CommuniQuest Incentive Travel Digest (Semimonthly)

Page 1


Year 10 Vol. 1, Issue 167

Directory Jose-Manuel GARCIA, CDS Visionary, Founder, & Master Coach Jose-Manuel (Manolo) GARCIA, CIS, CMS, CCM President Francisco BAEZA, DMCP Vice President

Cover Subject:


Page 4 • Mexico City & Central Mexico Pages 5-7 • Cancun & Riviera Maya Pages 8, 9

Trinidad SANCHEZ General Comptroller

• •

Raquel MIJARES, CIS, DMCP Corporate Marketing Director

Quick Hits Pages 12, 13 Advertise with CommuniQuest Page 16

Julia ORTIZ Quality Director Alejandro PECH Electronic Publishing Omar GALLEGOS Content & Editing

Costa Rica Page 10 Panama Page 11

Pages 14, 15

Dr. Travel’s - Travel Tip: Feast for Less

David MIS Design

Page 17 © Copyright 2018. All Rights Reserved.

Destination Offices Mexico


Central America

IVI DMC² Los Cabos Yazmin ELOSEGUI, DMCP Destination Managing Director

IVI DMC² Cuba Alejandro DEBASA, CMS Regional Managing Director

IVI DMC² Costa Rica Ligia VARGAS, CIS Regional Managing Director

IVI DMC² Puerto Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit & Central Mexico, Jaime NELO, CMS, DMCP Destination Managing Director

IVI DMC² Dominican Republic Ramon RIJO, CIS Regional Managing Director

IVI DMC² Panama David JOHNSON, CIS Associate Regional Managing Director

IVI DMC² Cancun & Riviera Maya Raquel MIJARES, CIS, DMCP Corporate Marketing Director


Message From Headquarters Dear reader, Wouldn’t you agree that it is important to get acquainted with new customs and foods and be adventurous about them. Raw sea urchin anybody? Well, maybe not that open minded. Some come to Latin America and when they discover the wealth and freshness of our foods and produce they fall in love with them. They realize that there’s no need for canning and freezing here! Rich in history and culture, Latin American’s cuisine is full of flavorful ingredients and spices. The region is home to a wide variety of culinary delights, each using a distinctive combination of spices and fresh ingredients. Every country has its own one-of-a kind dishes and specialties to sample, as well as its own popular regional condiments, such as guacamole, pico de gallo, and tostones. Join us on a mouthwatering tour of this cuisine, starting with dishes that are found across the region, and then taking a closer look at some regional specialties. Sincerely, Jose-Manuel (Manolo) GARCIA, CIS, CMS, CCM President IVI DMC2 Enterprises

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Serve customers through our international certifications ISO 9001 and ADMC; ensuring 100% customer satisfaction of incentives, conventions, and special events; providing memorable experiences in each of the destinations in which we operate; maximizing return of investment to shareholders.

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PUERTO VALLARTA & RIVERA NAYARIT RESTAURANT WEEK 2018: BIGGER AND BETTER THAN EVER Puerto Vallarta & Riviera Nayarit are considered the third greatest gastronomical destination in Latin America. Its local dishes, which include stunning seafood, meat brought directly from the local ranches, and the freshest, most delicious fruits and vegetables from the region, melt with delicacies created and brought from all over Mexico and the world, getting wows out from the most experienced connoisseurs. The fourteenth edition of Restaurant Week 2018 will take place from May 15 to June 10 with the participation of 59 restaurants located in Puerto Vallarta and the Riviera Nayarit. During the festival, the participating restaurants will offer special three-course menus (appetizer, entrĂŠe, and dessert), with three options for each at a fixed price (not including beverages or tip). Restaurant Week began in 2005 with the support of the Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Trust and sponsored by Primera Piedra Vinos de Chile. It was inspired by the culinary events that take place in important tourism destinations around the world.


