Divers Descend Into Turks & Caicos For Underwater Photo Competition

TURKS AND CAICOS, BWI (May 5, 2008) – The Turks & Caicos Islands, a burgeoning luxury Caribbean destination featuring world-class beaches, will host the Fourth Annual Underwater Photographic Competition June – September 2008, offering $25,000 in prizes.

The competition, which has previously produced exceptional underwater photos in pristine dive conditions, invites both amateur and professional photographers to participate. Grand prize winners will have their photographs published by the government of the Turks and Caicos Islands as a series of commemorative postage stamps bearing the winning photo, the photographer’s name, and his or her country of origin.

“Our islands have hundreds of miles of barrier reefs, making up the world’s third largest coral reef system and offering visitor’s exceptional underwater sights,” said Lerone Ingham, senior quality control officer at the Turks & Caicos Tourist Board. “Guests are invited to explore our crystal clear turquoise waters, where marine life and sea discoveries are endless. The challenge is not finding a sight worth capturing, but finding time to visit the many spectacular dive attractions.”

Competition coordinators are taking careful measures to preserve the extensive reef system during the competition by implementing strict rules for divers and photographers, reinforcing the competition motto, “Take only pictures-leave only bubbles.”

This year, $25,000 in prizes will be awarded including cash prizes and dive travel, photo equipment, SCUBA gear, and cameras. The top 12 photos taken during the competition will also appear in the Underwater Photo Competition’s international “Out of the Blue” calendar, available for purchase in 2010.

Participants must take their photographs in the Turks & Caicos Islands, June – September 2008, when diving conditions and tropical water temperatures are optimal. Each participant must apply online or on the Islands for an official ID card to be recognized as a competitor, but the competition imposes no restrictions on artistic expression. Photographers are not limited to dive equipment, photographic technology, brand of camera, underwater lights or other equipment. However, final entries are limited to the five photographs each competitor considers his or her best.

About Turks & Caicos
The 40 islands of the Turks & Caicos, of which eight are inhabited, are renowned for their award-winning beaches, diving and array of world-class resorts. Additional activities include tennis, golf and horseback riding. The Islands feature a variety of spa and body treatment services and is home to the world’s only conch farm. There are three daily 90-minute direct flights from Miami, a US Airways direct flight from Charlotte, daily direct flights from New York and weekly flights from Dallas, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Toronto. For more information on travel, visit the Turks & Caicos Islands Tourist Board Web site at www.turksandcaicostourism.com or call (800) 241-0824.