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Cuba Registers High Growth in Russian Tourist Arrivals A total of 40,621 Russian tourists traveled to Cuba last year, a figure that marked a high growth rate of 39.5% in arrivals from that market as compared to 2007. Russia closed 2008 in ninth place as a tourist market for the island, climbing almost two places in the ranking, since in 2007 it ranked in 11th place. The Russian market was the second to grow the most in 2008. Continued on page 2.

Barbados Wants to be Part of World’s Heritage Tourism Market

With the allocation of $250,000 to the Heritage project, Barbados has given the first step towards fulfilling its goal of being part of the world's heritage tourism market. Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy has disclosed that the money will be spent during the next fiscal year. Continued on page 2.

Santo Domingo Airport Awarded Prize The José Francisco Peña Gómez Las Américas International Airport, located some 20 minutes away from Santo Domingo, was chosen as the best air terminal in the Caribbean during the regional meeting of the Routes-OAS (Official Airports Guide) Airports Marketing. Continued on page 2.

Recovering Cancun Beaches

A beach recovery program will begin in Cancun next April and will attempt to establish a national pilot plan that could be used in other spots in the country. The federal government will initially contribute 285 million pesos. Continued on page 2.

ttc travel trade caribbean • year IX number 178 • march 2009

2 From page one - Cuba Registers High ...

From 2003 to the just concluded 2008, the number of Russian tourist arrivals to Cuba has

been increasing year after year. Therefore, during that period this market has gone up from position 17 to the ninth in the ranking of arrivals. Between 2003 and 2008, the largest of

From page one - Santo Domingo Airport ...

the Antillean islands received 148,350 Russian tourists, the equivalent to 1.2% of the total

of visitors welcomed by Cuba, according to data included in the January 2009 report “Tourism. Principal Indicators” published on the website of the National Office of Statistics (ONE).

From page one - Recovering Cancun Beaches Secretary of Environment and different points and stretches, Natural Resources Juan Rafael are determined through the Elvira explained that the National Institute of Water geotextile net technique will Technology and the Federal be used to create mechanisms Electricity Commission. to protect Cancun’s coastal areas. This will be a long-term plan and will make it possible to He highlighted that after a have a permanent maintenance series of consultations it was and verification so that each established that the federal year, after the storm and government be the one to hurricane season is over, contribute all the resources for the necessary follow up and this project, which will have recovery can be carried out. a long-term development and verification in an attempt to The pilot plan that will be not lose the tourism sector’s put in place in Quintana Roo competitiveness, but especially will open the opportunity so to care for the country’s shores that it can be applied in other and coastlines. areas, among them Jalisco and Veracruz, and has been The federal official mentioned coordinated with the state’s that the most viable government. mechanisms to solve this problem, which especially in Quintana Roo involves a stretch of 3,600 lineal meters in

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According to a press release, the winners for the region were chosen in three categories: North America, South America and the Caribbean. The voting for the Routes-OAS Airports Marketing prize for the Americas region began in mid January. The release adds that during that period the airlines

nominated their favorite airports through the Routes official website: Las Américas International Airport is the Dominican Republic’s principal air terminal and ranks first in the country’s flow of regular passengers.

From page one - Barbados Wants to be... "We have so much heritage here in Barbados, that we have to consider it a worthwhile endeavor. We honestly think we are on to something here," noted rapidly around the world, Sealy while addressing the and some countries in the House of Assembly. According Caribbean have been able to to Sealy, the government and push it. We need to do the same the Ministry of Culture will join in Barbados."

forces to develop the heritage tourism sector targeting first Bridgetown, and the Garrison area. But first, he said, they have to come up as soon as possible with a list of heritage sites in and on the outskirts of the capital as well as the Garrison. "Heritage tourism is growing President Principal Director Director Delegate Manager Publicity Italy Editorial Staff Digital News Services Photo Reporter Design Legal Venue Email & Web News Office for the Caribbean Contact and Information

The $250,000, Sealy noted, will fund the first phase of the project and it's a fraction of the $10 million to boost the tourism sector on the island. The minister stressed that the money will finance a tourism master plan that would look at the constraints on the environment and product development.

