In San Jose de Buenavista, Antique, a significant boost in the local tourism sector has been achieved through the Department of Tourism - Regional Office 6 (DOT-Western Visayas), which has accredited 146 establishments and services. This accomplishment stems from the proactive initiatives of the Antique Provincial Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office (APTCAO) over the past year.

By Feb. 26, a diverse range of tourism-related services and establishments received a two-year accreditation. This includes 71 community guides, 32 Mabuhay accommodations with fewer than four bedrooms, 12 recreation facilities, along with resorts and restaurants (7 each), 5 hotels, 3 homestay and travel and tour agencies, 2 specialty shops, 1 agricultural tourism farm/site, and 1 organizer for meetings, incentives, conventions, and events (MICE), alongside a tourist transport land operator.

Juan Carlos Perlas, the chief of APTCAO, highlighted the economic benefits of this surge in tourism industry accreditation during a press conference. "Our goal is to foster job creation and stimulate economic growth within the province by aiding establishments and services in obtaining DOT accreditation," Perlas explained. He also mentioned the deployment of staff to facilitate the accreditation process.

The growth in the number of accredited establishments has been remarkable, rising from just eight in 2021 to 86 in 2022. To expedite the accreditation applications, APTCAO personnel even arranged for DOT Regional Office 6 in Iloilo City to conduct on-site inspections of the establishments and services in Antique.

Perlas emphasized the advantages of being accredited, stating that DOT-certified establishments and services are given preference due to their recognized standards, which include essential amenities like information desks, parking lots, and clean bedrooms and bathrooms. Additionally, accreditation serves as a prerequisite for accessing funding, support, and training assistance from the DOT.

Inclusion in the tourism circuit and itineraries for DOT’s guests is another benefit, enabling participation in various travel fairs and promotional activities, both locally and internationally. Accredited tour guides are provided with DOT accreditation cards, and tour operators receive endorsements for access passes at international and domestic airports, further enhancing the tourism infrastructure in Antique.