MEXICO CITY AND CENTRAL MEXICO Let’s begin our gastronomic tour in


Oaxaca is frequently called "the land of the seven moles," in reference to the state's most famous, and lusted-after sauces that envelop all kinds of braised meat. But, what is a mole anyway? It’s a style of sauce made from roasted ingredients that are then ground together and slow simmered to allow the varied flavors to blend and play off one another in a way that no single ingredient might be detected. The result is rich, complex, diverse, complementary flavors. In Oaxaca, you can find different kinds of street snacks and market meals such as tlayudas or chapulines (grasshoppers). A tlayuda consists of a large semi-dried tortilla, sometimes glazed with a thin layer of unrefined pork lard called asiento, and topped with refried beans, tomatoes, avocadoes, and some variation of meat (chorizo, tasajo or cecina, or shredded chicken tinga). It can either be served open, or when it’s cooked on a charcoal grill, folded in half. One is often enough to feed two people. The tlayudas are part of the Oaxacan dishes that were declared Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 2010, as well as mole oaxaqueño and chapulines. Grasshoppers anyone? In Nahuatl "chapoli" means grasshoppers. It is common to find them in some markets of the country. They are commonly boiled in salted water, then toasted and accompanied by lemon. The consumption of insects was common among pre-Hispanic cultures.


Puebla There are three great sauces in Poblano cooking: mole, pipian, and adobo. Many fun conversations about Pueblan cuisine begin with mole poblano, considered by many to be Mexico's signature dish. Depending on who's behind the stove, it might be smokier, sweeter, earthier, or spicier. While the roster of ingredients fluctuates, you'll always find dried chilies (like mulatto, pasilla, and ancho), a light dose of chocolate, nuts for thickening and toasted sesame seeds for garnishing, spices like allspice and cinnamon, and fresh and dried fruits including plantains and raisins. While Oaxaca is famously said to have seven moles, Puebla continues to be defined by mole poblano alone. The second of Puebla's great sauces is pipian, hallmarked by the pre-Columbian technique of browning seeds to release their oils and then grinding them into an oily paste. In Puebla, the most popular form is verde, made with pepitas, spices, broth, and fresh chilies; the Totonacs in the north also make pipian blanco with coriander and peanuts.

Another typical delicacy is the chiles en nogada, normally prepared in the months of August and September. They are green chilies stuffed with ground beef, prepared with peaches, pine nuts, apples and covered with walnut sauce, which is called "nogada". They are served sprinkled with pomegranate seeds and garnished with parsley. The origin of this dish dates back to the days of the independence of Mexico. It was originally created by the nuns of the Santa Monica convent. In addition to food and snacks, sweets have a very special place in the cuisine of Puebla. Some of which stand out are the dulce de camote (mashed sweetened tubers of different flavors); the jamoncillos (walnut bricks finely ground or pumpkin seeds, sweetened); bunuelos (squares of fried flour served with Mexican molasses or sugar); alfajores (traditionally a Spanish sweet with goat milk toffee sandwiched between two corn starch cookies); polvorones (cookies); cicadas; turrones (a Spanish sweet made of ground almonds); mueganos (cookies that are round or square and not too sweet); macaroni; borrachitos (literally "little drunks"), these are gummy sweets with alcohol); garapinados; and the list goes on! 6

Mexico City This metropolis could well be recognized as the mecca for Taco. The most ubiquitous and famed Mexican dish, the taco, remains a favorite of Mexican cuisine. There are numerous variations, but the true taco should be made with corn tortillas and be topped with cebollita y cilantro (onion and coriander). Tacos al pastor (spit-roasted, pineapple infused pork) are the perfect introduction to this famous dish. A similarly Mexico City based phenomenon comes in the form of the cheese-less quesadilla. When you order a quesadilla anywhere else in the country, the assumption is that cheese comes as standard. In the capital, however, you must specify that you want the queso in your quesadilla — or you’ll end up cheese-less and disappointed. Try and find a street vendor which sells them in beautiful blue corn tortillas and choose as many extra fillings as you like.

Some of the Mexican antojitos found literally everywhere on the streets, are the elotes and esquites. With elote, you order an ear of juicy corn, grilled or boiled, slathered in mayo, showered with cotija cheese and chili powder, and squeezed with lime. Esquites are similar in spirit but easier to eat: the kernels are shaved from the cob, cooked in chicken broth with herbaceous epazote (wormseed), ladled into a plastic cup, and topped with mayo, cheese, and chili.


