiere in 2019. On Thursday, the first ever national final of the Underwater Tower buoyancy skills contest, live webcast from the pool. Friday night, the first oyster battle, for Black Sea vs Far East farmers. And Sunday, the first Short Water film festival.  Booths are bookable by email sale@diveshow.ru, latest news are on diveshow.ru