MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines is among the top three dive destinations in the world, according to a poll by a popular diving magazine in Japan.
Subscribers of Marine Diving Magazine in Japan voted the Philippines, Maldives and Palau as the world's top three dive destinations, a statement from the Department of Tourism said on Monday.
The statement did not mention the actual rank of the three destinations but noted that the Philippines has been included in the top five “Best Overseas Destinations” since 2006 and one of the top 10 “Dream Destinations.”
Blue Coral again bagged the top award as the favorite dive operator for 2012, which it has won for five consecutive years. Another dive operator, the Good Dive Shop, also made it to the top 10 for the same category.
The results of the poll were released during the recently concluded Marine Diving Fair 2012 in Tokyo, Japan, which was held from April 6-8. The event, one of the largest diving and beach resort exhibitions in Asia, attracted over 50,000 visitors and showcased 200 exhibitors from 50 different countries.
The accolades came just days after the travel news website CNNGo included the Tubbataha Reef and The Canyons in Puerto Galera in its list of best dive sites in the world.
Tourism Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez, Jr. said the awards affirmed the country’s status as a "must-see dive destination."
“Our partnership with the private sector dive tour operators has paid off nicely. We encourage more suppliers to keep raising the bar for service excellence to grow this market segment,” he said.
The Department of Tourism, with its campaign logo "It's More Fun in the Philippines," was a “crowd drawer” at the event, the agency said.
“With five aquariums placed strategically inside the booth and the paintings of marine life on the wall, fair visitors were drawn to the booth to discover what makes diving ‘more fun’ in the Philippines,” the DOT said.
The DOT said its participation at the event was aimed at maintaining the high profile of the country’s as a premier and competitive destination among Japanese divers.
Japan was among the top three sources of foreign tourist arrivals visiting the country last year. Apart from divers, the DOT is also actively targeting Japanese “independent” ladies and active seniors as priority segments.
Joining the Philippine booth in Tokyo were representatives of Philippine Airlines, Club Paradise, El Rio Y Mar, Alegre Beach Resort, Talisay Beach Resort, Emerald Green Diving Center, Anemone Resort, Blue Coral Diving Shop, Donsol Ecotour Inc. El Nido Resorts, Kasai Village Resort, Pacific Cebu Resorts International, Villa Tropara Dive Resort and Philippine Banca Dive Safari.