The first and biggest international dive event in the country, the Dive Resort Travel (DRT) Philippines Show 2015 has generated some PHP80-million in bookings, a tourism official said on Thursday.
The DRT, slated Sept. 11 to 13 at SM Megatrade Hall in Mandaluyong City, is a three-day travel fare that will gather dive industry stakeholders in one venue.
The DRT is organized by the Hong Kong and Shanghai-based LX Development Group (LXDG) and co-organized by the DOT, the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), Balicasag Island Dive Resort (BIDR), local and international dive associations and scuba diving equipment suppliers, hotels, resorts, and airlines.
“We are bringing in around PHP84 million just for this event,” Philippine Department of Tourism-New York (PDOT-NY) Administrative Officer (PDOT-NY) Zeny Pallugna told reporters.
At least 2,000 international dive exhibitors, dive enthusiasts, and marine conservationists are expected to attend the event which will feature a travel exchange, seminars and workshops, a photo gallery, familiarization tours, and other special events.
Without giving any figures, Pallugna said that top foreign tourists who visit the country for diving include North American, and European markets who stay in the country for a minimum of 15 days and Asian market who stay in the country on weekends.
Department of Tourism (DOT) Marketing Development Group in the Tourism Development Sector OIC Verna Covar-Buensuceso, meanwhile, described diving in the Philippines as a growing industry.
“This diving industry is a growing industry because our stakeholders will not invest if they do not see the potential (here),” Covar-Buensuceso said.
“The importance of this event is to improve the image of the country as a diving destination and that it is really a center of marine diversity,” she added.
The tourism official also said that the fact that the department also launched Visit the Philippines Year 2015 (VPY2015) is a good reason to organize the event.
Pallugna, who is also former head of the Philippine Diving Team, said that there are about eight top dive destinations namely Moalboal, Cebu; Malapascua Island, Cebu; Anilao, Batangas; Dumaguete; Negros Oriental; Tubbataha Reef; Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro; and Coron, Palawan.
She said the diving team has also identified four rising star dive sites including Romblon, Siargao, Southern Leyte and Ticao Island, Bicol.
(Story courtesy of PNA)