The Department of Tourism (DOT) said it hopes to position the Philippines as a top underwater (UW) photography destination in Asia given its rich marine diversity.
DOT Undersecretary Kat de Castro said that such is the goal of events such as the upcoming Anilao UW Photo Competition in Anilao, Batangas slated on Nov. 23 to 27.
The Anilao UW Photo Competition is an international competition dubbed by UW photography enthusiasts as “The World Cup of Photo Competitions” as it brings together professionals and amateur local and international participants.
More than 200 participants, including UW photographers and fun divers, from Asia, North America, and Europe are expected this year.
Five internationally renowned UW photographers have been tapped as resource persons for the photography seminars and judges in this year’s competition.
This event comes after the Philippine participation in the Diving Equipment and Marketing Association (DEMA) Show 2016 held in Las Vegas, Nevada last Nov, 16 to 19.
It is an annual trade-only event for scuba diving businesses attended by dive operators, dive shops, scuba divers.
In the same event, the Philippine booth engaged new scuba divers and underwater photographers in the United States to visit and dive in the Philippines.
Citing latest figures of the US Sports and Fitness Industry Association, DOT said that the US diving population is more than half of the estimated six million active divers worldwide.
“Not many divers and underwater photographers know that the entire archipelago of the Philippines has been documented and compared with other places worldwide by large expeditions of scientists for the past several years,” De Castro said.
“The Philippines is the world’s second largest archipelago in the world. Our total land area is slightly larger than the state of Arizona. So if a few dive sites are not interesting at the moment, there are many sites to choose from,” she added.
At present, the DOT’s Dive-Market Development Group continues to develop the dive beginners and underwater photographers segment of the US dive travel market. DOT's marketing arm, the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), on the other hand, caters to general leisure divers. (PNA)SCS/Azer N. Parrocha