Archive for December, 2014

How to measure business success: Staff happiness!

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014 @ 08:00 News

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One way Downbelow Directors Richard and Joanne measure business success of Downbelow Marine and Wildlife Adventures is the happiness of their staff.

Tim, Shirley and Karen have reached the 5-year milestone of their career with our operations, which is an achievement for the three dedicated staff, as well as the company.

As a token of our appreciation for their commitment and loyalty, during the Christmas turkey dinner at our HQ, Richard and Joanne announced their award and thanked them for their valued service these past 5 years! We have seen so much change over the years, and Tim, Karen and Shirley have played important roles that have contributed to the evolution of our business.

We look forward to another 5 years working together (and more, of course!), and look forward to what changes will be in store for us in future!

Get in touch for more information on how you can get involved in our operations and achieve career fulfilment in the exciting tourism industry of Sabah, Borneo!

Which GoPro camera model is the best for me?

Monday, December 29th, 2014 @ 08:00 Dive Shop, News

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A lot of customers at our Kota Kinabalu Dive Shop ask, ‘which GoPro camera model is the best for me?’ and, according to GoPro Trainer Simon, it really depends on what your needs are.

When launching the latest GoPro camera model Hero4, Simon offered his own experience using the GoPro range in various adventure activities, particularly with scuba diving because it’s what we specialize in.

It was an eye-opening discussion on the meaning of the various specifications of the GoPro models. HERO4 is for the advanced user with an eye for the exceptionally professional-quality recording, and also its features are very user-friendly for the amateur user too!

Our Sabah Travel Centre staff are avid fans of the GoPro range in general and we conduct product training to broaden our knowledge as well as maintain our exceptional customer service.

Come visit our Kota Kinabalu Dive Shop to speak to our Supervisor on all things GoPro, and start recording your travels, especially when travelling Sabah, Borneo!

What active conservation is there in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah?

Saturday, December 27th, 2014 @ 08:00 Conservation, News, Project AWARE, Tunku Abdul Rahman Park

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What active conservation there is in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah? There is a collective effort from the local authorities and they need the support of dive operations in the Tunku Abdul Rahman marine park! We are always there for environmental protection and support!

For the past month, there have been numerous illegally discarded fishing nets discovered snagged on the fragile coral reefs of dive sites in the marine park. Downbelow operations fully sponsor various conservation projects with logistics and professional diving staff to demonstrate our Project AWARE commitment, and one such instance is two separate net removal dives. The first dive is a small team of 6, who removed a very old net, and on the second dive the following day, a group of 10 divers removed a new ‘ghost net’ that was already claiming marine life.

We work together with the local governing bodies to keep our marine environment protected; and within our own operations, various PADI courses and programs are integrated with raising awareness for responsible tourism. For example, our 1-day snorkel safari program is combined with marine debris collection for our snorkelling guests to contribute themselves!

For the past decade that our operations have been in the successful marine park, we can definitely see a positive difference. If we continue supporting one another, we can continue to enjoy our beautiful paradise for many years to come!

Contact our Kota Kinabalu HQ for more information about our marine conservation efforts and how you can get involved!

Downbelow team spend their Christmas in the 50s!

Thursday, December 25th, 2014 @ 08:00 News

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Our Downbelow team re-created a traditional 1950s Christmas party, and it’s also the first company staff meal our island team have ever organised – which was an awesome success!

They did a great job because everyone had a wonderful time mingling with one another, singing on the karaoke system (strictly Golden Oldies!), games and prizes for best dressed and happiest team member, as well as a surprise visit from none other than  – Santa Claus, who is also known as, Adam (one of our island staff)! Lots of goodies were given away from Santa after he burst out of the handmade cardboard fireplace.

Overall, our team is happier and closer for it after spending this special time of year together – and it keeps our ‘Live Like Dive Downbelow’ spirit alive this holiday season!

This last year has been so exciting for us, and we’re looking forward to the same prosperity and growth, for which we thank our friends and partners in the tourism industry for their support, and we wish everybody continued success in the coming New Year!

Wishing a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone we know!

PADI support: Dive safety a priority at Downbelow operations!

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014 @ 08:00 Courses, News

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Dive safety is serious business at our Downbelow operations, so as to maintain our high standard of quality dive education, and PADI support us in various ways too!

PADI Asia Pacific Regional Manager Johnny Chew visits our Kota Kinabalu HQ to discuss with Downbelow Marketing Director Joanne, how our dive operations are coping with conducting diver education at our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre since the recent changes to PADI standards.

Diver education is always evolving to improve diver safety, and PADI standards change due to global statistics on the management of dive emergencies and the World Recreational Scuba Training Council (WRSTC).

Resident Platinum PADI Course Director Richard Swann regularly conducts workshops for our full time and dedicated team of PADI Instructors to maintain the consistency of our diver training!

Get more details on the dive safety guidelines implemented in our dive operations when you contact our HQ. One of our friendly and helpful travel experts will create a program for you to receive a high standard of quality dive education and of diver safety at our Gaya Island beach house in Sabah, Borneo!

Professional dive training to qualify as a PADI Divemaster.

Sunday, December 21st, 2014 @ 08:00 Courses, Divemaster, News, Professional Diving Internships

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The first professional diver level of the PADI system of diver education is the PADI Divemaster. At our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre on Gaya Island, the professional dive training to qualify, is combined in one of our highly successful GoPRO internship programs, along with other benefits to experience the real dive lifestyle.

