MANILA – The Department of Tourism (DOT) is organizing the first Philippine International Dive Expo in Manila this September to sustain the development of the local scuba diving industry, as well as to position the Philippines as a premiere diving destination.

DOT Assistant Secretary Roberto Alabado III, in an economic briefing in Malacañang on Wednesday, explained that the event will gather renowned scientists, marine conservationists, and underwater photographers to network and exchange ideas on sustainable dive tourism practices.

“The Philippines is actually a top destination in terms of diving. We have the best underwater photography site in Anilao, Batangas. We have sardine runs in Cebu. If you want turtles, if you want corals, we are part of the most diverse underwater ecosystem in the world,” Alabado said.

“Here in our area, they say that Indonesia is the top dive area, but we are catching-up fast. Our dive sites here are always in the bucket list of divers especially in Europe,” the tourism official proudly added.

While there have been Dive Resort Travel (DRT) expos in the Philippines before, the DOT wants to stage its own expo, which would better showcase what the Philippines can offer in terms of dive tourism.

“We are creating a wave of events that would allow divers to come to the Philippines, sellers and buyers to come to the Philippines, so that we can showcase what’s here in the Philippines,” Alabado said. (Steffi Ramos, OJT/PNA)