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25 February 2011

Philippine diving featured at Golden Dolphin Moscow International Festival

A February 24, 2011 press release prepared by the Department of Foreign Affairs

The Philippine Embassy in Moscow reported that the Philippines took center stage as the event’s country partner for Southeast Asia at the Golden Dolphin Moscow International Festival held in Gostiny Dvor on February 17 to 20.

A 42-square meter stand booth housed seven Philippine and Russian dive partners.

Department of Tourism (DOT) Marketing Team for Europe Director Verna Esmeralda Buensuceso headed the delegation from Manila which includes DOT Marketing Team for Europe Member Katherine A. Alcantara, Philippine Commission for Sport Scuba Diving Executive Director Geronimo Reyes, Marco Vincent Dive Resort’s Melando and Mercy Agudo and Atmosphere Resorts and Spa’s Birgit Bettina Eggert.

Aside from the professional expo and demonstration, the sale of diving gear, travel tours, training programs and a whole festival of underwater photography and cinematography were also held.

At the opening ceremony on February 17, Philippine Ambassador Victor G. Garcia III addressed the audience and invited everyone to visit the Philippines, stating that it is the Mecca of diving in Asia, with an underwater paradise laden with a variety of corals and different species of marine creatures.

He added that diving in the Philippines will be an experience that they will never forget as it is a reward-filled adventure of a lifetime.

In addition to being the country partner, the Philippines hosted a seminar on February 19, with Ambassador Garcia encouraging participants and dive enthusiasts from Russia and nearby countries to come to the Philippines and see the beauty of the country as a diving destination.

He added that the Philippines has become an important and key diving destination, being at the center of biodiversity in the world.

“The Philippines also boasts, of 27,000 kilometers of coral reef, 35,000 kilometers of coastline, and over 800 classes of corals, 500 species of fish and fish families,” he said.

Members of the Philippine delegation also had their respective presentations on some of the country’s well-known dive spots in Negros, Dumaguete, Apo Island, Palawan, Bohol, Cebu, and Mindoro.

Golden Dolphin is a unique large-scale event that gathers professionals and amateurs involved in active water recreation.

The Philippines has participated in the diving festival in 2007, 2008 and 2009. The DOT considers diving as a significant attraction and activity in the Philippines that tourists and dive enthusiasts should not miss.

The festival brings together about 300 exponents and 23,000 visitors from all regions of Russia and other countries.

The Russian active recreation market is a young and dynamically growing segment of the country’s tourism sector. With the continued growth and development of Russia’s economy, its people can spend more for high-quality recreation and travel.

There are 320,000 certified divers in the former USSR, 200,000 of which are in Russia.