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WANDERLUST | Diving to boost tourism in Davao Region 

PCSSD commissioner Dr. Alfred Medina

THE successful hosting of the Davao Dive Expo last June 24 to 26 at SM Lanang Premier in Davao City only proves the rising popularity of Davao Region as SCUBA diving destination. 

SM Lanang Premier assistant mall manager Precious Ann Lagario.

A program of the Department of Tourism XI in partnership with SM Lanang Premier, the expo was held exactly a month after another triumphant dive event, the Samal Dive Festival, which was primarily created to reboot diving activities and promote the island as a top of mind diving destination in Mindanao. 

“As a way to sustain this momentum and as we also celebrate the Ocean Month, we are hosting the first Davao Dive Expo to bring to the fore our dive sites across Davao Region, such as in Mati City, Taragona and Governor Generoso, and bring the awareness of this tourism activity to our communities,” said DOT Xl regional director Tanya Rabat Tan.

She also envisioned that the staging of the expo to create a wider underwater biodiversity appreciation and promote further marine wildlife protection to both tourists and locals.  

Internationally renowned beatboxer Neil Llanes capped the 3-day expo
DOT Xl regional director Tanya Tan

Tan led the ribbon cutting ceremony along with SM Lanang Premier assistant mall manager Precious Ann Lagario and Philippine Commission on Sports Scuba Diving executive director Marco Angelo Ancheta.  

 “SM Lanang Premier is more than grateful with our alliance with DOT to help carve in public consciousness the marine wonders of the region and instill responsible tourism values through talks on marine protection and conservation and many others, ” Legario said in her speech. 

The expo held an engaging three-day dive, environmental and marine conservation forum with resource speakers D’Bone Collectors Museum’s Darrell Blatchley, PCSSD commissioner Dr. Alfred Medina, CG ENS John Caven Esteban of the PCG Coast Guard District Southeastern Mindanao, UP Mindanao Marine Litter Project’s Neil Abreo,  Hijo Resorts Corp’s Harry Morris, Glide Freediving and Spearfishing’s Kim Padron,  South Shore Diving’s Angel Sta Maria, Center for Diving, Hyperbaric Medicine & Difficult Wounds of Southern Philippines Medical Center section head Dr. Jeffrey M. Ramos,  and Davao del Norte State College VP for Academic Affairs and Taklobo Tours Conservation Program project leader Dr. Girley Gumanao. 

South Shore Divers, one of the expo exhibitors

It also featured a photo exhibit of various dive sites through the lens of local underwater photographers. Scuba diving and free diving shops also displayed their products, and offered various services and courses, while the local governments of Mati City, Governor Generoso and the Island Garden City of Samal highlighted their respective dive sites.

 Along with the DOT Xl team, Tan recently visited the municipality of Jose Abad Santos in Davao Occidental to validate tourism sites, products and activities in the area. 

“JAS also has the potential to become another dive destination. We hope to explore more sites in Davao Occidental so we can include them in our region’s dive portfolio,” Tan added. 

Like other tourism activities, diving is a service intensive sector, benefitting people behind equipment and boat rentals, services of professional divers and guides, food and transportation suppliers, and more. This only proves that dive tourism is not just a crucial driver for marine conservation but it also has the potential to become a sustainable source of income for coastal communities.



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