Assessing the feasibility of expanding dive tourism to Danajon Bank, Philippines
Kuklok, Audrey Jean
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Danajon Bank is the only double barrier reef in the Philippines. Found off the northern coast of Bohol Island, central Philippines, Danajon expands over an area of 272 km². The Coastal Conservation and Education Foundation, a Filipino nonprofit, is implementing a project to develop a management plan for Danajon Bank. One of the goals is to increase the economic opportunities for the coastal communities adjacent to the Danajon reefs through marine-related tourism. This study examined the feasibility of expanding dive tourism to this area. The results were derived from two methods: (1) semi-structured interviews with dive business owners and employees; and (2) contingent valuation survey among foreign and local tourists to determine willingness-to-pay an entrance fee to the reefs as a dive destination. The key results are: (1) there are challenges that may arise for attracting dive tourism to the outer Danajon Bank such as the sites location, safety and quality; (2) opportunities that can help aid in the expansion of dive tourism in Danajon include dive business interest in new sites and opportunities for dive stops when traveling through the region of Danajon when on safari dive trips; (3) dive operators are willing to provide time, labor and equipment to aid in conservation projects; and (4) resource user fees will be the best opportunity for creating economic opportunities for local communities in the region from tourism.
- Marine affairs