ILOILO CITY -The Department of Tourism (DOT) is classifying scuba diving sites in Western Visayas as a means of selling the destination to a specific market of tourists.
"We need to develop a niche for the region's dive sites," said Helen Catalbas, acting DOT-6 regional director.
Catalbas is requesting the Philip¬pine Commission on Sports Scuba Diving (PCSSD), an attached agency of the DOT, to conduct assessment and classification of emerging div¬ing sites in the provinces of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, and Negros Occidental.
To be assessed by the PCSSD this June are Boracay in Aklan, Pan de Azucar in Northern Iloilo, South¬ern Iloilo-Northern Antique areas, Olotayan Island in Capiz, Guimaras, and Cauayan-Sipalay areas as well as Sipaway Island in Negros Occidental.
"Once we know what kind of dive sites they are, we can promote them properly both to domestic and foreign markets," Catalbas said.
"For example, if a dive site has an array of coral life that fits the interests of underwater photographers, then we promote the site for under¬water photographers," he said.
"Some of them are looking for macro photography opportunities underwater," Catalbas added.
DOT-6 is working on having a center-point focus in marketing emerging tourist destinations in the region.