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Destino Hack Summit to focus on best practices to promote P.R.’s economic development

Foundation for Puerto Rico announced details of its event — Destino Hack Summit, the first conference in the Caribbean focused on technology and innovation in the Visitor Economy, whose purpose is the economic development of the island.

The Destino Hack Summit, which will be held Oct. 5 will feature regional executives from technology and tourism companies, such as Google, TripAdvisor, Airbnb, Skift, Evertec, Puerto Rico Tourism Company and Discover Puerto Rico, among others.

These will address topics such as understanding visitor search patterns and improving discovery on the web; leveraging digital innovation for Puerto Rico; improving Puerto Rico’s image; tourism and digital transformation; content for a digital age; alternative lodging; Puerto Rico as a global innovation hub; the future of travel; and seven habits of effective businesses on TripAdvisor, among others, organizers said.

Foundation for Puerto Rico will present its study on digital presence in Puerto Rico and launch its initiative that seeks to attract more visitors to the island and extend their stay by sharing information with travel platforms.

“Our organization aims to transform Puerto Rico into a destination for the world and we are proud to be a catalyst for the gathering of international and local leaders to promote economic development, especially by supporting our entrepreneurs with the necessary tools to prosper,” said Foundation for Puerto Rico President Annie Mayol.

Likewise, the conference will feature a startup showcase, expo and various opportunities to present the most innovative products and services in the Visitor Economy.

“The government of Puerto Rico is committed to using innovation as a vehicle to transform the tourism sector and the Visitor Economy to position ourselves as the most competitive destination,” said Tourism Co. Executive Director Carla Campos.

“Destino Hack allows us to share the different technological solutions generated by the actors of the Visitor Economy to align efforts,” she said.

For her part, Alma Pedrosa, CFO of Discover Puerto Rico, pointed out that “studies carried out by our marketing team revealed that the so-called baby boomers predominate in the demographic of visitors to Puerto Rico, so technology will be crucial to attract the so-called ‘millennials’ to visit the island, as well as other segments of the population.”

The hackers will collaborate in the solutions to the technological problems presented by the Visitor Economy.

On Oct. 6, the Foundation for Puerto Rico will celebrate a “hackathon” at the Colaboratorio in Santurce.

It will gather approximately 150 hackers (programmers, designers, entrepreneurs) and 50 mentors, who for 24 consecutive hours will develop applications and technological solutions focused on improving the visitor experience. The teams will compete for cash prizes and destination experiences.

Companies like Google, TripAdvisor and Airbnb will share their data, tools and mentors. Foundation for Puerto Rico will also share access to its database of more than 8,000 points of interest in Puerto Rico, ViewPR.

“Technology provides us with the opportunity to make great changes and improve the visitor’s experience because our goal is for more people to visit, live, work and study in Puerto Rico,” said Damaris Ocasio, CFO and ViewPR lead of Foundation for Puerto Rico.

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