Renzo Druetto Giuseppe Ferraris Alfredo Rodriguez Alfredo Rodriguez Ph.D. Josefina Pichardo HairoRodriguez Hairo Rodriguez Jesus Rodriguez Junior Via Diaz, 5, 20037 Paderno Dugnano, Milano, Italia La Habana, Cuba

ttc travel trade caribbean • year IX number 178 • march 2009


Armadores de Santander Approaches Russian Market The Armadores de Santander Hotel stands majestic along the Avenida del Puerto, near the Orthodox Cathedral, a location that favors the boosting of the Russian market. “Approximately two years ago the Russian market was not seen at Armadores de Santander, that is, it was included in the concept of other markets, but strictly speaking was not noticed as a market. With the prospect of the opening of the Russian Orthodox Cathedral and our interest in beginning to operate this market, we began working on this and

language course has organized for the staff.


The CEO said that this leap is more significant if it is taken into account that “we have operations with more than 100 agencies that

market more than 10 different markets. Among the hotel’s 20 principal markets, the Russian one never existed but today it is among the first seven, and with plenty of perspectives for growth. This is the reason it is of great interest to us.” The hotel is getting ready to welcome with excellence the Russian visitors, for whom cocktails and menus common to that country or that respond to their preferences are being prepared. Moreover, a Russian

France, UK, Spain and Holland; Denmark, the United States and Austria rank in eighth to tenth

restaurants and free entrance to museums in the historical center. The Santander’s guests stay for an average of from two to three nights.

places. Among the identified emerging markets, Switzerland, Chile, Belgium, Australia, Ireland and Japan have registered growths.

The six markets that precede the Russian are, in order of participation: Germany, Italy,

Calle Luz No. 4 esquina a San Pedro, Old Havana

Vallejo added that “it is a market that has quickly responded; the most important actions were taken a year ago and it has been able to considerably position itself. It is actually rather interesting and those who visit us are interested in the captivating history of our city.” “We operate this market with several agencies, such as Teztour, San Cristóbal, ITC, Daiquiri Tours, UTE Megapolus and Jazztours. Taking advantage of its proximity to the Russian Orthodox Cathedral, we are promoting with the agencies that they bring groups to the Terrazasolarium, drink a cocktail, see the Cathedral from a different angle and enjoy the view of the Bay of Havana, because from here it is unique.”

presently it is in seventh place.” This is how Carlos Vallejo, marketing manager of the hotel, began his conversation with TTC.

lodgment, breakfast, welcome cocktail, safety deposit box, 10% discounts at 15 Habaguanex

The four-star Armadores de Santander was inaugurated on March 18, 2002 and belongs to the Habaguanex S.A. Company. It is thus named because the offices of important ship owners from Santander, some of whom were involved in trade and the transportation of troops between the ports of Santander and Havana, were located in the hotel’s current main building (built in 1897). The interior decoration recalls this Spanish maritime province, the region where José Cabrero Mier, who put up the building and was its first owner, was born. His initials, J.C., are engraved on the principal portico. Its 32 rooms – 30 standard, one junior suite and one special suite – are equipped with all types of facilities. The hotel provides room, laundry and nanny services, and parking facilities; in addition to the gastronomic offer at the Cantabria Restaurant and La Marina lobby bar. It has a shop, an art gallery, cybercafé, smoking lounge and an Information Desk. The hotel provides guests with

ttc travel trade caribbean • year IX number 178 • march 2009


2009 FITCuba from May 4 to May 8 For the 29th occasion, Cuba welcomes you to the FITCuba 2009 International Tourism Fair, to be held May 4-8. This time it will be devoted to Germany, as country guest of honor, and to Cuba’s patrimonial cities (Havana, Cienfuegos, Remedios, Trinidad, Camagüey, Bayamo, Santiago de Cuba and Baracoa), their circuits and optional activities, with the goal of promoting the fortresses and cultural attractions that distinguish these destinations. Likewise, E Hotels, which are currently in exploitation, will be promoted. The event’s venue will be the Morro–Cabaña Complex, the fortress that stretches over the shore of the channel of entrance to the Bay of Havana on high ground. Located at only a few minutes from the center of the capital, this place has a beautiful view of the city and every night features one of the most picturesque and wellknown Cuban traditions: the nine o’clock Cannon Blast.

