Bangkok - Organisers of Asia Dive Expo (ADEX) 2005, taking place from March 31 to April 3 at the Bangkok Convention Center, have announced the creation of a special 'Tsunami Dive Recovery Fund' that will be used to directly support tsunami recovery programs for Asia's dive industry.
An ambitious target of Bt1 million (US$25,000) in donations has been set by the organiser, Suntec Integrated Media. Donations will be collected through various activities linked to the upcoming international dive exhibition.
Affected dive operators that are working to rebuild their businesses, clean-up activities in dive areas seriously damaged by the tsunami, and programs for ongoing marine conservation will be among the Fund's primary beneficiaries.
Roel van Leewan, Director of Suntec integrated Media Director, said: "Recreational diving has become one of Asia's premier tourism attractions, and the ever-expanding dive industry supports the livelihoods of thousands of people across the region."
"As Asia's leading international dive exhibition, it's important that we take a lead role in assisting the industry's recovery by coming together with this fund and providing support where it's needed most. This includes helping affected dive operators get their businesses back on track, as well as helping to restore dive site ecosystems that were damaged by the tsunami," he added.
All proceeds from ADEX 2005 visitor admission tickets will go directly to the Tsunami Dive Recovery Fund, and cash donations will be accepted throughout the four-day exhibition at special kiosks set up around the show floor.
All ADEX 2005 exhibitors will be invited to donate products or services for a Silent Auction. These items will be on display in a designated area, where visitors can submit written bids throughout the course of the show. All proceeds from the winning bids will go directly to the Recovery Fund.
Additionally, equipment manufacturers, suppliers, wholesalers and even visitors will be encouraged to donate dive equipment or dive-related accessories to aid dive operators or businesses that were affected the most by the tsunami. These would include dive operators that were located close to the shorelines and had most or all of their equipment lost or damaged.
Organisers will work closely with dive equipment manufacturers that are supporting ADEX 2005 to purchase new equipment with the Fund for these dive operators that are most affected. The list of dive operators will be supplied by dive associations participating in ADEX.
A special 'Marine Conservation' booth will also be set up during the exhibition, allowing volunteers to register and participate in ongoing clean-up and marine conservation efforts around the region. Information regarding marine conservation will also be distributed at the booth.
Organisers will also tie-in a special ADEX 2005 promotion for first-time divers to the Fund. The 'Asia Scuba Tour' will be held at a pool located near the exhibition hall, encouraging non-divers to try out the sport in the presence of a professional instructor. Companies will be encouraged to pledge a specified amount of money to the Fund for each new diver who participates.
"Fortunately, the timing of ADEX 2005 is very advantageous, allowing us to use the exhibition, in part, as a platform for recovery efforts and initiatives for the dive industry.
We've already had tremendous response from everyone participating in ADEX 2005 in support of the Tsunami Dive Recovery Fund. We're confident that the generosity of the exhibitors, trade representatives, sponsors and visitors will help us achieve, and hopefully exceed, our donation target," concluded van Leeuwen.