TACLOBAN CITY – Part of the strategy of the Department of Tourism(DOT) to revive the diving activities in the province of Southern Leyte after it suffered a major blow from Typhoon ‘Odette’ is to look for divers who would want to do volunteer works.
DOT-8 Regional Director Karina Rosa Tiopes said although the province’s tourism industry was badly hit by Odette last year, stakeholders are working hard to revive the sector, particularly the diving activities.
“We are looking for divers who would want to become volunteer tourists. Meaning, they will go there for diving activity and they will also have to participate in activities for reviving the tourism industry of the province like clean-up drive,” she said.
“They will go there not only for leisure but with a purpose of reviving the diving industry of the province and the tourism activity in the community,” Tiopes added.
Diving shops in Southern Leyte particularly those located in Padre Burgos town are planning to have their soft opening this month and will be welcoming foreign tourists starting this April.
They are expecting foreign tourists from Europe and North American countries who will be staying in the province for about two weeks.
Dive shops located along Sogod Bay had finished repairing their areas and were able to buy new boats that are essential when providing diving activities.
In an earlier interview, Philip Mcquire, owner of Sogod Bay Scuba Resort, said that they had received many inquiries not only on when they will resume their operations but also on how they can help in restoring the diving activities and typhoon-affected communities in their place.
“We’re having lots of inquiries now. People wanted to come back not just to dive but also help, to see, to look, and be involved,” Mcquire said.
Moreover, asked on the preparedness of the tourism sector in accepting tourists after more than two years of not operating due to travel restriction, “as far as the popular tourism site they are relatively ready,” Tiopes replied.
She added that they regularly and constantly remind tourism players on policies and protocols set by the national government that needs to be followed while the country is still facing the problem on Covid-19 pandemic.
“The tourism officers in every local government unit also knows what they need to do and they also do monitoring at tourism facilities and destinations in their respective areas,” Tiopes added.