DOT Usec reacts to alleged rule-breaking of Miss Universe candidates

DOT Usec reacts to alleged rule-breaking of Miss Universe candidates

- Tourism Undersecretary for Media Affairs Kat De Castro reacts to the criticisms that followed the controversial whale shark-swimming organized for the candidates of Miss Universe 2016

- According to De Castro, the marine wildlife interaction was pursued after having been assured by both Cebu and Oslob government officials that it would be well-managed

- She also clarified that the Department of Tourism (DOT) will look into the environmentalists' primary concern on the proper rules and regulations of swimming with the whale-shark

On Thursday, December 15, Tourism Undersecretary for Media Affairs Kat De Castro reacts to the criticisms that followed the controversial whale shark-swimming organized for the candidates of Miss Universe 2016.

According to De Castro, "The marine wildlife interaction was pursued after having been assured by both Cebu and Oslob government officials that it would be well-managed according to their guidelines.”

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Miss Universe candidates who went whale shark-swimming Photo credit: CNN Philippines

According to De Castro, a marine life advocate and certified scuba diver, the five contestants, including candidates from Vietnam, New Zealand, Thailand, China and the Philippines, who had gone whale-shark swimming followed the instructions to a tee.

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The mayor of Oslob, Cebu, also rushed to defend the candidates by saying that none of the candidates applied sunscreen or used cameras with flash during the activity.

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Miss Universe 2016 candidates Photo credit: CNN Philippines

The outrage had started to circulate online, after concerns on the negative impact of human interaction to the whale sharks were raised.

Environmental groups and past beauty queens lambasted the Department of Tourism for promoting "bad tourism" and highly-contested practice.

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De Castro had acknowledged the earlier pleas on the cancellation of the activity, but she emphasized that before their visit, there was a series of meetings conducted with the provincial and local government.

She also clarified that the Department of Tourism (DOT) will look into a more comprehensive visitor management strategy even as they organize meetings with environmentalists to discuss their primary concern on the proper rules and regulations when it comes to whale shark interaction.

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Source: KAMI.com.gh

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