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DOT eyes Pacman fight in PH

MANILA — Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo has expressed optimism that Senator Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao might be able to stage a boxing bout in the Philippines, which will be a big boost to the country’s sports tourism.

With the signing of the contract afoot for the country’s hosting of the Miss Universe pageant on January 30, 2017, Teo said the Department of Tourism (DOT) is banking on sporting events like boxing championships as a potential visitor market.

MB FILE - Manny Pacquiao (MB.COM.PH)

MB FILE – Manny Pacquiao

“Sen. Pacquiao no doubt can help us score a knockout victory in terms of international visitor arrival if he were to fight in the Philippines. Imagine how the world stops to watch it against the backdrop of, let’s say Cebu City,” Teo said.

Any of Pacquiao’s top rivals Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Jose Manuel Marquez would be most welcome in the Philippines if only boxing promoters can make it happen.

The DOT also looks to infuse more funding to promote diving tourism as more and more diving enthusiasts discover the Philippine waters as a best-kept secret destination.

DOT Undersecretary for Media Affairs and Public Advocacy Katherine de Castro said the agency thrust to increase the country’s boost up 1.7 percent market share of the 7.3 million active divers worldwide.

Deep diving enthusiasts from India, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, France, the Netherlands, and the Middle East attended the recent Dive Resort Travel (DRT) PH Show at the Megatrade Hall, SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City.

More are expected to attended the Diving Equipment an Marketing Association Show (DEMA) which will be held in Las Vegas on November 11-14, 2016.

“It is time to showcase our marine biodiversity as the Philippines becomes a preferred diving destination with the richest concentration of marine life in the entire planet,” said De Castro, a diving enthusiast herself.