MALAPASCUA ISLAND, Cebu – The Department of Tourism in Central Visayas (DOT 7) is bent on reviving diving as one of the major tourist draws in Cebu post-pandemic, as it kicked off the third leg of the DIVE7 Summer Festivals in this famous diving destination.
During the launch of the event late Thursday afternoon participated by diving stakeholders in Cebu, DOT 7 Director Shahlimar Tamano announced the government’s plan to restore Cebu’s well-known image as a diving destination.
Tamano said the diving industry in the Philippines, particularly in Central Visayas, is one of the key economic drivers in tourism.
“Most of the dive spots found in our region were cited among the top picks by both domestic and foreign travelers,” the DOT official said.
The Philippines has been awarded as the Best Overseas Diving Area in the Marine Diving Awards 2020 for the first time.
The Philippines has also bagged the award as Asia’s Leading Dive Destination 2020 in the 27th World Travel Awards.
In line with the government’s efforts to further promote the Philippines, specifically the Central Visayas region as a dive destination, Tamano said the DOT 7 is conducting its first 1st DIVE7 Summer Festivals in April to June this year.
DIVE7 Summer Festivals is a series of dive events to be held among the top dive destinations in the region — Moalboal, Panglao, Malapascua, Dauin and Lapu-Lapu City, which will also include a clean-up activity in Siquijor.
Its goal is to boost the region’s dive industry through a series of events geared to entice domestic scuba and free divers.
These events are being done through a collaboration among DOT 7, local government units of identified dive destinations and the respective provincial governemnts and DOT and Philippine Commission On Sports Scuba Diving (PCSSD) accredited dive and tourism stakeholders.
These events are being held from April to June 2021 (three-day event with series of activities), the peak season for diving in the region.
The event here has multiple activities starting with a photo contest targeting a wider number of divers. This is designed to attract underwater photo enthusiasts and their buddies to dive and shoot, and also to include buoyancy competition in the dive destination.
A second part of the event is focused on attracting new divers and growing the local and domestic dive market.
The event also offers “Discover Scuba Diving Course” for adults and “Bubble Makers” for kids.
The third part is to promote sustainable tourism by conducting an underwater clean-up and create awareness, especially in the community, on how to take care of and preserve the marine resources.
“Divers and beach goers will collect trash to properly dispose of it. Ultimately, given the rich marine biodiversity and the need to conserve these resources, these
events aim to fully focus on Central Visayas region as a Dive Destination,” Tamano said.
After its first and second leg in Moalboal, Cebu and Panglao, Bohol, respectively, the DIVE7 event will also be held in Dauin, Negros Oriental, Siquijor Island and Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu. (CSL)