industry. Its key objectives are the promotion and strengthening of the attributes of the Cuba Destination for different audiences. It is a fair meant for business, which will include technical activities such as presentations, negotiations, business and public relations workshops, plus two familiarization tours to the destinations. Morro–Cabaña Complex

The Castle of the Three Kings of the Morro (Castillo de Los Tres Reyes del Morro), a treasure of Cuban architecture that forms part of this complex, is considered one of Cuba’s most emblematic fortresses. It was built at the entrance to the bay between 1589 and 1630 by Juan Bautista Antonelli, an Italian engineer who worked for the Spanish Crown on the project for the defense system of the West Indies and the Caribbean Spanish colonies. FITCuba is the most important event in the Cuban tourist

Official Travel Agency Cubatur Eventos (Cubatur Events) has designed a tourist package including:

•Daily lodging with breakfast • Airport-Hotel-Airport transportation •Daily transportation to the fair •Cultural Guide Services

For bookings contact: Nelson Ramón Mesa Head of Events Department Telephones: (537) 206-9808/09 Fax: (537) 206-9807 Also Tamara León Head of Events Department





74.00 CUC

102.00 CUC


45.00 CUC 43.00 CUC 48.00 CUC 51.00 CUC 29.00 CUC 33.00 CUC

66.00 CUC 56.00 CUC 69.00 CUC 67.00 CUC 43.00 CUC 44.00 CUC

Josone Park’s Romantic Legend Ever since Josone Park was founded in Varadero in 1989, visitors have perceived it as a sort of oasis, a “green lung” of the universally famous beach resort. An ideal place for family enjoyment, it is characterized by beautiful and shady gardens with an agreeable lake crossed by picturesque bridges.

Italian cuisine. A neoclassicstyle mansion was built later, where the Iturrioz family lived, tuned now into El Retiro Restaurant, serving international food. A Basquetype cabana, used by the project’s principal architect and concluded in 1946, is today the Cuban cuisine La Campana Restaurant.

The Josone Retreat Park was the private residence and place for rest of José Fermín Iturrioz – a wealthy Basque who in the 1950s was the director of the Arechavala rum factory – and his wife Onelia Méndez.

But many of the tourists who visit it every day don’t know that behind that paradisiacal landscape lies a very beautiful love story that dates back to the 1930s.

It is said that in 1942, when the couple was celebrating its silver wedding anniversary, they longed for a place where they could perpetuate their passion; three years later, the work was almost finished and they began receiving all types of guests: businesspeople, poets, painters

and scientists. It is also said that the spouses had days in which they received no one, during which they went on strolls and freely loved each other without witnesses, and that the estate became Onelia’s retreat for life. The name of the park, formed by the union of the first three letters of José and Onelia – JOS and ONE – is also surrounded by a romantic halo. The first house was built in 1938 - today it is the Dante Restaurant, specializing in

From Josone and under 1st Avenue, a tunnel was built that originally came out to the beach and today leads to the International Diving Center. Currently, in this dream place, the Josone Park features nautical and recreational services, a swimming pool, restaurants, bars, handicrafts shop, and services for events, suppers and gala banquets. In its approximately nine hectares, built around La Paz Lagoon, it is the largest green area in the historic Varadero and houses natural, historic, architectural, cultural, floral and ornithological values.

ttc travel trade caribbean • year IX number 178 • march 2009


Russian Holy Orthodox Cathedral of Havana It attracts the attention of residents and visitors, they stop to look at it, they take out their photo and video cameras…these

an imposing central golden cupola, surrounded another four smaller copper-colored ones, all the shape of an onion bulb and

designers, investors, architects; civil, electrical, hydraulic and mechanical engineers; and workers from the Office of the City of Havana Historian and other entities in the country, as was agreed with the Russian ecclesial authorities. The Cathedral was built based on traditional materials such as concrete and bricks. It comprises three works: church, diocese and bell tower. The pieces of the six cupolas (five in the church and another in the bell tower) were

and many more are the reactions of people who pass by the Avenida del Puerto and bump into an atypical white building: the Our Lady of Kazan Russian Holy Orthodox Cathedral. Built in the style of a composition of types of circular towers, the Cathedral is crowned by

integrated into a spectacular Byzantine structure. The first agreement for the project dates back to 2002. Starting then, preparations began for the work, whose construction was initiated on February 13, 2006, with the participation of a multidisciplinary team of

