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Diving with… Atmosphere Resorts and Spa, Dumaguete, Philippines

Asia DTA Team

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In this ongoing series, we speak with the people who run dive centres, resorts and liveaboards from around the world about their businesses and the diving they have to offer…


What is your name?

Ulrika Kroon

What is the name of your business?

Atmosphere Resorts & Spa

What is your role within the business?

Marketing & Branding Manager

How long has the business operated for?

9.5 years

How long have you dived for, and what qualification are you?

I have dived for 21 years and I am now a PADI Master Instructor.

What is your favorite type of diving?

I love macro and underwater photography, so I am really in the best part of the world!

If you could tell people one thing about your business (or maybe more!) to make them want to visit you what would it be?

Being a luxury boutique resort for divers is quite unusual and we think that people are blown away by the luxury dive service at Atmosphere. We have fantastic diving and we see the most unusual critters in the world but what makes us really stand out is that guests receive the proper VIP-treatment. From private guides and a marine biologist who dives with guests, to hot face towels and somebody putting your fins on. The service will blow you away!

What is your favorite dive in your location and why?

I love our house reef, the Atmosphere House Reef. It is right in front of the resort and it is a protected marine sanctuary, which means that no boats are allowed inside, nor are fishermen. It is very large – it takes at least three dives to dive the whole site – and it has everything from a school of barracudas, a few shipping containers comprising an artificial reef, to mandarin fish mating, pygmy seahorses, lots of frogfish, as well as turtles. We also have a lot of octopus, blue-ringed being a favorite! Such a great mix and only 10 yards from the resort.

What types of diving are available in your location?

Along the Dauin coast where we are located, there is black sand and the dive sites are a mix of sand with critters (pure macro), artificial reefs made from car tyres or metal structures or sunken boats/cars, but there are also very healthy reefs with lots of bigger fish.

What do you find most rewarding about your current role?

I get to tell the world about how great Atmosphere and the diving here is! I also make lots of movies showcasing us which is fun. I go to dive shows but I also still teach sometimes and that’s still very rewarding.

What is your favorite underwater creature?

Frogfish! We have so many frogfish – from hairy frogfish to giant frogfish or sargassum fish. They are sort of our mascot, we love them!

Are there any exciting changes / developments coming up in the near future?

We are always expanding, when it comes to the resort and the dive operation but I can’t tell you any details as I am pretty sure it’s classified…

As a center what is the biggest problem you face at the moment?

We are not really facing any problems but I would like to say that one concern that we have is the fiddling with marine life to get good photos. All new divers know that you don’t touch marine life or even the bottom when you dive, not even to get good photos. However we have seen an increase in award-winning photographers (or wanna-be award-winning photographers) who move and manipulate marine life to get that winning shot. It’s a practise that needs to stop and as an environmentally aware dive center and resort, we take it very seriously.

Is your center involved in any environmental work?

Yes, we do most of our dives in marine sanctuaries of which the biggest one is our own house reef, where we pay a certain amount per diver to keep the sanctuary protected. We also sunk three large shipping containers to create an artificial reef a few years ago. We do regular clean-ups, we are super-strict on touching and buoyancy and the resort as a whole is very environmentally friendly – no disposable plastic, printing on recycled paper etc.

How do you see the SCUBA / Freediving / snorkeling industry overall? What changes would you make?

I think it is looking awesome for the future with more and more people getting certified and diving which is great. We wish that more dive centers would be environmentally aware, both when it comes to trash and pollution but also when it comes to handling marine life. All this fish feeding/shark feeding and fishy-handling is not good for the future of the industry.

What would you say to our visitors to promote the diving you have to offer?

At Atmosphere you get an amazing mix of some of the world’s best scuba diving. The renowned Apo Island with its pristine corals and innumerable turtles is a short boat ride away. Some of the world’s rarest critters compete for the underwater photographer’s attention along the Dauin coastline. No dive sites are further than 20 minutes away and we have a house reef where you can see virtually everything on your underwater wish list. Add to that the luxury dive service of a five star resort and you’re in diver heaven.

Where can our visitors find out more about your business?

Our website is super-informative and really pretty: www.atmosphereresorts.com but we are also very active on social media so I suggest visiting our facebook and instagram accounts:  www.facebook.com/atmosphere.resorts and www.instagram.com/atmosphereresorts.

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Save on NEW Emperor Harmoni

Asia DTA Team

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The launch of Emperor Harmoni – Emperor Divers’ brand-new liveaboard in Indonesia – is just a few weeks away with the finishing touches currently taking place. And, to welcome her to their fleet, Emperor have put together an offer as magnificent as the boat herself.

Anyone booking a trip on Harmoni for 2022 or 2023 will receive a 25% discount if they book and confirm before October 1st 2022.

That means the first guests on board can not only explore and dive the Indonesian waters in the finest of style but do so at an incredible price. And sailing on Harmoni really is fine.

She is a 24-berth, traditional Indonesian phinisi-style vessel which has been bespoke made using a combination of Emperor’s vast experience of liveaboards and the expertise of legendary Indonesian boat builder Pak Haji.

