Travel and Tourism

Philippines seeks to attract more foreign divers

Catherine Talavera - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines is eyeing to lure more foreign divers to visit the country as the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) took part in a two-day diving expo in the United Kingdom.

The TPB recently participated in Dive Birmingham, the UK’s biggest event for scuba divers organized by DIVER Group, a leading dive magazine in Britain.

“The two-day event held last Oct. 27-28 attracted 60,000 visitors and exhibitors comprised mainly of diving industry travel operators, dive clubs and dive resorts and destinations, professional and leisure divers as well as suppliers of dive equipment and gear,” the TPB said.

Ten co-exhibitors joined the TPB booth, namely Magic Resorts Philippines, Scandi Divers Resort, Atlantis Hotel, Atmosphere Resort and spa, Philippine Dive Holidays, Seaquest Dive Center, Buceo Anilao Beach and Dive Resort, Fish Unlimited Beach and Dive Resort, Thresher Shark Divers; and Aiyanar Beach and Dive Resort.

Last September, the Department of Tourism (DOT) held the 4th Dive Resort Travel (DRT) Show to promote the country’s diving spots to both foreign and local divers.

Tourism Undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr. earlier said there is still potential to grow the country’s dive tourism, particularlyin the segments of underwater photography and beginner divers.

He added that free diving is also an emerging market in the Philippines since it can be done all year round. The rich marine life the country’s waters has to offer is another big attraction for divers.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat identified the country’s biodiverse waters as the main draw.

“Our biodiverse waters means that there is a site for all types of dives, and all types of marine life or species to see and check off your bucket list. We have it all – from the rarest and smallest critters to the largest pelagic fish, colorful reefs and many others,” Puyat said.

The DRT network comprises top-level exhibitors from 48 countries, with each show generating visitor traffic of at least 20,000 dive enthusiasts.

“Through the Dive Travel Mart, we aim to strengthen the Philippines’ position as a world-class dive travel and business hub, where everyone can experience first-hand dive products and services, at the same time find tour dive sites accessible,” Bengzon earlier said.

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