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17 August 2011

Philippines was Best Diving Area at Tokyo Marine Diving Fair

SCUBA diving
An August 17, 2011 press release by the Department of Tourism
The Philippines bolstered its status as a premier dive destination by raking in top placements in all four major award categories at the 19th Marine Diving Fair held last July 8 to 10 in Tokyo, Japan.
The country was voted into the Best Diving Area and the Best Dreaming Area lists alongside such heavyweights as the Maldives and Palau. Blue Coral of Cebu topped the Favorite Dive Operator category for the fifth year in a row. Another operator, Bohol’s Good Dive Shop, also made the cut. Cebu and Bohol reappear in the Best Diving Resort Hotel list with the White Sands Beach Resort and Bohol Tropics Resort, respectively.
“We are particularly proud of our strong showing in the Best Diving Area category, which has placed us in the company of some the most acclaimed dive countries in the world,” said Tourism Secretary Alberto A. Lim. “We anticipate that the Philippines will secure a more significant slice of the Japanese diving market after these latest successes, especially that Japan has been very supportive of encouraging two-way tourism between our countries.”
The Marine Diving Fair began in 1993 and has since become Asia’s largest dive and beach resort exhibition, held annually at the Sunshine City Convention Center in Ikebukuro, Tokyo. Organized by the Marine Arts Center, Ltd., the publisher of four major dive magazines in Japan, this year’s edition featured 213 exhibitors from 59 countries and attracted over 50,000 visitors.
The Department of Tourism (DOT) led the Philippines’ participation in the event, which featured an attention-grabbing booth showcasing live jellyfishes from Anilao in Batangas—the only booth at the fair of its kind. Seminars, quiz shows, and giveaways at the area helped make it one of the most visited and well-received booths as well.
Representatives from 11 dive properties in the Philippines were also present to pitch their respective products to Japanese divers and beach aficionados. Also popular with crowd the were affordable packages to Donsol, Sorsogon highlighting the butanding.
The DOT estimates the Japanese scuba diving population to number around five million. Japan is the third-largest source of foreign visitor arrivals to the Philippines, comprising 10 percent of last year’s record 3.52 million visitors.
The 19th Marine Diving Fair saw the participation of the Philippine Commission on Sports and Scuba Diving (PCSSD), Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), and DOT Team Japan.