Two more tourist spots in the country have been included in the list of the world’s best travel destinations.
The Department of Tourism (DOT) yesterday reported that scuba diving experts have included Malapascua and Apo Island among the world’s top 100 dive spots.
Tourism Secretary Joseph Ace Durano said Sport Diver, the official magazine of the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, named the two local dive spots in its special report entitled “100 Dives to Do Before You Die.”
Durano said Malapascua was picked for its consistent thresher shark sightings while Apo Island was chosen for its excellent spots that attract underwater photographers.
It said that Apo Island Marine Sanctuary is replete with a continuous chain of underwater life, with hard and soft corals attracting reef fish like snappers, surgeon fish, damsel fish, parrot fish, anemone fish and wrasse, which, in turn, invite large species like barracuda, tuna, white tip and black tip sharks, turtles and manta rays.
Sport Diver said they scoured the globe to come up with the list of underwater sites that divers should not miss.
Durano said the inclusion of the Philippine sites in the United Kingdom’s publication proved that the country is a must see site and is among the world’s best.
“The list is based on the opinion of experts who were looking for sites that have rare characteristics which stand out from the usual dive haunts,” Durano pointed out.
Tourism Undersecretary Eduardo Jarque said the country is expected to register a banner year with the quality and quantity of sales and promotions programs implemented by the department.
“We are confident that arrivals from the United Kingdom may breach the 90,000 mark by yearend,” he added.
“In our participation in various travel trade fairs, we seldom encounter questions on the country’s security. Instead, we get rave comments about our sites,” said Domingo Ramon Enerio, Philippine tourism attaché to London.
The UK market has consistently been a significant source of tourists and the arrival of British visitors had increased by 18 percent during the first half of the year.