By PR | 01:59 PM November 18, 2022
TAGBILARAN CITY, Philippines– Bohol has long been favored as a destination for divers and freedivers, but a locally-organized formal expo dedicated to showcasing the province’s underwater treasure trove has yet to be done.
This led the Panglao Association of Dive Operators (PADO) and provincial government of Bohol, to create the 1st Bohol Loop Dive Expo, a diving festival with the theme “Be Part of My World: Defying Underwater Discoveries.”
Local and international scuba divers and enthusiasts are expected to convene here for the 1st Bohol Loop Dive Expo 2023 scheduled from April 15 to 30, 2023.
“The Panglao Association of Dive Operators (PADO), through this event, will explore and discover new dive sites that will impact tourism and the diving industry of the province. We hope to bring the province to greater heights of promotion and environmental awareness by identifying new market niches, developing new dive toour circuits, creating a dive tourism network, and welcoming back our regular tourists to explore more of the underwater wonders of Bohol,” said Ivy Bulaybulay-Kung, PADO president.
She said the event will introduce the advance reservation system (ARS) to monitor dive site capacity and bid to regulate the environmental users fee.
Like other tourism sectors, the diving industry suffered immensely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, thus, the festival endeavors to jumpstart the scuba diving operations in the province.
Bohol, known as” God’s Little Paradise,” has around 20 dive sites scattered throughout the island’s provincial waters.
This island off Central Visayas attracts 1 million tourists annually before the pandemic and it is one of the country’s most visited island. The dive festival aims to promote the island as a prime diving destination in the Philippines by showcasing its underwater paradise.
Gov. Erico Aristotle Aumentado assured the provincial government of Bohol’s full support as the 1st Bohol Loop Dive Expo 2023 will highlight the diving industry of Bohol considered as the bedrock of tourism.
“This deserves our support since this festival is promoting the island’s rich, unique, diverse and pristine dive sites. This is in line with our vision in developing Bohol’s sustainable and responsible tourism. Our visitors will enjoy world-class diving destination,” Aumentado said.
The festival’s venue will be at the old Tagbilaran Airport which will feature exhibit, photo gallery and free diving underwater photo contest. This event will also feature a series of diving activities in participating towns.
And while they enjoy the hospitality and waters off Tagbilaran City and Panglao Island, participants can also enjoy other destinations in the loop such as Mabini, Anda, Guindulman, Duero, Garcia Hernandez, Lila, Valencia and Talibon towns which also offer great diving sites.
Highlighting the festival is an underwater photography contest envisioned to capture the marine kaleidoscope and underwater paradise.
The competition is open to amateur and professional underwater lensmen of all nationalities, provided that the participant is residing in the Philippines at the time of registration.
The deadline for the submission of photo entries is at 12NN on April 29, 2023.
With its centuries-old churches, beaches, waterfalls, diving is another compelling reason to come to Bohol province.