The local government of San Jose under the administration of Mayor Antonio B. Chavez recently conducted the 1st San Jose Tourism Focused Group Discussions and Exploratory Conference held at Port Alfred Hotel & Resort in Dolo, San Jose, Camarines Sur. The 3-day activity held last January 27, 28, and 29, 2015 was participated in by three groups, namely: the Planners and Initiators, the Providers and Frontliners, and the Investors and Producers.

Mr. Diosdado Valencia, the Tourism Officer-Designate of LGU-San Jose initiated the conduct of the said conference with the theme: “Why Tourism, San Jose, Where?,” which aims to explore and maximize potentials on tourism as a vehicle towards development, sustainability, profitability and integration. This would eventually locate and encourage both the public and private stakeholders to engaged intensively in the tourism industry as it would become a priority alternative for socio-economic activity as well as job-generation opportunity to be provided by the local government of San Jose. Therefore, the expected output would be a comprehensive Tourism Master Plan to be implemented by the LGU.

Mayor Chavez cited during his welcome message saying that he believes that San Jose has a strong potential to become one of the tourism destinations with its God-given natural tourism resources such as the 11-kilometer shoreline, undersea diving spot located between Barangay Tagas and Calalahan, as well as the caves in Adiangao, and many other historical sites that date back the Spanish colonial period like the Catholic Church and the Seminary, and the Municipal Building, the Bodega and Moro watchtowers and many others that when given closer attention to be developed as tourism spots would likely propel the local economy and eventually provide local employment for everyone. He said that there will be a series of consultative meetings and conferences to be undertaken to realize his ultimate goal and objectives on tourism as one of his priority areas for industry development in the town.

The conference was organized into three major lectures. The first lecture was about the Republic Act No. 9593 known as the Tourism Act of 2009, its highlights as well as the National Tourism Program for the Bicol Region. The lecture was delivered by Mr. Bobby G. Gigantone, the Training Officer and Events Promotions Coordinator of the Regional Office 5 of the Department of Tourism based in Legazpi City. The second lecture entitled, “Camarines Sur, an Emerging Tourism Destination in the South” was personally delivered by Hon. Angel G. Naval, Chairman of the Committee on Tourism of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Camarines Sur; and the last lecture entitled, “Highlights and Updates of Partido Tourism,” delivered by Ms. Recha Isabel Punzalan-Quinn, Head of the Planning Division of the Partido Development Authority based in Tigaon, Camarines Sur.