TACLOBAN CITY – The ongoing European dive event in Sogod Bay in Southern Leyte province would boost the recovery efforts of the tourism sector in the province following the onslaught of the three-year pandemic and a damaging typhoon in 2021, an official of the Department of Tourism (DOT) said Thursday.
DOT Eastern Visayas regional director Karina Rosa Tiopes said in a phone interview that she was pleased the activity pushed through after it was canceled earlier due to pandemic restrictions.
“This diving event participated in by professional divers and French celebrities is going to boost the promotions of the Sogod Bay Dive Sites, especially to the French dive market. This will also contribute to the tourism recovery program of Southern Leyte and Eastern Visayas after the slump caused by the pandemic lockdowns and Super Typhoon Odette,” Tiopes said.
At least 34 European divers are in Southern Leyte province for a week-long dive event organized by the French-based underwater event group, the Objectif Atlantide.
The group chose Sogod Bay in Southern Leyte, known as one of the exceptional diving destinations in the country.
The event from April 10-17, 2023, is being joined by divers from France and Switzerland, inclined on observing marine life through treasure hunts, educational and fun events.
Majority of the group members are first-timers in the region and some are even in the Philippines, according to Tiopes. Among the participants are French actors Estelle Lefébure and Anthony Lambert.
“We acknowledge our dive resort owners in Southern Leyte for all that they have done to promote and market the Sogod Bay Dive Sites, particularly to the foreign dive market, and for ensuring high-quality service and the Filipino brand of hospitality resulting to the excellent visitor experience and repeat visits,” she said.
The activity, according to Tiopes is a product of the joint participation of dive resort owners, Southern Leyte provincial government, and the DOT in dive travel fairs.
The Sogod Bay Dive Sites has been dubbed as the Rising Star of Philippine Dive Destinations. It is often described as an undiscovered divers’ paradise, that has something to suit every diver’s level of experience, preference, and expectations, according to DOT.
The 30 dive sites around Sogod Bay offer divers shore dives to world-class muck diving, pristine coral walls dives for macro photography diving and night dives. (PNA)