PH bags world’s leading dive destination award for 3rd time

Anilao, Batangas (Photo courtesy of DOT)

The World Travel Awards (WTA) has once again honored the  Philippines with its prestigious 2021 WTA award, the third time the country bagged the honors.

Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat said WTA award is a truly a great honor but it also stresses “our great responsibility to protect and conserve our underwater resources so they will also be enjoyed and experienced in their pristine natural state by future generations.”

The Philippines bested other dive destinations in the world, such as the Maldives, Great Barrier Reef in Australia, Azores Islands, Bora Bora in French Polynesia, Cayman Islands, Fiji, Galapagos Islands, and Mexico.

The Philippines boasts of having the best diving destinations with biologically diverse marine and aquatic resources. It not only belongs to the magnificent Coral Triangle—dubbed as the Amazon of the Ocean that is home to 600 coral species, 2,000 reef fish species, and six out of the world’s seven species of marine turtles—but is also, as marine scientists have pinpointed, at the center of it, making the country home to the richest marine ecosystem on the planet.

Top diving spots in the country include the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park in Palawan, Anilao in Batangas, Malapascua and Moalboal in Cebu, Balicasag, Panglao, and Anda in Bohol, and Puerto Galera in Oriental Mindoro.

Aside from these popular dive destinations, some of the country’s emerging dive sites are Samal and Talikud Island in Davao del Norte; Balingoan, Talisayan, Medina, Magsaysay, and Gingoog in Misamis Oriental; and Camiguin.

The DOT has vowed to further identify potential and develop other dive destinations for dive tourism that is gaining more popularity worldwide.