Who among us realized that yesterday was International Mermaid Day? Yes, there really is such a thing. Most people might even know how to celebrate the ancient folkloric beings that occupy such a prominent place in our cultural consciousness, aside from sporting the signature Starbucks siren on their morning coffee cup.
Still, these mythological creatures of the deep are destined to enjoy their moment in the sun this year. With the recent release of Disney's full-length trailer for its upcoming live-action film, 'The Little Mermaid', merpeople are poised to occupy the pop-cultural spotlight in 2023.
In honor of International Mermaid Day-and capitalizing on the public's renewed fascination with these fabled half-humans-Tourism New Zealand has partnered with PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) to launch an incredible trip giveaway featuring an aquatic theme.
The lucky U.S. traveler who wins the International Mermaid Day contest will receive the ultimate escape to New Zealand, where they'll get to experience the island nation's extraordinary underwater worlds. The prize will cover the cost of flights, accommodations and the opportunity to become a certified PADI Mermaid.
Thanks to a new PADI Mermaid Program, kids and adults alike can now realize their childhood fantasies of following in Ariel's fin-steps, and becoming a real-life Mermaid or Merman themselves! It's true, "mermaiding" has been developed into an actual sporting activity, which anyone over the age of six can learn.
Special mermaiding equipment and fun costume elements allow divers to explore submarine environments in a fashion formerly confined to the realms of fantasy. Launched globally in 2021, PADI's Mermaid Program, courses and certification are gaining momentum worldwide among folks who feel their real home is in the ocean.
The fantastical practice involves freediving elements, combined with a mermaid tail (or 'monofin') and fun costuming choices. Thanks to PADI's state-of-the-art instructional design practices, students learn to breath-hold, swim with a tail, assess ocean conditions, and protect and respect all marine life.
The lucky person who wins the International Mermaid Day competition will receive their mermaid training through the Discover Scuba Experience at the renowned international dive site, Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve. Submissions are being accepted online, now through April 26, 2023.
"It's no secret our natural environment is part of what makes us an extraordinary destination to explore. But there is more here than meets the eye; our unique geography and climate create wondrous worlds above and below the surface for those travelers curious to discover all that Aotearoa, New Zealand has to offer," said René de Monchy, Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive.
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