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?
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?
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.