Cancun & Riviera Maya Gastronomy in Quintana Roo is one of its main attractions, especially in tourist areas such as Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, Isla Mujeres, Holbox, Bacalar, and Tulum. Ours is a destination that has more than 3,000 restaurants offering an array of local and international cuisine. The offer is very wide, being possible to find diverse establishments that feature all kinds of vegetarian dishes, the exquisite flavors of the Mayan kitchen, the southern cuisine mixed with Belize and English flavors, the tasty typical Caribbean food of the coast and islands, and the most sophisticated gourmet food in restaurants. Traditional mestizo and Mayan food are rich in spices, grains, and meats.

Antojitos (Snacks) Enchiladas quintanarroenses: the tortillas are lightly fried in pork lard and passed through a sauce made with ancho and pasilla chiles, almonds and peanuts, all ground with chicken broth. They are then stuffed with shredded chicken and garnished with onion and cheese. Empanadas de cazon: They are made of corn dough stuffed with shredded dogfish stewed with onion, tomato and epazote, and then fried.


Main Course The most famous dish from Quintana Roo is the sea snail ceviche. The mollusk is first softened and then cut into small pieces that are cooked with lemon. Afterwards, we add chopped onion and tomato. You can also add chopped serrano to your liking. In Cozumel you must eat the extraordinary king crab legs, famous for its remarkable size. Try them steamed with garlic butter and lemon. It is a unique delicacy; there is nothing like it! Makum de repollo (cabbage). It is pork loin in pieces marinated in orange juice with pepper, cumin, and oregano. It is then placed in a casserole alternating layers of meat, sliced cabbage and tomato and onion in slices. It is covered and braised over low heat.

Sea snail ceviche

Desserts Mammee apple dessert is prepared with mashed fresh mammee, egg yolks, sugar, cinnamon and milk, and it is then simmered. After this, whipped egg whites are added to nougat point. Coconut empanadas are made of wheat flour stuffed with grated coconut cooked with sugar and cinnamon.


Costa Rica

The World Tourism Organization emphatically says gastronomy is becoming one of the most important incentives for travel. And as any educated traveler knows, gastronomy pertains to the relationship between food and culture, the art of preparing and serving rich or delicate and appetizing food, a style of cooking from particular region, and the science of good eating.

Let us mention that in general, when it comes to local traditional cuisine here, there are three main sources. One is the Central Valley tradition where some regular dishes are the main staple throughout the week, such as olla de carne, casados, gallo pinto and a variety of seasoned and saucy meats and white cheeses. In addition, the ticos of the interior also adopted some of the dishes from the Guanacaste region to their regular diet, that included a lot of recipes made of corn, among them: tamales, pozole, mazamorra, chorreadas, cosposas, vaho, vigorón, corn cakes, rosquillas, etc. There is also the influence of the Caribbean region with those recipes with savory spices and coconut milk so fully enjoyed by all the ticos, such as rice and beans which isn’t just mere rice and beans but a full course accompanied by your meat choice in a delicious spicy sauce, usually chicken, fish or even pork; different kinds of seafood either fried or in soups with their own exclusive Caribbean touch and flavor, are also part of the offer.

And then as a last factor shaping up Costa Rica’s creole cuisine, we have to add all the European, Asiatic and African influence in some form or another. The Caribbean side of Costa Rica has a rich history that is reflected in its irresistible food!


Panama The regional cuisine of Panama blends perfectly the various cultural influences that make up the Panamanian identity. Our cuisine is multicultural and tropical, and delicious, a mix of African, Spanish, and Native American techniques, dishes, and ingredients. If you visit us, the dining experience will gratify you with delightful surprises because the army of creative chefs of the new generation, have found ways to combine in great ways the traditional dishes of the old world, Asia and Europe with this regional local cuisine. Since Panama is a land bridge between two continents, it has a large variety of tropical fruits, vegetables and herbs that are used in native cooking. Because of being surrounded by two oceans, there is plentiful of fresh and high quality seafood and fish and that gives our chefs plenty of resources to work with and be creative.

