The Department of Tourism (DOT) is bullish in attracting a huge share of the 350,000 estimated active diving population of Italy as it participates first time in this year’s European Dive Show (Eudi 2017) at Bologna, Italy.
Targeting Italian free divers, underwater photographers and other dive enthusiasts, DOT’s presence in this prestigious annual dive exhibition is, likewise, timely to establish partnerships with the tourism bodies, underwater photography clubs and dive tour operators. This year organizers hope to exceed the 2016 record of 220 top-level exhibitors representing leading brands of dive products and services, dive clubs, tourism and marine conservation organizations, and over 39,000 participants just from Europe.
Tourism Undersecretary Katherine Chloe de Castro, head of the Philippine delegation, said, “We are truly honored and excited to be part of this big event. Our contingent is raring to present the Philippine dive products that are just incredible. On top of being at the heart of the Coral Triangle, we boast of a veritable smorgasbord of sites that appeal to the different preferences of the amateur and professional divers. More important, our ‘more fun’ brand will work to amplify our must-experience proposition.”
During the three-day show, there were presentations highlighting the biodiversity of the Philippine depths led by world-renowned underwater photographers Marcello di Francesco, Pietro Cremone and Erik Karl Goossens.
Many were drawn to the Philippine booth, especially to experience the Underwater 360 interactive tours through virtual-reality technology. Participating dive tour operators received interesting queries for the exciting dive packages for sale at the venue.
Visitors from Italy registered 25,945 in 2016, up by 20 percent. The DOT hopes to tap into the dive population, which has about 40 percent, or 120,000 divers, regularly traveling outbound. With the growing air connectivity between continents, eyes are set on novel, long haul and emerging dive destinations such as the Philippines.
The Philippine delegation included officials of the National Association of Diving Operators of Italy and Diving Equipment Association of Italy. Team Dive Philippines consists of Gerry Panga of DOT London, Rita Doctor and Gary Politico of DOT Central, representatives of Buceo Anilao, Asia Holidays and H20 Viaggi.