2017 has been an extraordinary year for ZuBlu. From an idea first conceived during a dive trip, to going ‘live’ in November, the ZuBlu site has steadily evolved over the course of countless skype calls and slack chats, long days and nights and a huge number of coffees. However, throughout this process, some things remained unchanged - our desire to give our users the ability to search for and discover amazing dive destinations; and our commitment to help conserve the destinations we share with our guests.
Our goal in 2017 was to design a site that was both beautiful and simple to use, featured up-to-date and relevant information and was built around a powerful search tool that allowed our guests to make the best possible choice as to when and where they should travel. From the framework of an idea in March 2017, the site developed through many different plans, fund-raising pitches, and site design and coding meetings with our partner, Digital Butter, culminating in the launch of the ZuBlu site - a huge achievement in such a short space of time and one we are extremely proud of. Today the ZuBlu site stands as a unique platform within the dive travel industry - one that offers the best user-experience for divers keen to explore different destinations and one we hope our guests will enjoy using as much as we have enjoyed building!
The ZuBlu site now features a selection of incredible resorts in Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and the Maldives, alongside information about some of Asia’s best dive destinations. And having spent the last few months designing the structure of platform, we are now beginning to add more extraordinary destinations, inspirational resorts and incredible dive experiences. Our aim is to feature all of the major destinations in Asia and beyond - ones our guests may know well themselves, or other, less well-known sites, but all offering incredible dive experiences. Keep on eye on the ZuBlu site and follow us on Facebook and Instagram to learn more about these new exciting destinations as they go live.
ZuBlu will also start to offer liveaboard trips in Indonesia, the Philippines and the Maldives, as well as more unique dive experiences. These will involve some of our favourite destinations in and around Asia, and be part diving, part adventure - giving our guests something a little more than a normal dive trip. We like to think of these as being ‘off-the-wall’, rather than ‘off-the-shelf’ and we are extremely excited to reveal the first of these experiences in early 2018.
At the heart of the ZuBlu business model is the desire to make a positive impact on the destinations we feature on the site. We want our guests to be ambassadors for sustainable travel and we ourselves donate a percentage of revenue towards conservation projects in the destinations we share with our guests. As part of this commitment to conservation, ZuBlu recently partnered with the Manta Trust - the world’s leading manta ray conservation organisation - and we will start to offer the Manta Trust’s ’citizen science’ manta ray expeditions to our guests at the start of 2018.
This year is also the International Year of the Reef and ZuBlu will be an active supporter of this event throughout 2018 - helping to raise awareness of the plight of reefs in Asia and beyond, supporting coral reef conservation projects, and unveiling some exciting reef expeditions in 2018. Once again, follow us on social media for news of these projects.
ZuBlu could not have come as far as it has without the help and support from many different people and we would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has become part of the ZuBlu family during 2017! We would also like to thank our resorts for taking the plunge with a new company and, of course, our guests for believing in ZuBlu and what we stand for.