BEIJING, July 10 (PNA) – In an effort to lure more Chinese tourists, the Philippines’ Department of Tourism (DOT) showcased the country’s world-class diving spots at Diving Resort Travel (DRT) Expo 2017 held at the Beijing International Convention Center here over the weekend.
Genesis Raenani Renos, tourism officer of the Philippines-DOT in Beijing, said a total of 10 Philippine dive resorts and operators joined the diving destinations exhibit.
”The feedback was good, they were able to generate sales onsite and gather leads and network with new as well as their existing contact in the dive industry here in Beijing and northern China,” Renos said in an interview with Philippine News Agency (PNA).
Renos said live music performances were held to draw crowds to the Philippine booth during three-day DRT 2017 Expo.
”We also did a small online activity for DRT visitors wherein they can get a prize by taking a photo in our booth with our dive sports in the background and post it on their social media,” she said.
The 10 Philippine dive resorts and operators, which joined the exhibition were Arkipelago Divers, Dakak Aqua Sports Center, Deep Blue Dive Resort, Devoceans Divers Malapascua, El Nido Resorts, El Pinoy Dive and Leisure Resort, Medusa Diving Center, Pacific Cebu Resort and Pier Uno Dive Resort.
Last July 6, Philippine Ambassador to China Jose Santiago Sta. Romana attended the pre-DRT 2017 Expo event, Dive Philippines 2017 Presentation and Networking, at Post Mountain Bamboo Space, Dongcheng.
In his remark, Sta. Romana called for closer partnerships between the Philippines and China dive groups and enthusiasts.
Sta. Romana said the Philippines, an archipelago of more than 7,000 islands, offered not only endless possibilities for swimming and surfing but for other water sports like snorkeling and scuba diving.
”Our country is at the apex of the Coral Triangle where 75 percent of all known coral reefs and 40 percent of reef fish species thrive,” the soft-spoken envoy said.
He cited as example the Verde Island Passage near Puerto Galera in Oriental Mindoro that scientists named “the Center of the Center of the World’s Marine Biodiversity.”
”Beyond our colorful corals, divers and underwater photographers will also find seashores, turtles, various types of fish and other marine life in a number of our dive sports, including Puerto Galera, which has been designated by UNESCO as a Man and Biosphere Reserve,” Sta. Romana said.
Sta. Romana said dive enthusiasts would find that diving in the Philippines was possible all year round as water temperatures stayed warm at around 27-31 degrees.
Renos said DRT Expo 2017 would boost the Philippines’ target of one-million Chinese tourist arrival this year.
”Every year, we are doing this kind of promotion but this year, we are excited because the Philippines and China relations is strong and healthy. We want to attract more dive enthusiasts to visits our country,” Renos said.
According to the DOT, dive enthusiasts make up about five percent of total foreign tourists visiting the Philippines ever year.
Aside from Puerto Galera, other considered as the Philippines’ best diving spots will be found in Anilao, Batangas; Blue Hole in Romblon Island, Romblon; Cabilao Island and Balicasag Island in Bohol; Apo Island in Negros Oriental; Malapascua Island in Cebu; Tubbataha Reef National Park, WWII Wrecks in Coron Bay, Honda Bay in Puerto Princesa, and Barracuda Lake in Coron Island, all in Palawan; and, Mactan Island in Cebu.