The Department of Tourism (DOT) is eyeing to promote Central Luzon as one of the country’s premier diving destinations.
DOT Regional Director Richard Daenos said on Monday they are starting to introduce strategies to position Subic as a premier wreck dive destination, Aurora as an emerging community-based and sustainable dive destination, and the New Clark City Aquatic Center as a hub for introductory diving classes and freediving competitions.
Daenos said the DOT-3 (Central Luzon) aims to bring to the table the mainstreaming of both freediving and scuba diving as complementary dive product offerings under the banner of the Travel Breathe Dive program.
“We are introducing the Travel Breathe Dive program as part of our ways of promoting the region as a diving destination. We are also very glad that Aurora has been able to secure recognition as the birthplace of Philippine surfing and that is one of the water sports. We are very proud that it is in Central Luzon,” Daenos said in a regional television interview.
He said the region has facilities that could attract divers from all over the world such as the New Clark City Aquatic Center in Capas, Tarlac where the country’s first-ever national-level freediving competition was held from Sept. 29 to Oct. 1.
Association Internationale pour le Développement de l’Apnee (AIDA) Philippines, the national governing body for freediving, has partnered with the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) and DOT-3 to host the AIDA Philippines National Freediving Pool Championship in the world-class facility.
“AIDA Philippines has a clear objective to elevate the landscape of freediving competitions in the Philippines and take full advantage of the diverse freediving spots available, be it in open water or pool settings. We believe that this goal can only be achieved through a collaborative effort involving the freediving community, government agencies, and the private sector,” AIDA Philippines president Ramar Acuña said in a statement.
The event is part of DOT-3’s Travel Breathe Dive program, which aims to promote Central Luzon as a choice destination for diving professionals and enthusiasts.
“The Travel Breathe Dive Program aims to equally promote scuba and freediving in the region through the unique combination of diving and wellness as part of its holistic, sustainable and inclusive tourism product offerings,” Daenos said.
BCDA officer-in-charge for Investment Promotions and Marketing Michelle San Juan-De Vera also expressed the belief that New Clark City is well-positioned to become one of the freediving spots that can be promoted under the DOT campaign.
“New Clark City’s world-class Aquatics Center opens its doors to more water sports aside from the events it usually hosts, such as swimming and diving. This is also a chance to showcase New Clark City’s world-class sports complex to the freediving community and help position the Aquatics Center as one of the pool freediving hubs in the country,” de Vera said. (PNA)