Events And Nightlife

Asia's Largest Dive Expo to Be Held in the Diving Mceca of the World: The Philippines

Bernard Supetran
Bernard Supetran | Sep 06, 2016

When the Department of Tourism claimed in It’s More Fun in the Philippines TV ad that “The Philippines have the most species in the least space of anywhere in the planet,” it was not boasting but just stating a fact.

“Out of the earth’s 500 coral species, more than 400 are here,” the ad further declares.

Located at the center of the world’s Coral Triangle which is host to rich marine biodiversity, with 7,500 charming islands, and coastline longer than that of the United States, the Philippines is acclaimed worldwide as the “mecca” for scuba diving.

Sea turtle at Apo Island by Bo Mancao

The Philippines’ lush underwater world takes international spotlight once more as the Dive Resort Travel (DRT), Asia’s largest diving and resort expo, returns to Manila on Sept. 9-11 at the SM Megatrade Hall of SM Megamall.

The event gathers the world’s dive industry stakeholders, which include some 2,000 dive centers, tourism boards, dive tour operators, equipment suppliers and marine conservationists.

Whaleshark at Sogod Bay photo from Sogod Bay Scuba Resort

The Show’s core event is the Philippine Dive Travel Exchange (Dive Travex) where foreign buyers of dive tours and services will meet local dive tour sellers in business-to-business (B2B) meetings.

Thresher shark of Malapascua by Bo Mancao

This year’s Travex is expected to be stronger with the presence of the biggest international dive operators from major source markets such as the United States, China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and Australia.

The most notable Travex buyers include Caradonna and Ultimate Dive Travel from the US, and Australia’s Dive Adventures and Allways Dive Expeditions.

New markets such as India, the Middle East, Italy, and Spain will also be looking into the vibrant local dive market.

Key activities include seminars on dive tourism, dive safety training, exhibits of top dive sites, and pep talks and competition onunderwater photography featuring the world’s top diver-photographers.

Organized by LX Development Group (LXDG) with the support of the DOT, the Show has around major Asian cities such as Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Taipei and Singapore.

It debuted in the Philippines last year, and participants were awed by the archipelago’s rich marine biodiversity in almost every region of the country.

Lectures on marine biodiversity and conservation from the Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines and Ocean Quest will highlight the need to conserve and enrich the marine ecosystem.

Sarangani Bay by Gutsy Tuason

This adventure watersport also brings attention to the need to preserve the marine and coastal ecosystem for sustainable development and tourism.

Adding glitter to the DRT are Emmy Award-winning underwater IMAX film producers Howard and Michele Hall, French shark conservation specialist Steven Surina, and prized Filipino underwater photographer Scott Gutsy Tuason of Squires Bingham. 

Scuba diving is recognized by the DOT and local authorities as among the high-value activities tourism which can help spur the economy, especially in the communities where the dive spots are located.

School of Jacks at Club Paradise by Noel Guevarra

Foreign buyers will also be doing post-DRT exploratory dives to some the country’s top marine havens, namely Coron in Palawan, Malapascua and Moalboal in Cebu, Negros Oriental and Bohol.

For details on the event, visit www.philippinesdivexpo.com.


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