DOT To Train Snorkeling Guides In Apo Island To Boost Tourism

The Department of Tourism in Region 7 (DOT-7) will conduct a week-long training this month for snorkeling guides in the world-renowned dive destination Apo Island in Dauin, Negros Oriental to boost its tourism industry.

Provincial Tourism Officer Myla Mae Abellana disclosed Friday that the first batch of 30 trainees are among the 140 snorkeling guides who are all residents of Apo Island.

This is a pilot training, which the DOT-7 will conduct from Aug. 22 to Aug. 28, Abellana said.

Supporting the training are the provincial government of Negros Oriental, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) of the Apo Island Protected Landscape and Seascape (AIPLS) and the local government unit of Dauin, she added.

Abellana said they identified early this year the need to professionalize the snorkeling guides in Apo Island, which is constantly visited by people who mostly swim along with the turtles.

Sea turtles abound in Apo Island and snorkelers get to interact with these creatures, however, because they are endangered, the public is constantly cautioned against touching them or feeding them.

The snorkeling guides, who have previously formed themselves into an association, will be given identification cards and a formal place for them to set up their gear for rent in the island, the Provincial Tourism Officer explained.

It will be an extensive training which will cover a lot of areas, to include laws related to the environment, proper protocol, among others, with speakers coming from the DOT in Manila and Cebu, Abellana said.

While the first batch is being trained, the other guides can continue with their livelihood and later undergo the same training, Abellana said.

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