NEWS: Davao resort owners launch initiatives to position Mindanao as diving destination in Southern Philippines

july 7

The private sector particularly the resort owners have been launching their own initiatives in positioning the island of Mindanao as the the diving destination in southern part of the country.
Speaking before the Kapihan sa SM Dabaw media forum on Monday, Regional Tourism Council secretary Araceli Ayuste bared that they have been recently doing “initial moves” to develop the promising diving sub-industry and “let the government finish it”.
“While we want to change the perception to Mindanao, this diving industry if fully developed can really generate job and employment to our people as at present the worth of time of a dive can fetch about P1,500,” she said.
Ayuste, owner of Fiesta del Sol resort in the Island Garden City of Samal, said that there are still few players in diving business in the island which include the renowned Pearl Farm Beach Resort and Paradise Island Park and Beach Resort. “More efforts of the private sector and government would still have to have more foreign tourists flock into Mindanao due to its diving destinations.”
She said that regional tourism councils have met recently in the effort of connecting the start-up diving industries of various regions.
She said that Davao’s tourism could now be immediately connected due to good road to the tourism potentials of Siargao Island in Caraga region which has a unique coast ideal for surfing, and to Butuan City which has “history and nature” to boast of.
Technical diver Carlos Munda, on the other hand, said that particularly the diving potential off the sea of Samal and Davao is unique to other established diving destinations in Luzon such as Anilao in Bulacan and Boracay as “it can be dived year-round unlike Boracay where diving would stop during habagat (southwest wind) season”.
“Samal’s diving potentials can be developed with world class standard to generate more income to the local economy,” he said.
Munda said that he estimated that 90 percent of divers in Anilao during weekends come from Metro Manila and elsewhere and 10 percent are local divers, and that its diving cost including the hotel and food could range from P6,000 to P10,000 per diver.
“About 95 percent of divers in Samal are Davao residents, while only 5 percent are considered as tourists, and the cost of diving is only about P1,500 per diver,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ayuste said that on August 20 they with the Dept. of Tourism would be unveiling a “tourism highway map” to guide tourists on the various tourism destinations of various regions in Mindanao. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

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