TangaReef is launching today in association with World Ocean Day, mixing in social values with their dive center booking. The service can be described almost as a Hotels.com for dive centers, and is the first of its kind to bring dive centers all into one service. Why the Dutch and German cofounders decided to run a diving startup out of Finland is beyond me, but it's definitely a service that will bring a lot of value to tourists.
So say you're going to Thailand (or are in Thailand and looking for a place to dive). TangaReef allows you to search by location, spoken languages, and type of diving trip. They are currently set up with dive centers in Thailand and Egypt, with the Carabean, Mexico, Florida, and other locations coming soon.
Many of these dive centers are just lifestyle businesses who had very little online presence before TangaReef came along. Co-founders Oliver Bremer and Robert Aarts visited all of their listed Southeast Asian dive centers and said that many of these centers' schedules are little more than a whiteboard outside, so TangaReef spent a lot of time getting these dive trips correctly compiled online. This work has the added benefit of TangaReef being the only online dive center booking portal. "Our biggest competition are people just walking down the beach, or maybe tour operators who give dive center suggestions," says Bremer.
The business model is fairly straightforward. Bookings are commission based and it's free for dive centers to get started. For divers this doesn't necessarily mean you will be paying a premium just by booking through TangaReef, prices have been negotiated with the dive centers. Paying online is also convenient for tourists who likely don't want to be walking around in foreign countries with a lot of cash.
The company will contribute a "significant portion" of their profits from bookings to the Coral Reef Alliance, and additionally donating €1.00 for every review of the dive center posted after your trip. TangaReef considers themselves a "triple bottom line" company, which focuses on people, planet, and profit.
"It's something we're very passionate about," says co-founder Oliver Bremer. "And we think most divers understand it as well. Sometimes if you go diving in some not-so-nice places and you'll see dead reefs. Divers understand that the oceans are something we need to protect."