Dive Travel Awards 2018 | The Winners!
Six Months, 71 destinations, 461 dive centres or resorts, 208 liveaboard nominations, over 30,000 individual votes cast across three categories - and so now it's time to announce the winners!
We're very pleased that so many people took an active part in the 2018 DIVE Travel Awards, and we'd like to say a big 'Thank You!' to everybody who got involved. From the operators who took the time to circulate their nominations across their websites and social media channels, to the divers who signed up and took a few minutes to cast their votes.
It's a long process, so it's really interesting to see the ebb and flow as the votes take shape. Some people decided to make an early start of it and get their votes in first, other chose to leave it until the last few weeks to mount their campaigns. The vote has changed significantly from last year, where The Azores, Mexico, Bahamas and Thailand, which placed third, fourth, sixth and eighth respectively in last year's destinations category didn't make it through to this year's Top 10. Instead, Australia, Palau, Galápagos and the Solomon Islands have rounded out the list of winners.
The vote has also attracted a lot of votes for some smaller dive centres and resorts. Ceningan Divers, for example, was a surprise entrant into the nominations and has taken third place overall. a big shout-out should also go to Elite Diving, a small, family-run business that has weathered the tough times in Sharm El Sheikh over the last few years thanks to its extremely loyal customer base.
In the liveaboard category, some of the world's major players barely registered, while smaller operators have done extremely well and entered the Top 25 for the first time. Only three of the vessels that featured in 2017's Top 10 have made it through the final vote.
As readers will know, we did find ourselves subjected to some fraudulent voting. We don't hold the operators responsible- but some clearly had over-enthusiastic supporters! However, it is very obvious when methods such as automated votes take place and we simply removed them and - unlike some other votes - we don't need a recount!
We'd like to thank the sponsors of the 2018 Travel Awards, Scubapro, one of the world's foremost brands for everything scuba related; leading UK scuba diving travel specialists Dive Worldwide, and Christopher Ward, manufacturer of some of the most desirable and stylish dive watches available.
Above all, the success of this year's DIVE Travel Awards is down to you, the reader, for helping to spread the word and get people involved. Without you, none of this would have ever been possible. So THANK YOU!
The Best Scuba Diving Destinations in the World
Just like last year, Indonesia raced straight into the lead and stayed there, with The Philippines consolidating their second place mid-way through the vote. Egypt placed sixth overall in 2017, so making it into the Top Three for 2018 is great news for a country that been slowly recovering as a tourist destination in the last few years.
The Best Dive Centres and Resorts in the World
Siladen Resort and Spa, also last year's winners, mounted a very determined campaign to see them take first place again this year. Bunaken Oasis was in the vote last year but placed outside the Top 10. Newcomers Ceningan Divers, unknowns in the 2017 awards, have taken an extremely commendable third place.
The Best Dive Liveaboards in the World
Dewi Nusantara and Amira were closely tied together for much of the awards but Dewi Nusantara made some excellent gains during the last month of the vote. Wakatobi's Pelagian, second place in 2017, ran a successful late campaign to place third this year.