Top News Philippines bets on dive tourism as sector struggles to stay afloat By TTG Asia / Posted on 20 January, 2021 15:06 The Philippines, an archipelago home to more than 300 dive sites, is banking on marine and diving tourism to be a lifeline to save a tourism sector sinking under fresh waves of coronavirus. The Department of Tourism (DOT) highlighted that dive tourism is among the country’s most bankable tourism products, buoyed by its diverse offerings, according to a report by The Philippine Star. Philippines boasts several globally recognised dive sites, including Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (above) Speaking at the Dive Philippines webinar series, tourism secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat was quoted by the report as saying: “The Philippines, as an archipelago at the centre of the coral triangle, is home to biological diverse marine and aquatic resources. “With this, the department sees dive tourism as one of the key areas for positive industry growth, including increased visitor count, extended length of stay and higher tourism revenues.” She was also quoted by the Manila Bulletin as saying that “diving and marine sports are considered one of our country’s top tourism products and attractions. Most of the flourishing tourism activities available in the country today are water-based – from adventure to eco-tourism activities such as snorkelling, diving, and surfing.” Among the country’s top diving spots include Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park in Palawan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; Apo Reef Natural Park in Occidental Mindoro; Malapascua Island in Cebu; Anilao in Batangas; and the Verde Island Passage in Puerto Galera. Last year, the Philippines beat out the Maldives and Fiji to emerge as the world’s leading dive destination at the 27th World Travel Awards.