Tourism chief wants more push for Davao dive sites as region pushes outdoor destinations
THE TOURISM department wants better promotion of Davao dive sites as the region’s travel industry bolsters outdoor destinations for its recovery program.
“Your underwater attractions definitely belong on the country’s list of acclaimed dive sites,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said at last week’s virtual gathering for the tourism industry report. Davao region 2021.
Ms Puyat noted that the Philippines was named in 2021, for the third consecutive time, as the world’s top diving destination by the annual World Travel Awards.
“It’s a big boost for our dive tourism industry,” she said.
Davao Tourism regional manager Tanya Rabat-Tan, herself a diver, said in a promotional video shown during the forum that they explored new sites in the different provinces during the industry pause due to the coronavirus. .
“Of course, Samal remains our number one destination with 14 dive sites, but we have new sites available (like in Davao Oriental, Davao De Oro and Davao del Sur),” she said.
“Our sites are very accessible and we have great weather so anyone can easily dive all year round,” she said.
Alfred P. Medina, commissioner of the Philippine Commission for Sport Diving, said the Davao area is a “very promising dive site” with unique underwater creatures.
“These dive sites are truly an underwater photographer’s paradise,” he said.
Ms. Rabat also said at the forum, themed Rebounding Davao: Davao Region Towards Tourism Recovery, that industry players have been trained, planned and implemented adjustments to operations in line with the new standards induced. by the pandemic.
“Looking back in 2020, COVID-19 hit the tourism industry the hardest and comparing it to the developments in 2021, the outlook for tourism looks brighter and more optimistic in 2022,” a- she declared.
Several tourist circuits have been developed in the regions, focusing on beaches and water activities, walking trails, eco-adventures linked to local indigenous communities, farm tourism and culinary offers, including for the halal market.
“Of course, the variants of COVID-19 continue to challenge us every day, but it has become a test that we are now better able to face. Thanks to our more careful practices, the respect of health protocols as well as to the arrival of vaccines and boosters that kept the industry operational year-round (2021),” she said.
Ministry of Tourism records show that 99.1% of tourism workers in Davao have been vaccinated.
There are currently 452 approved tourist establishments in the region. It is made up of the provinces of Davao Oriental, Occidental, del Norte, del Sur, de Oro and Davao City, which serves as the regional center. — Marifi S.Jara and Maya M. Padillo