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Solidifying its status as the ultimate diving destination in the region, the Philippines has clinched for the fifth consecutive year the Asia’s Leading Dive Destination title at the preeminent World Travel Awards (WTA) Asia & Oceania Gala Ceremony 2023.
DOT Undersecretary Shahlimar Hofer Tamano received the WTA trophy, which was awarded based on public votes and validation from the group’s panel of travel professionals.
Established in 1993, WTA encompasses country awards, regional awards, and world awards.
Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco—a certified diver herelf—announced the feat yesterday, Sept. 6, following the WTA Asia & Oceania Gala Ceremony 2023 that took place at the GEM Center in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
“The Philippines’ fifth consecutive win as Asia’s Leading Dive Destination further affirms the unparalleled beauty and megabiodiversity of our country loved by divers and tourists all over the world,” said Secretary Frasco. She added that “this is a testament to the Philippines’ commitment to sustainable tourism development and our strengthened collaboration with tourism stakeholders. From our ridges to our reefs, you will never run out of reasons to Love the Philippines!”
The DOT created the first-ever Dive Committee that will align its product development and promotion thrusts with its attached agencies, the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) Philippines, and the Philippine Commission for Sports Scuba Diving (PCSSD). The DOT will likewise convene the country’s national dive stakeholders in the first ever Philippine Dive Dialogue in Cebu next week to consolidate all the efforts of the national government, local governments, and private sector partners.
TIEZA is eyeing the installation of additional hyperbaric chambers that will improve scuba diving safety standards in strategic dive locations, such as Dumaguete and Daanbantayan in Cebu, by 2024.
Philippine private tourism stakeholders also bagged notable victories at the WTA Asia & Oceania Gala Ceremony 2023, being named in the following country categories: Discovery Shores Boracay (Philippines’ Leading Beach Resort 2023), Travelite Travel and Tours Co. (Philippines’ Leading Destination Management Company 2023), Seda Hotels (Philippines’ Leading Hotel Group 2023).