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Snorkeling, diving stays : Dune expands in France and internationally

The group from Marseille was created in 1997


Dune, headed by Xavier Descamps, founder of Tourisport Company, is betting on snorkeling for the company’s development. After a first center in partnership with Beuchat in Marseille, the group wishes to open 5 new centers in France and pursue its international expansion.



The Rigid-hulled inflatable boat especially equipped with a ladder, benches, and steps in the front - Photo Dune
The Rigid-hulled inflatable boat especially equipped with a ladder, benches, and steps in the front - Photo Dune
Opening to the general public and conquering new fans of subaquatic activities, such was the idea of Dune, when it opened a first center in Marseille, France, in 2014, in the offices of Beuchat, on the harbor of La Pointe Rouge, reserved for diving and particularly snorkeling.

The group, founded in 1997, by Gérard Besse, began its activities in the Red Sea in Safaga.

The center offers sub-marine diving excursions and sports-themed cruises. Today, It owns 4 ships.

In 2010, following the arrival of the Genairgy entrepreneur funds (see box), the company started searching for new opportunities.

It set up in the Maldives (diving cruises only), then opened two new destinations in 2014, Sudan and Marseille in France.

“We wished to seduce a new audience and especially touch the largest amount of people. The response to this question was to develop subaquatic excursions with masks, fins, and snorkel,” explains Edouard Cailleau, Mediterranean and France Director at Dune.

That is how, since April 2014, Dune offers to discover ocean floors at the heart of the national park of the Calanques for groups of 8 people.

“The advantage of this practice, is that it requires little equipments and it is appropriate for all ages, from 7 to 90 years old,” adds Edouard Cailleu.

“We can even bring people who don’t know how to swim because the wet suits have a positive buoyancy."

International Expansion

Photo Dune
Photo Dune
The first season was filled with success.

In total, 2,500 people went on a snorkeling immersions, and 3,500 on underwater dives.

For 2015, Dune hopes to cross the bar of 11,000 immersions in total (4,000 for snorkeling/ 7,000 for diving) and reach financial balance.

“This center is pioneer. It’s a prototype that helps us to improve our product.

The excursions are accompanied by certified guides, we invested in a Rigid-hulled inflatable boat especially equipped with steps at the front, a ladder to get out of the water and benches to sit down,”
explains Edouard Cailleu.

In fact, the center of Marseille is just a first step. The group hopes to open 5 new centers in France over the next 3 years.

Simultaneously, it is thinking of another model, more seasonal, of “subaquatic kiosks” to created “snorkeling” activities on the beaches.

He is also developing “snorkeling” products abroad: discovery of dolphins in the Red Sea, marine floors in the Maldives.

Because the international expansion is also definitely in the works.

The group also hopes to set up in Mexico and Indonesia, and to conquer the Chinese market.

Since 1997, the date of its creation in Egypt in Safaga, around the Red Sea, the company specialized in subaquatic activities has gone a long way.

Today, the group generates an annual turnover of €14.5 M and hires 100 collaborators in the world.

Since 2010, the Genaigry entrepreneur funds (investment holdings that support companies developing ABC leisure activities: Active, Beneficial, Friendly) is a co-share-holder with the founder Gérard Besse.

Following this partnership, Xavier Descamps tooks over the general management of Dune and moved to the office at Estaque in Marseille. He founded Tourisport Company in 1997 (brands like: Huwans, Sport Away, Fun & Fly, 66°Nord, Golf Away, Vo2max.)

Dune has two branches - the TOs AMV Subocéa - Fun&Fly Plongée, and the magazines Plongée Mag and Apnéa.

Rates:

€25 per adults (+ 14 years old)
€23 for less than 14 years old
€44 for 1 adult + 1 child

DMC offers:
Availability of the room at the Dune Marseille center - the Beuchat Space in the morning, lunch on the terrace, and privatized snorkeling and diving certification session in the afternoon.
Starting at €69/ collaborators (for a base of 20 people.)

Written by Céline Eymery translated by Joséphine Foucher the 20/02/2015
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