Underwater Tourism

Ferraro started underwater tourism in diving centres (which were still called "immersion centres") and in diving schools. In 1948, on behalf of the company Cressi and in collaboration with the Italian Touring Club, he organised a diving course in Marina di Campo, on Elba island. This was the first diving school in the world that was intended for the public. His wife Orietta and Edmondo Sorgetti, a colleague from the “Gamma” Group, helped him in his mission and the only rebreathers they could count on were their personal ones, which were left over from the war. The following summer, in 1949, Ferraro and his collaborators led the same course on the island of Ischia and the year after they even disembarked on the small archipelago of the Tremiti on the Adriatic Sea. The course on the Tremiti islands was different from the previous ones as it was the first time in history that a diving school was based on a cruise. It was so successful that the same course was repeated on the archipelago of Pontino: in Ponza, Zannone and Palmarola. In this way, a new promising field within the service sector emerged: underwater tourism. (2)
Nowadays, the underwater tourism industry employs thousands of people and involves companies of all sizes: these range from the small family-run business to large companies listed on the stock exchange, with turnovers of hundreds of millions of Euros. On an international scale, the whole sector involves large tourist flows, in locations such as the Red Sea, some islands of the Caribbean, the Maldives and Italy, in Sardinia, Liguria and Tuscany. A significant portion of these tourist flows are linked to diving activities, in some cases even outside the traditional holiday season.

IMAGES

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Celina Seghi acquaints hereself with a rebreather at the first diving school in 1948 on the island of Elba
Celina Seghi acquaints hereself with a rebreather at the first diving school in 1948 on the island of Elba





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