Every year we run a six-month-long competition to find the best scuba diving destinations, dive centres or resorts, and liveaboards. The competition is split into a nomination phase, where DIVE’s readers can submit up to three of their favourites in each category, the Top 25 of which go through to the voting phase. Divers around the world can then cast their votes to determine the winners, which we announce at the DEMA show. The vote is free and open to everybody, and all we ask for in return is an optional registration to our weekly newsletter.
If you haven’t voted yet here’s a rundown of the Top 25 destinations nominated.
Although our head office is based in the UK, we are not a UK-focused scuba diving magazine. Many of our leading contributors are based overseas, and our readership extends around the globe. Our print magazine can be delivered anywhere in the world, or can be read in digital format by people who can’t stop travelling. Moreover, our focus is on travel, adventure, conservation, and the underwater stories that lie behind the headlines, not just the latest scuba gadgets. Our travel awards reflect what the whole world has to say, not just those from a single country.
Check out the Top 25 resorts…
Of course it does! Every day in the news media we see how votes that affect entire nations are swung by just a handful of people. The same is true of our Travel Awards. In 2018 over 30,000 individual votes were cast and as of the first week in October 2019, the figure is just under 20,000, with three weeks to go. Despite the thousands of votes, in 2017, the winning liveaboard won by a single vote cast just hours before the competition ended, and in 2018 one destination lost out on a Top 10 place for exactly the same reason. Winners earn the right to count themselves among the best destinations, resorts and liveaboards in the world through an internationally acclaimed Travel Awards, by thousands of divers from around the globe.
Pick your favourite liveaboard from the 25 nominated…
Some people treat the awards as a bit of fun, others take great pride in seeing their favourites place high on the leaderboard. Nobody is paying us to participate, we are not colluding with foreign agencies and the voting is robustly vetted through an independent third-party voting platform. It’s just a straightforward reader poll, so if thousands of people around the world say a particular destination, resort or liveaboard is ‘the best’, then dive travellers can be confident that it is, at the very least, pretty good!
We know our readers are a special bunch. They obviously have excellent taste, are widely travelled and know a fair bit about the underwater world. Why else would they read DIVE? And their verdict on what makes the best dive centre, liveaboard or destination clearly carries real weight. Hence the stunning response we get from TV stations, newspapers and social media from around the world when the final winners are announced. In just a few years this straightforward readers’ poll with its honest and transparent process has grown into a major force. And that is all down to your good judgement and passion for supporting the best – not only in your choice of magazine but in your appraisal of the top dive places and boats. Thanks for your support and keep the votes coming – each and every one counts!
This Autumn, Alfie Minnaar swaps tropical Gili T for the deep freeze of lake Baikal, Francesa Page brings us a fantastic artist’s impression of Cocos Island diving, Tom St George dives with the sea dogs of Cat Island, Chloe Smith visits the ‘secret south’ of the Great Barrier Reef and the HMAS Tobruk, and René B Andersen brings us some incredible images from the wreck of the Sao Paolo, a challenging, deep-water version of the Thistlegorm. And if that’s not enough, Louise Murray writes about the lives of Philippino dive guides, Mark ‘Crowley’ Russell sheds some illumination on dive lights – and we feature all 20 of the brilliant winning entries into our #OriginalDIVEPhoto competion.