Let us mention a few of the typical Panamanian dishes that you will partake of when dining around. There are lots of corn-based meals, such as tortillas, tamales, bollos or corn dough wrapped in corn husk or plantain leaves and boiled. Torrejitas (pastelitos) de maíz is a fresh corn fritter. Tortilla Changa is a thick tortilla made out of fresh corn. Almojábanos are "S" shaped corn fritters. Empanadas are made with either flour or corn and stuffed with meats, cheese, and sometimes sweet fillings, such as fruit marmalade or manjar blanco (dulce de leche). Carimañola is similar to empanadas but made from yuca—manioc. Sancocho, which is a tasty soup or stew, is somewhat like the pot a feu of the French cuisine, made with large chunks of meat, tubers and vegetables. Ropa vieja, similar as the Cuban version, consists of shredded or pulled stewed beef with vegetables. And then, some very interesting desserts with very unique Panamanian names like bocado de la reina, plátanos en tentación, cabanga, manjar blanco, mamallena, etc. Also, there are some good and tasty typical local beverages like chicha, chicheme, sorrel, and resbaladera.


10 Exotic Fruits of the Riviera Nayarit

Did you know the state of Nayarit is truly an orchard land? It is one of the most fertile places for the cultivation of delicious tropical fruits. According to the Secretariat of Agriculture, the coastal municipalities have approximately 500 hectares and over 250 producers in Nayarit dedicated to the planting, harvesting and commercialization of these fruits. Below is a list of 10 exotic fruits from the Riviera Nayarit. A trip to this tourism destination would be a fantastic opportunity to try them all! 1 Chicozapote and Zapote Negro (Sapodilla). Some have called it the king of flavor—and that’s not far from the truth! Its juicy pulp tastes very much like a pear and is truly delicious. In pre-Hispanic times, the Aztecs—who believed in its healing properties—called this fruit tzapotl. Its name stems from the Nahuatl word chictli, which means chicle, or gum. The zapote negro is very prolific in Nayarit; when it’s ripe it turns green on the outside and brown on the inside and tastes sort of like chocolate. This fruit is harvested from August through January. 2 Huaya or Mamoncillo (Spanish Lime). This fruit is also known as talpajocote, guayo, maco, limoncillo or quenepa. This is a sweet, small pink or light orange drupe. It can be eaten fresh, canned or even soaked in moonshine. It’s said to contain vitamins B1, B3, B6, and B12, as well as minerals, amino acids, and unsaturated fatty acids.


