Coastal clean-up drive should be a national activity in order to promote environment conservation and boost dive tourism, according to Department of Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia-Frasco on Friday.
Frasco led over 300 dive tourism stakeholders and local government officials in the first dive dialogue in this city.
The summit aims to identify opportunities and challenges faced by the diving industry, as a sub-sector of the tourism economy in the country, and fine-tune policies and programs crafted to align with the newly created Dive Committee.
“For this is only the beginning. It is my sincere hope that through our coming together, speaking, collaborating, finding solutions, and cleaning our coastal and underwater through these acts, we would be able to begin opening the minds of our fellow Filipinos and tourists toward the imperative necessity of preserving our environment for now and for future generations,” Frasco said.
Frasco underscored that the effort to sell to dive enthusiasts worldwide the beautiful spots in the country must be coupled with preserving the vast underwater natural resources.
“Therefore, it is only right that the highlight of our very first Philippine Tourism Dive Dialogue is to actualize this love by protecting that which we love – our marine resources through this coastal clean-up. We perpetuate the cultural preservation and also the culture of tourism,” she said.
There are about 30 dive spots in the country, but Frasco described Mactan Island as the “crown jewel of diving in the Philippines” that those in the dive industries could look up to when it comes to best practices.
In 2022, the DOT recorded an estimated PHP37 billion worth of arrival receipts from international dive visitors.
The figure constitutes over 17.5 percent of the entire tourism receipts last year which amounted to PHP368.67 billion. (PNA)