Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr seeks new partnerships for development of Philippine dive sector

2024 February 23

RICH CORAL FORMATION. A diver flashes the “Ok” gesture while diving and enjoying the coral reefs in Apo Island, Dauin town in Negros Oriental in this undated photo. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Friday (Feb. 23, 2024) expressed hope that new investors will consider exploring opportunities in the Philippine dive industry.

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Friday expressed hope that new investors will consider exploring opportunities in the Philippine dive industry.

Marcos said he is optimistic that the fourth edition of the Philippine International Dive Expo (PHIDEX) at the World Trade Center in Pasay City would facilitate new partnerships for the development of the country’s dive industry.

“We cannot emphasize enough the importance of the private sector participation in ensuring that the Philippines remains a premier destination for diving enthusiasts and professionals from around the globe,” Marcos said in his speech, which was delivered by Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco on his behalf.

“Through strategic investments in infrastructure and sustainable tourism initiatives, the government will continue to elevate our country’s standing as a hotspot of biodiversity and underwater adventure,” he added.

Marcos said the Philippines is within the “Coral Triangle,” one of the world’s biggest and most important marine regions.

He said the Philippines is “blessed with an abundance of marine life and a rich diversity of marine species”.

“Indeed, as among the 17 mega biodiverse countries in the world, our waters are teeming with life, making it a haven for divers and marine enthusiasts alike,” Marcos said.

“Post-familiarization tours will allow international dive tour operators to experience firsthand the beauty of our top and emerging dive destinations,” he added.

Marcos was supposed to attend but skipped the event because “something urgent came up,” Communications Secretary Cheloy Garafil said in a text message sent to Palace reporters.

Carrying the theme, “Heart of Asia’s Diving: Collaboration for the Ocean Community,” PHIDEX serves as the country’s largest platform for diving that aims to foster stronger collaboration between local and international dive experts.

As part of the three-day expo, the event offers firsthand experience of Philippine dive products and services to international dive tour operators, and a one-stop-shop for Department of Tourism (DOT)-related concerns, official space for high-level meetings, and VIP meet and greet sessions.

The event also showcases general information on the DOT’s various programs in support of the country’s dive tourism industry.

Established by the DOT in 2019, PHIDEX stands out as the sole event in the region with a Dive Travel Exchange (TRAVEX) where business-to-business meetings between international dive tour operators and the Philippine dive industry stakeholders are facilitated.

In 2023, the World Travel Awards recognized the Philippines as the world’s leading dive destination.

The country also secured the title as Asia’s leading dive destination, its fifth straight win. 

Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos (PNA)