Guillaume Néry freediving
Freediving superstar Guillaume Néry watching a feeding sea turtle in the clear waters of Balicasag as he is filmed by Robert Suntay. Credits to Studio H20 via DOTDive Philippines

The Philippines’ dive spots are being pushed to the forefront of the global diving industry with the staging of the 1st Philippine International Dive Expo (PHIDEX) scheduled this weekend from September 20-22 at the Seaside Complex of Conrad Manila.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) PHIDEX announced that the international dive expo has confirmed the participation of 19 countries in the Manila gathering of renowned dive experts, marine conservationists, scientists, underwater photographers and videographers, international dive buyers, and travel industry influencers.

The PHIDEX, which coincides with the observance of the 2019 International Coastal Clean-Up, will put the spotlight on innovative ideas towards sustainable diving practices in the Philippines for dive operators, dive beginners, underwater enthusiasts, and freedivers.

“We are staging the PHIDEX to solidify the Philippines’ position as a topnotch travel and business center in the global diving industry. At the same time, we envision PHIDEX as a platform to promote sustainable tourism among dive beginners, underwater enthusiasts, and free divers,” said DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat in a DOT report.

PHIDEX reports that the diving industry is “one of the bright spots of travel in the country. Diving and snorkeling are one of the most popular activities among tourists.” The DOT has reported that foreign tourist arrivals in the Philippines have reached record highs in the first half of the year.

PHIDEX also notes that the Diving Equipment Marketing Association’s (DEMA) scuba diving industry statistics indicate that there are at least 6 million divers and 11 million snorkelers around the globe with the global diving equipment market expected to reach USD5,106.7M by 2025.

The PHIDEX Philippine Pavilion will showcase the following dive spots in the country:

  • Anilao in Batangas
  • Puerto Galera in Oriental Mindoro
  • Coron and Tubbataha in Palawan
  • Malapascua and Moalboal in Cebu
  • Balicasag in Bohol
  • Southern Leyte
  • Romblon
  • Donsol
  • Apo Reef
  • Dauin
  • Moalboal
  • La Union
  • Cabilao
  • Alona
  • Anda
  • Sogod Bay
Guillaume Néry’s girls at Barracuda Lake in Coron. Credits to @mermaid_odessa via DOTDive Philippines.

Among the offerings of the PHIDEX are:

  1. a dive conference with interactive seminars and presentations of at least 30 renowned local and international dive speakers and advocates
  2. panel discussions with marine and ocean conservationists, the academe, government stakeholders and non-government organizations to tackle marine conservation and provide viable solutions to combat plastic pollution
  3. at least 60 international dive buyers from DOT-identified markets to conduct business meetings with Philippine dive stakeholders
  4. two-day business-to-business (B2B) meetings between the international dive travel trade and local dive operators
  5. trade and educational seminars and diving exhibits in the 1,500 square-meter ballrooms of Conrad Manila

The Philippines has continuously campaigned for its world-class dive destinations and has received global attention for its dive spots including the hosting of the 2019 Cliff Diving World Series in El Nido Palawan, Tubbataha being touted as the crown jewel of Philippine diving, a French and Swiss Underwater Investigation competition in Puerto Galera, the rare sighting of underwater species in Romblon waters, and Discovery Channel’s choice of Malapascua as best spot to see thresher sharks.

SEND well wishes to the Philippines and the world diving community gathering in Manila this weekend!

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