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Diving & Water Sport, Leo

Koh Tao with Leo - Unique Customer Experience at Davy Jones Locker

21 Oct 2017

Davy Jones Locker Diving set up on Koh Tao after owner Tim Lawrence moved there in 1996. In 2007 they moved to their current location in the heart of Sairee near the beach.

“Koh Tao is an island that is very easy to get stuck on. This is due to a number of factors such as the good weather for most of the year, the amazing local community and the fact that for an island so small there are an unbelievable number of places to visit and dive. People have a great experience coming here to dive which makes it worthwhile being in this business.

As long as this continues we will be happy to operate out of Koh Tao”.

At Davy Jones Locker their aim is to give a unique customer experience. By this they mean the overall package, from the moment a customer goes into the shop until the time that they have to leave.

“It’s easy to let the diving speak for itself when customers are in warm tropical waters surrounded by an abundance of marine life and coral. However, we expect our staff to go above and beyond the usual expectations of customer service and make this a great social experience as well as an amazing diving experience”.

What do you offer?
Davy Jones Locker is a PADI 5 star Career Development Centre, which means we can offer training for all abilities. From complete beginner all the way up to diving instructor certification. One of our popular training programmes is the divemaster internship which can take students of any ability through to divemaster certification in around 2 months. It’s very popular in July and August as we run an annual competition which pays the course costs for the lucky winner.

We also have a tech diving department which offers rebreather training and organises wreck and cave diving expeditions around Thailand and the South Asian seas. DJL owners Tim Lawrence and Leon Webber are active tech and wreck divers and personally oversee these expeditions.

In the last couple of years we have been organising dive camps in Pulau Moyo, Indonesia. This is paradise, away from civilization, venturing into unexplored waters. We have discovered some amazing dive sites, including wrecks on our visits. The diving is unbelievable, up to 60m visibility in crystal clear waters.

Liveaboard packages will soon be on offer. We are close to finishing the construction of our boat and aim to be operational before the end of the year.

What is different about your diving experience?
There are many dive schools on Koh Tao, all visiting the same dive sites. So how do we try to stand out from other dive schools? This is where our diving instructors make the difference. Each instructor is certified to Master Scuba Diver Trainer level which should ensure a certain level of quality. However we also attach a great deal of importance to the personal skills that our instructors have. The goal is to make sure each of our customers is comfortable, relaxed and enjoys their diving. Some customers may need a bit more assistance in this respect but our instructors are expected to cater for needs and abilities of everyone on the dive.

After a day of diving many of our staff relax in our bar with a few drinks. Everyone is friendly, approachable and happy to have a chat. It doesn’t have to be diving related, one of the great things about this business is meeting new people and everyone has an interesting story to tell.

What is the atmosphere like at DJL?
We use the phrase ‘DJL family’ in a lot of our promotional material, and we like customers to feel that they are part of the DJL family when they start diving with us. When our customers complete a diving course it’s great if they have gained a new group of friends as well as diving certification.

Our pool is used for relaxing and socialising as well as training, so customers can enjoy the bar and restaurant next to it. We have a weekly pool party each Saturday which is open to everyone on Koh Tao. It's important that our customers enjoy all aspects of Koh Tao, not only the scuba diving.   

What uniqueness does your business bring to Koh Tao?
We are a dive school that is on an island containing many dive schools. What make us unique… I would like to think it is the bond that we form with our customers, many who stay on Koh Tao longer than planned to continue diving with us. Others who return as soon as possible to dive with us again. Again, it is making people feel like they have joined and become part of the DJL family.

The team at Davy Jones Locker are currently in the process of building a liveaboard which will be located around the Komodo area. Hopefully this will be up and running before the end of the year and will provide their customers with another exciting diving option. As always, they are expanding the brand name through word of mouth and reviews which are vitally important as these are customers who have had personal experience of diving with them.

“We also love to see returning customers again. Who knows, - the open water course someone finished on a previous visit could have given them the incentive to start a new career as a diving instructor!”.

Like other schools they offer free collection from the pier when customers arrive. Students who complete the divemaster internship get free fun diving for life at DJL and they pay their PADI divemaster application fees. Returning customers get a discount off courses and fun dives.

“I’m pretty sure we are the only dive school that offers a pool party every Saturday!”.

What do you enjoy about the island of Koh Tao?
As I mentioned earlier, the weather's great most of the time and the local community are fantastic. What’s also great is that despite being so small (approximately 8km long) Koh Tao is divided up into distinct separate areas. This gives plenty of variety when choosing places to visit, or restaurants and bars to go to in the evening. Despite having separate areas nothing is too far away, even the most remote beach can be accessed in around 20 minutes if there is a road leading there.

Koh Tao has something for everyone, whether it’s partying at the beach bars in Sairee or relaxing in the quieter area of Chalok. There is also something here to suit every type of budget. Hostels are as cheap as 250 thb per night, for those who prefer a bit more luxury there are resorts and villas available which match anything found elsewhere in the world. This is great if you’d like to spoil yourself every once in awhile.

And leave us with the DJL Diving philosophy…
We’ll keep it short and sweet…as our boss Tim always says “it’s the experience that counts”.

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