Candidate Mike Jones arrives in Kota Kinabalu for a 1-month professional scuba diving internship, and his first correspondence is our lovely GoPRO advisor and Travel Centre Manager Alice. Mike receives his PADI Divemaster CrewPak to begin his dive theory studies and prepare for his in-water skills and his final exams too. His dedicated mentor is one of our Go PRO team members, PADI IDC Staff Instructor Pablo, who will communicate with him each day of his internship on what aspect of the dive lifestyle he will experience. This could be anything  from, participating in a conservation program, to assisting another one of our full time and dedicated PADI Instructors to conduct a PADI course or program for real diving clients!

Get more information on the PADI Divemaster course and our Go PRO internship porgram when you contact Alice, or any of our Go PRO advisors, and start living the dive lifestyle in Sabah, Borneo!

What’s the best last minute Christmas present?

Sunday, December 21st, 2014 @ 08:00 Promotions

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At Downbelow, we want everyone to experience our ‘Live Like Dive Downbelow’ motto, and in the spirit of this festive holiday season, we’re offering one of the best last minute Christmas present ideas – vouchers!

To be exact, vouchers that are redeemable on anything and everything our operations offer! Whoever you gift one of our vouchers to will be in for an awesome treat when they experience one of the amazing adventure activities to be found in Sabah! The final choice could be anything we offer, such as a wildlife adventure package created by our Sabah Travel Centre to visit the Kinabatangan River and surrounding jungles of Sepilok, or purchase a GoPro camera with an accessory at our Kota Kinabalu Dive Shop to use on an island activity at our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre facilities on Gaya Island based in the Tunku Abdul Rahman marine park, only 8 minutes speedboat ride from Kota Kinabalu City Centre!

Yes, it’s a big decision, so these vouchers have a validity period of 1 year!

Contact our HQ in Kota Kinabalu City Centre and discuss with one of our friendly and helpful Sabah travel experts to set aside some vouchers for you to gift your loved ones (and yourself!) this holiday!

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Make the most of travelling Kota Kinabalu, Sabah this holiday!

Friday, December 19th, 2014 @ 08:00 News

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Thinking what to get the people in your life for Christmas? Our team are really looking forward to the festive season this end-of-year, but we haven’t forgotten about our guests visiting Borneo, for whom we want to make the most of travelling Kota Kinabalu, Sabah!

It could be the holiday spirit that has inspired our idea to offer vouchers for purchase at our Kota Kinabalu HQ, where our Dive Shop and Travel Centre are located. These vouchers may be used when purchasing absolutely anything we offer to our clients, even those products on promotion or discounted!

Not only that, but whoever you gift these vouchers to will have have 1 whole year to use it!

The lucky receiver of your gift is spoilt with the variety of adventure we can arrange, such as a 3D2N climb Mount Kinabalu via Mesilau package, or ‘Try Dive’ for the day at our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre on Gaya Island, or even the GoPro Hero3, Hero3+ & Hero4 at our Dive Shop!

There’s a lot to think about, right? The 1-year validity is a good idea because of the bounty of choices we can offer you within our operations!

For more information, contact one of our friendly and helpful Head Office staff, who will be more than happy to create a program for you and immediately you may claim your voucher!

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Where can I buy GST-free dive merchandise?

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 @ 08:00 Dive Shop, News

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Dive Shop Supervisor Karen is preparing for the GST well before it needs to be implemented, which means there’s still plenty of time to take advantage of GST-free products and invest in dive merchandise from our Kota Kinabalu Dive Shop!

Planning an adventure to explore Sabah, Borneo, is a trip of a lifetime and will be even more exciting with new gear and gadgets to use for activities such as, snorkelling, scuba diving, camping, mountain climbing and more!

Our Kota Kinabalu Dive Shop is stocked with items that complement the various programs we create for our clients to experience the very best attractions in Sabah! Karen recently ordered a BCD jacket for scuba diving from the reputable dive brand Scubapro, and its features are designed for the avid diver who travels – really useful for visitors to Sabah who are planning on diving everywhere between Tunku Abdul Rahman marine park, where our premier PADI 5 Star Dive Centre is located, to the famous Sipadan Island on the east coast!

For more information on products we stock, visit our regularly updated Dive Shop website and browse for items you need for your next Sabah adventure!

A GoPro camera and an LCD BacPac for Christmas?

Monday, December 15th, 2014 @ 11:10 Dive Shop, News

An existing promotion of ours is getting a further promotion this festive season! A GoPro camera and an LCD BacPac for Christmas need to be added to your letter of wishes to Santa!

It’s perfectly timed for visitors to Sabah during their end-of-year holidays, and we’re sure this will catch the attention of many adventurous travellers visiting Borneo!

Dive Shop Supervisor Karen is familiar with our GoPro range of camera models and can offer you the difference in specifications between the models we have selected to combine into a package with GoPro’s LCD BacPac accessory. The models to select from are the Hero3 (White), the Hero3+ (Silver) and the Hero3+ (Black).

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At the first instance of using the GoPro LCD BacPac accessory, users will be hooked because of the easy-to-use functions, which make using the GoPro camera more enjoyable too, particularly when sharing with others your photos and videos! Karen loves showing her ‘techy’ skills with the GoPro accessories, so come in and visit for a demonstration!

Contact our Dive Shop for more details on this promotional combination package, or other products we stock, to capture the amazing adventures you experience in Sabah, Borneo!