3 Maracuyá (Passion Fruit). Maracuyá is one of the best-known exotic fruits in the world. Though Brazil is the main producer, it has been cultivated very successfully in Nayarit. Its taste is bittersweet and refreshing, and it has a round or oval exterior and a large number of seeds inside covered with pulp. This fruit is found from October to April. 4 Mamey (Mammee Apple). When traveling by road through the Riviera Nayarit, it’s common to see vendors in the stretches between towns on either side of the road selling this fruit. It’s very bright salmon-colored exterior covers a pulp that tastes like honey and almonds. This pulp is creamy, soft and sweet—perfect for ice cream, shakes, and desserts. It is produced mainly between January and July. 5 Mano de Buda (Fingered Citron). It belongs to the citrus family, and its fruit is fragmented in sections that resemble fingers or tentacles. It’s venerated in some Oriental cultures because it looks like the Buddha’s hand in prayer, ergo the curious name. It has a slightly sweet taste and its color varies from green to yellow as it ripens. It’s also very aromatic, which is why it’s used in China and Japan to perfume rooms and closets, as well as for liqueurs and cocktails. 6 Mangostán (Mangosteen). According to some, this delicious fruit has healing properties and for centuries it has been used in traditional medicine in different parts of the country. It can be found in the town of Aticama, very close to the port of San Blas. It’s also known as the mangostino or jobo de la India. 7 Yaca (Jackfruit). This fruit is also known as the árbol del pan and it elicits pretty intense reactions: you either hate it or love it. Although it tastes sweet, it can be overly so, and some people find its odor off-putting. The yaca arrived in the Americas in the 18th century from Indonesia and Malaysia. It stands out for its large size, with a diameter anywhere from 25 to 60 centimeters and can weigh up to 20 kilos; its flavor is close to a combination of banana, melon and papaya. It’s also known for its anti-asthmatic and anti-diarrheal properties. 8 Graviola (Soursop). Also known as guanábana. The state of Nayarit is a top producer of guanábana on a national level, with 16 thousand tons per year. About one thousand families are dedicated to this crop, with two thousand hectares being cultivated. It’s also exported to the U.S., Europe, and Asia. It has a delicious bittersweet flavor which is great in desserts, ice creams, frozen pops, juices, marmalades, and candies. The guanábana is also said to have healing properties. 9 Rambután (Rambutan). This fruit originated in the Malaysian archipelago. The name means hairy in that language due to its unique appearance. It has an intense red color and its flavor is a mixture of coconut, pineapple, grapes and lychee. Even though it hails from Asia, the rambután has become so popular that it’s also being grown in other countries including Mexico and Hawaii. 10 Litchi (Lychee). Litchi is perhaps one of the best known and valued fruits, especially in the culinary arena and in the preparation of cocktails. It’s known as lichi, lychee, leechep, leche, lin-chi or litchi. The name lee-chee, means provider of the joy of living. This fruit is sweet, small, translucent, and white on the inside. The state of Nayarit is so rich, that besides the aforementioned fruits, one can also find other tropical delights such as mango, pineapple, guava, nanci or nanche (nance fruit), pitahaya (dragonfruit), carambolo (starfruit), tamarind, plum, marañón (cashew apple), and bananas.




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IVI DMC² World Headquarters: Ave. Acanceh #1-01, SM 15 Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mx Phone: +52 (998) 287-1700 Email: Serving the meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions industry since 1986. Find us in over 40 destinations throughout: • • • • •

Mexico Cuba Dominican Republic Costa Rica Panama

For further information on the fine hotels, deals, activities, and group packages mentioned in this travel digest, please contact: Raquel MIJARES


Dr.Travel’s: Feast for Less • Eat your main meal at lunch when prices are lower. • Look for the reduced prices of the “Early Bird Special.” • Stay at hotels that offer complimentary breakfast or

“I will not eat oysters. I want my food dead – not sick, not wounded – dead.” - Woody Allen

hors d’oeuvres. • Select food from a nearby grocery or supermarket and have a picnic in the park or in your room. • Join the frequent stayer programs for each hotel chain where you stay more than twice a year. Your monthly statements often contain upgrades and special offers for dining in the hotel. • Upgrade to the concierge level or club level. Breakfast hors d’oeuvres and late night snacks are part of each of the amenities. Some club levels, like the Ritz Carlton, offer up to five food presentations throughout the day. (Taken from page 229)

James Feldman, (a.k.a. Doctor Travel) is a Certified Facilitator and internationally recognized professional motivator, author, television host, and radio personality. His company Incentive Travelers Cheque Int’l provides individual and group incentive travel awards for many Fortune 500 companies. His book “Doctor’s Travel Cure For The Common Trip” is an entertaining and invaluable travel guide whose purpose is not to tell you where to go, but rather to help you get ready for the adventure. CommuniQuest is pleased to share some of Mr. Feldman’s travel wisdom with our readers, who from time to time must deal with lines, cancellations, lost luggage, and a person in the adjacent seat making extensive use of the air sickness bag. Reprinted by permission from the Author:

THANK YOU FOR READING Like life in general, the M&E Industry seems to move at the speed of light. As a committed B2B partner, we aim to help you keep up with the latest industry news and opportunities. CommuniQuest Incentive Travel Digest is a valuable tool that brings you the timely information and analysis that you need, with a lair for what's hot, relevant, & interesting. I wish you the best of success in your quest, whatever it may be.

Jose-Manuel GARCIA, CDS Visionary, Founder, & Master Coach