The Northeastern Technological Initiative, known as INTENE, is looking to establish a marketing identity for the 10-town region it represents through the recent launch of the “Name the eastern tourism region” campaign. The effort is one component of a multi-pronged plan the nonprofit group has to boost economic activity along the island’s northeastern flanks.
For that effort, INTENE is joining forces with the Central Eastern Technological Initiative, or INTECO, and the Tourism Company to gather suggestions for the brand it will use to “promote the natural beauty and tourist attractions that make us a unique destination worldwide,” said INTENE Executive Director Edgardo Agrait, during a gathering last week.
Once chosen, the INTENE region would join the west’s “Portal del Sol” and the south’s “Porta Caribe” regions, which for several years conducted cohesive economic initiatives in benefit of the towns they represent under a single brand.
The “properties,” as Tourism Co. Executive Director Mario González called the brands, have helped reposition the regions and helped boost Puerto Rico as a travel destination.
“What’s important is integrating and working hand-in-hand with the private sector as we have been doing at the Tourism Company,” said González, after highlighting the INTENE region as diverse and rich in attractions for different markets, including nature and adventure. The region plays host to five four-star hotels, seven golf courses, and the El Yunque National Rainforest, among other attractions.
Founded in August 2006, INTENE works to benefit residents and businesses in Carolina, Trujillo Alto, Canóvanas, Río Grande, Loíza, Luquillo, Fajardo, Ceiba, Vieques and Culebra. Ten college campuses and 10 private-sector organizations contribute to the group’s ongoing efforts.
Full agenda in place
Aside from seeking its identifying brand, INTENE has a full economic and educational development agenda in place for the months ahead, Agrait said.
Before year’s end INTENE plans to inaugurate its first “TecnológicaMENTE” technology library in Fajardo, in collaboration with the municipal government.
“The vision of this select group of leading men and women allows those who join this common goal to become agents of change for our society facing the great challenge before us today,” said Fajardo Mayor Aníbal Meléndez, who also chairs INTENE’s board.
Also in the works is developing a web portal through which INTENE will provide hosting services to website created by companies and entrepreneurs doing business in the region. The nonprofit is also looking to offer training sessions to entrepreneurs on how to develop web sites, e-marketing applications and provide the technological tools needed to advance online.
For that purpose, INTENE recently received a $25,000 donation from the Citi Foundation, which focuses on the development of microfinance, microenterprise, small business, education, financial education and asset building.
“By forming an alliance with INTENE, Citi delivers on its commitment to support this sector of the Puerto Rican economy,” said Citi Puerto Rico CEO Raymond Gatcliffe. “Our organization is confident that other companies committed to INTENE’s mission and vision of technological, business, education and tourism development will contribute to our region’s economic development.”