Tulum, Q.R. — Local dive shops are sending a warning of “patito” dive companies offering services on the internet.
The problem, they say, is that these website companies do not hold a physical presence and are offering dive tours to tourists without any certifications or security guarantees.
Eulogio Cauich May, owner of the dive shop Cueva del Maya, says that it is important for these online service providers to label themselves as freelance. He says there are about 15 of these illegal online service companies who lack the proper certification and permits for the activity.
He points out that, “These businesses do not pay taxes nor provide security to tourists. We know that these irregular stores also hire guides who are not certified and have very little knowledge of the activity. They are hired and paid to be a guide, which puts all those diving into a life-threatening situation.”
Cauich May also says that these illegal online dive companies create unfair competition as well as a bad image for the region when an accident occurs. This affects all businesses engaged in providing diving services, even those who are fully certified.
Alejandro Escalante Peraza of Mexi-Divers says that these online companies only spend advertising on the internet and do not have a physical address. They will beat the price down by $20 to be able to sell, creating unfair competition. He added that these companies are also a legal problem because if an accident occurs while diving, it is easy for them to disappear from the internet, avoiding legal responsibility.