Carlos Mercado Santiago, executive director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Co. (PRTC), announced the launch of the Cultural Tourism Program, which the public corporation has developed with the aim of refocusing and strengthening promotion and marketing efforts, both locally and abroad, of the variety of cultural and heritage assets of the island.
Among the initiatives grouped under this program, the PRTC recently signed an interagency agreement with the Musical Arts Corp. (CAM, Spanish acronym), through which a series of videos will be co-produced. The series will include 12 musical pieces performed by the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra.
The content, produced under the collaborative alliance between both government entities, will be used to promote destination in the internal tourism platforms of the PRTC —Voy Turisteando—, as well as by the Destination Marketing Organization (DMO), Discover Puerto Rico, for its promotional efforts abroad. Similarly, the CAM will use digital media and social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to publish the content.
"This is one of the first initiatives that we are developing under the Cultural Tourism Program of the PRTC, with the purpose of continuing to strengthen the cultural offer of our destination and promoting the evolution of this niche market, adapting to the current needs of our sector. For this reason, we are satisfied with the alliance formed with CAM, which makes the Puerto Rico Tourism Co. the main presenter of the series of videos, framed in places of great tourist attraction on the island, with musical pieces performed by musicians from the prestigious Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra. In addition, this agreement is consistent with the public policy of Gov. Pedro Pierluisi, who seeks to reconceptualize the function of cultural preservation," Mercado stated.
CAM Interim Director Darnie Muñoz Marrero said that the coronavirus “has had a devastating economic impact on the artistic and cultural sector. Through this initiative, our desire is to make various regions of Puerto Rico visible, thus promoting Cultural Tourism through the artistic excellence of the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra. Our board of directors and all of us who work at the Musical Arts Corporation are proud of this initiative and we hope that it will be the first of many initiatives together with the Puerto Rico Tourism Co."
The musical pieces will be filmed around the Island highlighting cultural and tourist attractions, which will position Puerto Rico as a destination for high-caliber cultural tourism. Among the localities, established with the PRTC and the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture (ICP), to film the musical pieces are: Fortín San Jerónimo, in San Juan; the Porta Coeli Religious Art Museum, in San Germán; the Cautiño House, in Guayama; and the Dos Bocas Lake, in Utuado, among others.
Under this program, during last Easter a series of videos was published on the Voy Turisteando platform presenting the Porta Atlántico Sagrado Route, with the architect Astrid Díaz, on a tour of the municipalities of the northern area. The goal is to highlight the cultural and heritage attractions that are part of this route designed by the PRTC.
Other initiatives under development within the PRTC's Cultural Tourism Program include: plastic and performing arts events, exhibitions, international fairs and festivals, the promotion of exchanges, cultural routes and programs, and business training, among others. In addition, an agreement will be created with the ICP to have their expertise and knowledge and work together to create synergies in events and initiatives aimed at continuing to promote Puerto Rican culture.
“We join the commitment of the Tourism Co. and this Cultural Tourism project with our musical flag, the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra, and the beauty of our built historical heritage which we are proud to preserve. We believe that through the arts, culture and our built historical heritage we have the best letter of introduction that we can offer to the world and that will distinguish us from other destinations. We are proud to be part of this initiative and that our museums and parks full of history and culture have been used as a stage," said Carlos Ruiz Cortés, executive director of the ICP.
"At the Puerto Rico Tourism Co. we are committed to continue working in collaboration with our industry partners, municipal entities and government agencies so that our Island maintains its position as a world-class destination. The export of our culture through tourism is an ideal way to ensure its conservation over time, and in turn, represents a key tool for economic development on the island," Mercado added.