29 March 2005

Scuba diving Barrier Reef loses popularity as divers down under go elsewhere

Julieanne Van Zyl is one of the many scuba divers shunning the Great Barrier Reef. Will the tourist industry need to adjust? Van Zyl says that talk both on and offline shows a definite shift in where people dive when they go down under. She says even the local Australian divers are shunning the Great Barrier Reef and spending more of their time diving Moreton Bay Marine Park, near Brisbane.

James McVeigh, is the owner of Reality Cruises and said that his company and other large dive guides are now heavily promoting Brisbane as a dive destination. He says that the general feeling in Australia is that Brisbane is better than most parts of the Great Barrier Reef.

The new hot spot down under is Moreton Bay. Moreton Bay was declared a Marine Park in 1993 and boasts Rock, Wreck and Reef experiences for all levels of scuba diving. Flinders Reef at Moreton Bay has 240 different species of choral, causing the tropical fish life to be in abundance, impressing even to most seasoned scuba divers. Diving is also more affordable for non Aussie Divers because the International airport is at Brisbane. McVeigh said all of these things have caused a definite shift in where scuba divers are going today.

Van Zyl says even the way people select their dive destinations is changing. She says that as more online communities are made available more divers will be able to select their destinations without the help of travel agents or even find the ones that are most recommended.


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