Home Economy Dive Tourism Boosts Philippine Economy with PHP73 Billion in 2023Philippine Stock Exchange...

Dive Tourism Boosts Philippine Economy with PHP73 Billion in 2023Philippine Stock Exchange Rallies for Fourth Consecutive Day; Peso Sees Decline

PASAY CITY — The Department of Tourism (DOT) announced on Friday that dive tourism has significantly bolstered the Philippine economy, contributing at least PHP73 billion in 2023. The announcement was made by Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco during the inauguration of the Philippine International Dive Expo (PHIDEX) 2024, held at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.

According to Philippines News Agency, this revenue marks a substantial increase from the PHP37 billion recorded in 2022, nearly doubling the earnings in a year. Secretary Frasco emphasized the Philippines' global recognition for its biodiversity, highlighting the country's responsibility to not only market but also ensure the sustainability of the dive tourism sector. She remarked on the rich marine biodiversity of the Philippines, which is home to over 500 species of corals and 2,000 species of fish, underlining the country’s commitment to preserving its status as a top dive destination while promoting environmental sustainability.

The DOT's efforts to enhance the dive tourism industry align with President's vision, aiming to further increase the industry's revenue and strengthen the Philippines' position as the world's premier dive destination. To support this vision, the Philippines has expanded its dive tourism to include around 120 dive destinations nationwide, focusing on both popular and emerging locations.

In addition to promoting dive sites, Secretary Frasco announced the deployment of five new hyperbaric chambers in strategic diving locations, including Boracay Island, Camiguin, Daanbantayan in Cebu, Dumaguete, and Puerto Galera. These chambers are crucial for the treatment of scuba and deep-sea divers experiencing decompression sickness due to rapid pressure changes.

PHIDEX 2024, spanning three days, is set to provide extensive networking opportunities for stakeholders in the dive industry, including business-to-business meetings, conferences, and exhibitions showcasing the best of the Philippines' dive sites and services.

MANILA — The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) sustained its upward momentum, marking a four-day winning streak as the week concluded, while the Philippine peso experienced a slight decline against the US dollar but remained stable in the 55-level range. The PSEi closed at 6,913.21, up by 10.6 points, with the All Shares index also seeing an increase, ending higher by 6.29 points at a level of 3,608.12.

According to Philippines News Agency, Inc., the PSEi approached the 7,000 mark, reaching as high as 6,990.65 during the session before last-minute profit-taking trimmed the gains. Assistant Research Manager Claire Alviar cited positive influences from the United States markets and an optimistic economic outlook for the Philippines as key drivers behind the PSEi's performance. "The S&P 500's reach to a record high buoyed by the earnings season has had a favorable impact on the Philippine market. This, combined with Moody's Analytics' upward revision of the Philippines' economic growth forecast to 5.8 percent, positions the country as the third fastest-growing economy in the Asia-Pacific region this year," Alviar explained.

In terms of sectoral performance, four counters ended the day in positive territory. The Industrial sector led the gains with a 0.55 percent increase, followed by the Property sector, which rose by 0.40 percent. The Services and Financials sectors also saw gains, up by 0.34 percent and 0.23 percent, respectively. However, the Mining and Oil and Holding Firms sectors faced declines, dropping by 0.86 percent and 0.33 percent, respectively. Overall, gainers outnumbered losers, with 98 advancing, 73 declining, and 51 remaining unchanged.

The Philippine peso, meanwhile, weakened on Friday, closing at 55.90 against the US dollar, down from 55.71 on Thursday. The currency fluctuated throughout the day, opening at 55.80 and reaching highs and lows of 55.97 and 55.74, respectively. The weighted average exchange rate for the day was pegged at 55.85 to the dollar. Trading volume saw a slight increase, with transactions totaling USD1.25 billion, up from USD1.24 billion the previous day.