Breaking Travel News speaks with Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, Minister of Tourism of the Philippines, as the country is honored with a world title at the World Travel Awards.
Breaking Travel News: After being honored with a regional title earlier in the year, the Philippines has improved and been recognized as the world’s top diving destination at the World Travel Awards. How does it feel to have obtained the prestigious title?
Bernadette Romulo-Puyat: We are very proud to receive this accolade, especially now that the Philippines is the world’s top diving destination at the World Travel Awards for the third year in a row.
This award will further motivate our industry to do even better and ensure the protection of our marine resources.
This is not only an acknowledgment of our unique dive and underwater attractions, but also an affirmation of our industry initiatives to grow and maintain the competitiveness of this product and our dive destinations.
BTN: This is the third year in a row that the Philippines has been recognized as the best in the world. What is it that makes this destination so special for diving enthusiasts?
BRP: The Philippines is naturally predisposed to attract diving tourists.
Dubbed by marine experts and scientists as the center of marine biodiversity in the world, the country is home to the highest concentration of life on coral reefs and an astonishing variety of marine species.
Also, the incredible biodiversity you see underwater parallels what you see on the surface.
Our country has more than 300 dive sites, and more areas are constantly being discovered with new species of fish and invertebrates.
The Philippines has it all, from the smallest creatures to pelagic animals, and relatively cheap rates compared to other places in the world.
All in all, these conditions make it ideal for pursuing hobbies and special interests for back and forth diving tourists such as underwater photography, technical diving and freediving, among others.
BTN: What actions is the Philippines taking to protect the natural environment in the seas across the country to ensure that there are exquisite diving opportunities available for generations to come?
BRP: Protecting our local marine resources has always been our priority, with sustainable tourism being our guiding principle and our central defense.
Many of our dive sites are classified as protected marine sanctuaries, which means that the communities surrounding these areas are committed to protecting marine ecosystems.