Constructed almost entirely by hand using Sulawesi ironwood, Harmoni has been designed specifically to offer the finest diving experiences possible in spacious surroundings of the very highest standard.

The beautifully-finished cabins all have en-suite bathrooms and air conditioning while the deck areas offer plenty of comfortable places to sit and maybe even enjoy a relaxing massage. The dining area is spacious and serves the high-quality food and drink you would expect from an Emperor Divers holiday.

The first trip leaves on September 16th and will cruise from Bali, taking in the wonderful scenery of Moyo Island, Sumbawa and Sangean Volcano before finally reaching Komodo National Park. 

The offer is valid on new bookings only and discount is not to be combined with group free places or any other discount or promotion.

Email reservations@emperordivers.com to confirm pricing and availability or speak personally to the Emperor Divers’ reservation team to find out more.

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Reef-World launches Green Fins Japan!

Asia DTA Team

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The Reef-World Foundation, the Onna Village Diving Association, the local government, and Oceana are delighted to announce that Japan is now the 14th country globally to implement the Green Fins initiative – a UN Environment Programme initiative. Onna Village in Okinawa is the first Japanese tourist destination to adopt Green Fins environmental standards to reduce the threats associated with diving and snorkelling on the marine environment.

Green Fins is piloted in Onna Village, Okinawa prefecture, an area renowned for its marine sports and has been working to protect its reefs for many years. Green Fins is implemented as part of the national Sustainable Development Goals project, which aims to manage and illustrate to the local industry how sustainable tourism can play a role in reef conservation. The economic benefits of the reefs benefit not only the fisheries industry but also the tourism industry as it has rocketed in recent decades.

If the project is successful – proving the value of sustainable tourism – the model has the potential to be escalated to a national level. A wide rollout would allow Reef-World to focus on uptake and expansion into other marine tourism and biodiversity hotspots across Japan. Green Fins implementation in Japan would provide practical solutions to many of the common problems faced in the area. It would also help to promote high standards for diving in the country. Improving the quality of the diving industry through Green Fins would demonstrate the added value of Onna Village’s tourism product. This, in turn, will encourage tourists to spend more time and money diving in the region.

Following a week of training by Reef-World (23 to 28 May 2022), Japan now has a national Green Fins team comprised of four fully certified Green Fins Assessors and two Green Fins Coordinators from Oceana and the local government. They will be responsible for recruiting, assessing, training and certifying dive and snorkel operators to become Green Fins members in the country. This involves providing training about the ecology and threats to coral reefs, simple and local everyday solutions to these threats and Green Fins’ environmental standards to dive and snorkel operators. Green Fins membership will help marine tourism operators improve their sustainability and prove they are working hard to follow environmental best practices as a way of attracting eco-minded tourists.

James Harvey, Director at The Reef-World Foundation, said: “We are really excited to finally introduce Green Fins in Japan. We have been planning this for almost three years, but the travel restrictions related to the pandemic hindered progress. The diving industry in Okinawa and the marine life upon which it has been built is so unique, it must be preserved for generations to come. The Okinawa diving community is very passionate about protecting their marine environment, and Green Fins has given them an opportunity to collectively work to reduce their environmental impact and pursue exemplary environmental standards.”

Diving and snorkelling related damage to sensitive marine ecosystems, including coral reefs, is becoming an increasingly significant issue. This damage makes them less likely to survive other local and wider stressors, such as overfishing or plastic debris and the effects of climate change. Based on robust individual assessments, the Green Fins initiative helps identify and mitigate these risks by providing environmental consultation and support to dive and snorkel operators. Through Green Fins implementation in Japan, Reef-World aims to reduce negative environmental impacts in the region by reaching 10 marine tourism operators, training 50 dive guides and raising awareness of sustainability best practices among 10,000 tourists in the first year.

Yuta Kawamoto, CEO of Oceana, said: “Green Fins will help to unify all the conservation efforts in Okinawa by applying the guidelines in many areas and raising tourists awareness. We hope this will increase the sustainable value in the diving industry and in turn increase the diving standards in the country.”

Green Fins is a UN Environment Programme initiative, internationally coordinated by The Reef-World Foundation, which aims to protect and conserve coral reefs through environmentally friendly guidelines to promote a sustainable diving and snorkelling tourism industry. Green Fins provides the only internationally recognised environmental standards for the diving and snorkelling industry and has a robust assessment system to measure compliance.

To date, four dive operators in Onna Village have joined the global network of 600+ trained and assessed Green Fins members. These are: Benthos Divers, Okinawa Diving Center, Arch Angel and Pink Marlin Club. There has also been significant interest from other operators, even those that are not located in Onna Village, for Green Fins training and assessment.

Suika Tsumita from Oceana said: “Green Fins serve as an important tool for local diving communities to move towards a more sustainable use of their dive sites; so that they can maintain their scenic beauty and biological richness to provide livelihoods for many generations to come.”

For more information, please visit www.reef-world.org or  www.greenfins.net/countries/japan. Dive and snorkel operators interested in signing up for Green Fins can find the membership application form at: www.greenfins.net/how-to-join.

Dive and snorkel operators in Japan interested in signing up to be Green Fins members can contact the Green Fins Japan team at japan@greenfins.net.

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