Diving to boost tourism recovery – Puyat

Published January 18, 2021, 8:17 PM

by Hanah Tabios

As the country’s tourism slowly recovers from the effects the COVID-19 crisis, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat sees dive tourism as a boost in the recovery efforts of the hardest hit sector.

Malapascua Island in Cebu

“The Philippines as an archipelago, at the center of the coral triangle, is home to biologically diverse marine and aquatic resources. We are proud to have a dive destination that has it all,” Puyat said in the recently concluded Dive Philippines webinar series.

To date, the Philippines currently has around 300 dive sites. Some of these have been recognized globally, including the UNESCO’s World Heritage Site Tubbataha Reef Natural Park in Palawan, Apo Reef Natural Park in Occidental Mindoro, Malapascua Island in Cebu, Anilao dive sites in Batangas, and the Verde Island Passage in Puerto Galera.

Last year, the Philippines won as the World’s Leading Dive Destination in the 27th World Travel Awards, beating other favorites like Maldives, Fiji, and Mexico.

With a number of globally recognized dive sites, Puyat said the Department of Tourism (DOT) sees dive tourism as one of the key areas for positive industry growth, including increased visitor count, extended length of stay, and higher tourism revenue.

“It is no wonder that diving and marine sports are considered one of our country’s top tourism products and attractions. Most of the flourishing tourism activities available in the country today are water-based – from adventure to eco-tourism activities such as snorkeling, diving, and surfing,” she said.