The Malaysia International Dive Expo hit new heights in its 14th year, taking place at the Putra World Centre in Kuala Lumpur on 3-5 May 2019. This year, there was a 20 percent increase in visitors, totalling 12,656 from 50 countries.
There were 1,000 exhibitors from 12 countries, sharing their products, services and expertise with visitors. Overall sales generated over the three-day event was around US$2.57 mil (RM10.7 mil), a 45 percent increase from last year. New this year was the addition of watersports, which was warmly received, leading to many sales leads in the boating section. Interest was expressed by dive operators and holiday resorts regarding the various types and features of boats on display. The potential for this area to grow was evident. Also new this year was the B2B matching platform, a MIDE meeting app that saw encouraging usage by both trade visitors and exhibitors, keen on networking during the show.
Lens Beyond Ocean Photo Contest
This year’s Lens Beyond Ocean Underwater Photography Competition was another great success, with entries received from 25 countries. The winners for each category were:
• Best of Show: Leonard Lim of Singapore and Peter De Maagt of the Netherlands.
• Macro: 1st place, Navapan Janjarasskul of Thailand; 2nd place, Gaetano Gargiulo of Italy.
• Wide-angle: 1st place, Gino Symus of Belgium; 2nd place, Miguel Ramirez of Reunion.
• Portfolio: 1st place, Delbos Yannick of France; 2nd place, Tracey Jennings of the United Kingdom.
• Compact: 1st place, Chong Wan Yong of Malaysia; 2nd place, Low Sook Wei of Malaysia.
• Creative: 1st place, Pietro Cremone of Italy; 2nd place, Theresa Guise of the United States.
• Freediving: 1st place, Yen Wen Chih of Taiwan; 2nd place, Andrew Tsz On Lau of Hong Kong.
• 3-Minute Video: 1st place, Simone Piccoli of Italy; 2nd place, Ros Syafiqah Roslan of Malaysia.
• Honourable mention: Rosni Hussin of Malaysia and Kang Qiu Jian of Malaysia.
Prizes included dive packages provided by Amun Ini Beach Resort and Spa, Aquatica Dive Resort, Atlantis Philippines, Atmosphere Resorts and Spa, Ceningan Divers, Cocotinos Hotels and Resorts, Fun and Sun Dive Travel, Mola Mola Liveaboard, Pura Vida Beach and Dive Resort, Scuba Seraya, Thalassa, Tiare Cruise and Waiwo Dive Resort Raja Ampat. Additional prizes were provided by Crest Diving and Enth Degree.
Forums and presenters
The much anticipated Ocean Rescue Forum brought experts from various fields together to discuss sustainable practices and educate visitors about what they can do to help the oceans and marine life, particularly regarding plastic pollution. The Cave Diving Forum featured cave diving experts discussing their experiences as well as the skills and training required. Various speakers gave presentations during the expo on topics such as marine conservation, dive medicine, underwater photography, technical diving, freediving, dive travel, dive training and blackwater diving.
There was a 15 percent increase in non-divers attending the expo, totaling 1,296, of which 36 tried scuba diving for the first time in the on-site pool through the “Be a Diver” program and another 258 signed up for scuba diving courses. Dive Divas Fan Club welcomed 32 new female members to their community. In addition, 672 school children visited the show to learn about scuba diving from Neil Davidson of PADI, single-use plastics from Monica Chin of the Ara Dinawan Research, Education and Conservation Center (ADRECC), and sharks from Brendon Sing of Shark Guardian. There were 37 lucky draw winners of prizes with a combined worth of US$10,816 (RM45,000), including dive holiday packages, dive gear, dive courses, underwater camera equipment and cash prizes.
MIDE is endorsed by the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) and strongly supported by the Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), an agency under the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia. Other supporting associations include Malaysia Scuba Diving Association (MSDA), PADI, NAUI, TDI/SDI, SSI, Dive RAID, IANTD, DAN, ITDA, DDI and NDL. Media sponsors include X-Ray Mag, DiveLog, OZDiver, Action Asia, China Scuba Diving, Ocean Geographic Society, Underwater.com, Global Sports Mart, Malay Mail, Floatingasia.com and Travel Guide. ■