President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. pledged to uphold the country's reputation as a hub of biodiversity and underwater exploration through strategic investment and sustainable tourism initiatives. (Photo by Yvette Lee via Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park and World Heritage Site FB Page)

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has issued a rallying call to Filipinos, urging unity in safeguarding the Philippines’ marine resources to preserve its status as “a hotspot of biodiversity and underwater adventure.”

With a focus on strategic investment and sustainable tourism, the President emphasizes the importance of collective action to ensure the long-term preservation of the country’s natural treasures.

“The time to dive into adventure has arrived. But let us do so with a profound respect for the delicate ecosystems that sustain life beneath the waves,” Marcos said in his speech delivered by Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco on Friday at the Philippine Dive Expo (PHIDEX) 2024 in Pasay city.

“Together, let us be united in our efforts to take care of the pristine waters that cradle the ‘Bagong Pilipinas’ that we are determined to build,” the President added as he thanked the organizers of the PHIDEX and extended his congratulations to them for the great success of the event.

He emphasized that by strategically investing in infrastructure and implementing sustainable tourism initiatives, the government is committed to further enhancing the nation’s reputation as a leading destination for biodiversity and underwater exploration.

Marcos stressed the importance of the private sector’s participation in ensuring that the Philippines “remains a premier destination for diving enthusiasts and professionals” from around the world.

In December of last year, the Philippines garnered prestigious titles at the World Travel Awards 2023, being recognized as the world’s leading beach destination and dive destination.

Highlighting the significance of such accolades, Marcos emphasized that one of the key objectives of the upcoming expo is to bolster partnerships between local and international stakeholders. This will be achieved through programs aimed at fostering economic growth while promoting the conservation of marine life.

These programs will encompass Dive Travel Exchange Business-to-Business meetings and dive conferences or seminars, providing valuable opportunities for knowledge exchange. Attendees will have the chance to learn about best dive practices and innovative approaches to ocean conservation from international experts.

Marcos further noted that post-familiarization tours will be organized to allow international dive tour operators to experience firsthand the beauty of both top and emerging dive destinations in the Philippines. This immersive experience aims to attract more investors to the region.

“We look forward to showcasing new dive destinations and inviting potential investors to explore business opportunities in our thriving dive tourism sector,” Marcos said.

The theme for this year’s expo, “Heart of Asia’s Diving: Collaboration for the Ocean Community,” underscores our commitment to harnessing the Philippines’ extensive marine resources and stunning underwater landscapes. The goal is to solidify its position as a premier destination for diving enthusiasts from around the globe.