The Dominica Watersports Association (DWA) on Friday launched its 17th annual Dive Fest.
Digicel, the headline sponsor presented a cheque of $30,000 to the association to fund these activities which are expected to run from July 9- 18, 2010.
At an official launch of the event at the Fort Young Hotel, Director of Tourism Colin Piper said that Dive Fest is an indication that the diving sector can be an integral part of the tourism industry, since it helps increase visitor turn out and contributes to the economy.
“This event helps us to connect with dive enthusiasts around the world and helps to put Dominica on the map,” he also stated.
Minister for Tourism Ian Douglas who also addressed the ceremony, said “It is not a secret that tourism is a major driver of the economy today bringing in excess of $190 million into the economy, and so diving is a special niche of that tourism industry… diving not only contributes to tourism product of Dominica but diving is a product in and itself of Dominica. Diving is synonymous to Dominica.”
He added, “Perhaps half of the popularity that we have received in the international community over the years much of it is attributable to the dive sector…”
A moment of silence was convened to honour Derek Perryman, who was described as a “great pioneer” in diving. He passed away earlier this year. Perryman was also part of the DWA and had been present at every single Dive Fest before this event.
President of the Dominica Watersports Association Simon Walsh, informed that Dive Fest will feature several one-day sea-life camera shoots from July 11-15 from different dive destinations on the island.
A new component of the festival-the Jonnie Walker “Jing Ping Ting with Carib Beer” to be hosted at the Evergreen Hotel on July 15, will feature Jing Ping dancing. There will be an award to the best Best Heel and Toe dancer, according to Walsh.
The president said that festivities will culminate with a grand Kubuli Canoe Race and trophy/ prize giving ceremony on July 18 in Soufriere.