Tourism/Transportation

Gov’t to spend $700K to use ‘Despacito’ to promote PR

Puerto Rican artists Daddy Yankee and Luis Fonsi filmed the video for “Despacito” in Old San Juan’s La Perla community, which has seen a spike in visits since the song became a global hit.

The Puerto Rico Tourism Co. announced it will integrate the worldwide musical hit “Despacito,” by local artist Luis Fonsi, into upcoming initiatives to promote the island as a tourist destination.

Furthemore, Fonsi will become the island’s official ambassador around the world, ramping up Puerto Rico’s visibility during the singer’s “Love & Dance World Tour” concerts, Tourism Co. Executive Director José Izquierdo said.

“The increase in the interest generated among consumers abroad to learn more about our island, following the popularity of ‘Despacito,’ is an undeniable fact,” said Izquierdo, of the song whose video has been watched more than 3 billion times on YouTube, becoming the most played video of all time.

Fonsi, along with rapper Daddy Yankee and former Miss Universe Zuleyka Rivera filmed the video in the La Perla neighborhood in Old San Juan, which has seen a surge in tourist visits by people wanting to see where the stars gathered.

The agency will invest $700,000 on the marketing efforts, and other elements, including acquiring the rights to use the song, the right to use the artist’s image and other tangible benefits that have been negotiated with the aim of steering consumers to consider taking a vacation in Puerto Rico.

“Part of our administration’s economic development strategy is to increase the number of people who visit and stay on the island,” Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said during a news conference at La Fortaleza. The agreement is valid through July 2018.

“‘Despacito’ presents the ideal situation to offer a varied, secure and exciting tourist destination. We thank Luis Fonsi for putting his talents at Puerto Rico’s disposal,” said the governor.

Izquierdo added “our challenge and motivation to explore the possibility of a strategic alliance with Luis Fonsi focused on finding suitable mechanisms to convert the increased interest in travel to Puerto Rico into a real conversion of arrivals and visits.”

For his part, Fonsi said “I am very thankful and excited that the Tourism Company has chosen ‘Despacito’ and my ‘Love and Dance Tour’ as part of its promotional campaign for Puerto Rico.”

“Over the next year, I will be working on various efforts to to publicize the wonders of our beautiful island, promoting and helping Puerto Rico to be known in every corner of the world. Being ambassador to the land where I was born fills me with pride,” the artist said.

The Tourism Co. will be using ‘Despacito’ and the artist’s image in 15-, 30- and 60-second videos, digital advertising, publications on social networks and consumer-directed contests, among others, to generate activity and traffic to the agency’s SeePuertoRico.com website.

Aside from the videos he will record to promote the island as a tourism destination, Fonsi will also host several special guests during their visit to the island.

“The longer you stay in Puerto Rico, the better it gets. I am grateful to the Tourism Co. for this opportunity,” Fonsi said in a recorded message.

The internet’s main travel sites have confirmed significant increases in searches by its users about Puerto Rico. “Despacito’s” global reach paved the way several months ago to begin exploring opportunities to integrate the song in Puerto Rico’s destination marketing efforts, government officials said.

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