In its thrust to help support and sustain the country’s diving industry, the Department of Tourism (DOT) is presenting this year’s Philippine International Dive Expo (PHIDEX) online via virtual conferencing from March 19 to 21, 2021.
PHIDEX is the Philippines’ largest platform for the diving community since 2019. The global COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the event going digital for the time being, but the new format will allow the expo to reach even more members of the diving community.
As COVID-19 has hit the local diving industry and those who depend on it, this year’s PHIDEX, themed “Our Sea, Our Story,” aims to raise awareness and discuss solutions into accelerating the industry’s recovery.
“As the Philippines is known around the world for its diving destinations, it is truly important that we do everything we can to sustain the local diving industry. The latest recognition we received was from the 2020 World Travel Awards which named the Philippines as the World’s Leading Dive Destination. This year’s PHIDEX is a step in the right direction to sustain our gains toward recovery, for all to enjoy the natural wonders our archipelago can provide,” said Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat who will formally open the event.
This year’s PHIDEX will host discussions and talks by a number of prominent international personalities who are experts on the sea.
Some notable names confirmed for the event are California Academy of Sciences Curator Dr. Terry Gosliner, French-British underwater photographer Henley Spiers, Emmy Award-winning husband-and-wife documentary team Howard and Michele Hall, PADI Ambassador and PCSSD Commissioner Bo Mancao, University of the Philippines marine economist and community scientist Tara Abrina, and German underwater photographer Tobias Friedrich, to name a few. Each speaker will be going in depth on topics relevant to the diving industry and the protection of Philippine seas.
Expo participants will be able to view all these lectures and panel discussions on the event website, which will host three stages: the main stage, the expo stage, and the panel stage. The website will also serve as a space for divers and enthusiasts to purchase experiences and equipment from partners and exhibitors, as it will also have a virtual marketplace section called the Dive Travel Exchange, or TRAVEX.