An invitation to visit the (safe) heart of the island
Caguas launches new ad campaign with the goal of boosting tourism
By Richard Gutíerrez
When you think about visiting Puerto Rico, the beach and Old San Juan may come to mind instantly. Perhaps visiting El Yunque Rainforest, tasting the delicious food, heading over to places where you can dance the night away, visiting the Culebra islet and even heading over to the Camuy Caves.
While these places sound like the most common spots for tourists, Puerto Rico is much more than the classic tourist sites everyone talks about; its strength is found not only on its beaches or in its national parks, but also in its cities and towns as well, and the mayor of Caguas (known as the heart and center of Puerto Rico by local residents), William Miranda Torres, plans to make his city one of those tourist-friendly cities.
On Wednesday, the mayor launched a brand-new ad campaign known as “Caguas ¡Seguro que sí!” which roughly translates to “Caguas for Sure!” with the intention to stand out and promote the central region’s touristic and cultural attractions. They also make note of the quality of life and financial opportunities the city of Caguas offers to people.
“Our city brings an incomparable quality of life to our residents. We are aware that our city is one of the greatest cities,” the mayor said as he presented the campaign to members of the press and administration employees. “We have it all: safe streets, tourist attractions, diversity in gastronomy and incomparable facilities of all types for the quality of life of all residents and visitors. Besides that, we have a first-order economic ecosystem. Caguas is the ideal place to live; watch as families grow and reach the goals and dreams of entrepreneurs.”
The campaign was introduced in the local arts theater, Centro de Bellas Artes de Caguas, to hundreds of people who were next treated to a video showcasing iconic sports in Caguas and the quality of life in the city.
“To those who ask us if our city is the best place to live, we tell them: Caguas for Sure!” the mayor said during the presentation. “This campaign’s main purpose is to make the beauties of the city stand out, just like its competitive advantage economically and socially. We have everything to offer in both of those aspects; we have worked very hard to make Caguas a family-friendly city with a robust quality of life, a place of cultural and gastronomic experiences, just like our healthy economic system where entrepreneurs can make their business ideas come true.”
The campaign is robust. It boasts 10 commercials, four radio advertisements, a music video, press and billboards. It will also be heavily promoted on social media and a main web page: visitacaguas.com/seguroquesi. Through the ads, the campaign proudly showcases places of tourist interest, gastronomical and cultural spots specifically. It also highlights economic opportunities for new business owners and diversity in facilities such as hospitals, schools and other educational institutions, and commercial centers as well as installations for sports and family recreation.
“Tourism and the attractions of our city have always been acutely important for the economy of Caguas,” Miranda Torres said. “Seemingly we have become an attractive city for investments and competitive advantages for the establishment of new companies. This campaign responds to our efforts to continue attracting visitors and new residents.”
The campaign was also not cheap, as it has been developed and launched thanks to a $1,040,425 investment. It was filmed in Caguas by the company 303 Digital, with most of its actors and actresses residing in the city. It is important to note that the campaign was mounted thanks to funds provided by the program known as Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund, under the federal American Rescue Plan Act, which can be used to address public health emergencies caused by COVID-19 or its negative economic impact. Under the eligible uses it is established that the funds can be used to issue communication efforts as a way of mitigating or preventing damages.
While videos and images are colorful and enjoyable, actions speak louder than words. The city can create the biggest, most expensive ad campaign it wants, but without improving the city, the words would be muted. During the press conference, the mayor stated that the necessary actions have already been taken, even directly speaking about the new security measures that will soon be implemented in the city, which the STAR previously reported on.
“All security projects are still ongoing,” noted municipal security chief Col. Luis F. Miranda. “We talked about the body cams our police officers will have -- they are already here; all that’s left is to properly educate our officers on how to use them.”All vehicles are here as well; all that’s left is to assign them. Some of the projects take a little longer, specifically the drones. We are currently in the process of advancing these projects. I can assure you that 80% of all projects in the area of security are going to be finished by mid-October.”
When asked about the economic support needed to make Caguas even better for small businesses, especially the ones in the local marketplace, the mayor said that “in the past few years, there have been over $25 million investments in the infrastructure of the city, and this year we are investing $7 million more, so that way we introduce new visitors to a clean and well-structured city.”
Zamia Baerga, the municipal secretary of economic development, also commented specifically on the local marketplace and local businesses.
“The marketplace is a very important local spot for our city and administration. We are aware of the artisans that are in the marketplace and want to use this to our advantage to make the marketplace more appealing to the general public and tourists,” Baerga said. “Precisely because of that, after Hurricane Maria we started a process of infrastructure renovation and beautification around the entire city; this process should be starting in the local marketplace in the next few weeks.”