Hawaiian Islands Scuba Economic Impact – A Case Study

The Hawaiian Islands Recreational Scuba Association (HIRSA) needed to find out what impact scuba diving has on their economy. As a result, they turned William Cline to conduct their first scuba diving economic study for the State of Hawaii. The report, created and complied by William Cline of Cline Group, was a groundbreaking study for the state. Using combined sources of operator surveys and Hawaii Tourism Authority tourism figures, this study found in 2017 there were 356,148 divers that participated in scuba activities in Hawaii’s waters. The total estimated economic impact of these scuba divers is a staggering $519,887,657.47 per year, including an estimated 1,079,460 in room nights specifically generated as a result of scuba diving activities.

Lauren Smith, president of HIRSA commented on the results “We are very pleased with the study and results. We have always known Scuba Diving contributes massively to Hawaii’s tourism picture, and thanks to William, we finally have a valid assessment of that impact. Our hope is this is just the start of additional exposure and funding for scuba diving tourism within and outside of the State. Final copies of this study were hand delivered to the Governor of the State, as well as the President of the Hawaii Tourism Authority recently.”

The study took place over four months this year, and included a unique algorithm developed by William Cline of Cline Group to create the total economic impact. William explains the process “This study employed a unique analysis of operator feedback then compared to the Tourism Authority’s published data to arrive at the estimated impact for scuba diving, both locally and tourism related. Hawaii is a bit unique in that there is a relatively large local population that dives, as a result this impact had to be identified and separated from the inbound tourism related activities. Further, like all diving destinations, there are a host of associated watersports activities offered by dive operations, this revenue also had to be identified and separated from the scuba specific impact. We have proven that scuba diving tourism is a major component to Hawaii’s complex tourism marketing matrix, and we hope the local, State and Federal governments realize its potential to generate room nights and revenues for the economy. In a time when Hawaii needs to look to alternate markets, traveling scuba divers are the perfect fit for inbound tourism expansion.”

Contact William Cline if you would like an estimate for conducting a scuba diving economic impact study for your region, island or Country.