TURNAT 2009 Convened at Ciénaga de Zapata The Ciénaga de Zapata, Cuba’s largest wetland and one of the most important in

the Caribbean, located to the south of Matanzas province and some 100 kilometers east of Havana, will welcome the 7th International Nature Tourism Meeting (TURNAT 2009) next September 14-18. Chosen as the meeting’s venue because of its natural values and role in Nature Tourism’s takeoff, the Ciénaga de Zapata National Park is characterized by a great

diversity of ecosystems, wealth of flora and fauna and having the largest swamp surface in the island. It has been distinguished with the categories of Biosphere Reserve and Ramsar Site. This international tourist forum is greatly appreciated by nature experts across the world. Cuba will receive professionals from the sector who market ecological initiatives and nature sites, and who will be able to exchange experiences on the most updated views on this matter. The program of Cuba’s major nature event will include talks, meetings with specialists, tours and the possibility of getting firsthand knowledge about the flora and fauna of this place that serves as the event’s venue.

brought to the Cuban capital from Russia and were installed by local specialists.

The temple’s first floor is set aside for administrative areas, the father’s rooms, public bathroom, kitchen, meeting room, computer room and technical area. Meanwhile, the top floor houses the church as such, with capacity for approximately 500 persons, which is accessed through two granite stairways. The principal entrance is through San Pedro Street and the back part of the temple, the back of the altar, through Avenida del Puerto. Consecrated on October 19, 2008, the Our Lady of Kazan Russian Holy Orthodox Cathedral takes up an area of 1,200 meters facing the Bay of Havana. It has been described as a monument to Cuban-Russian friendship, a cultural bridge joining the two countries.


ttc travel trade caribbean • year IX number 178 • march 2009

Quintana Roo Promoted in U.S. and Canada

Iberostar Adds New Hotel in Dominican Republic

As part of the efforts to promote the tourist destinations of

With the inauguration of the new Iberostar Grand Hotel Bavaro in Punta Cana, Iberostar has added its fourth property to its Dominican portfolio and the first luxury adults-only line facility on the island. Located on the beaches of Bavaro, just 35 minutes from Punta Cana International Airport,

Quintana Roo, Governor Félix González Canto met in Cancun with the most important U.S.

and Canadian tour operators. During the private meeting the tour operators expressed their optimism regarding Quintana Roo, especially its quality service and top-level tourist infrastructure. Several issues were also discussed, among them the advances in the plan for the recovery of the beaches in Cancun and the Riviera Maya, public safety, the construction project of the Riviera Maya International Airport and the growth of the tourist infrastructure. It was highlighted that despite the global economic recession the entity’s vacation destinations are still very well positioned due to the state’s growth indices as well as the very competitive hotel rates.

Runners Pleased with Cruise to Run Event More than 340 runners from Canada, United States, Bermuda and England, who arrived in Antigua and Barbuda on board the Caribbean Princess cruise ship, have found so satisfactory their Cruise to Run experience that they are planning to come back in 2010 for a second dose of the event.

event has more than doubled from the inaugural in 2007," noted Jerry Friesen, race director, who added that runners enjoyed their run on the streets of Antigua. According to CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, Colin C. James, the country has the ideal climate and scenic

The resort also features pools and a dive center plus other outdoor activities, including access to Iberostar Bavaro Golf Club. Iberostar Grand Hotel Bavaro


Grand Hotel Bavaro features 260 suites, 13 oceanfront grand suites and one presidential suite plus an ocean front spa. Amenities include one buffet restaurant and

adds to the list of the company's properties in the Dominican Republic, including the Iberostar Bavaro Hotel, Iberostar Punta Cana and Iberostar Dominicana.

Piñero Group to Incorporate Residences in the Caribbean The Piñero Group, together with the Bahía Príncipe Clubs & Resorts chain, has decided to expand its area of operations by creating tourist residential areas

the cornerstone, together with Dominican Republic President Leonel Fernández, for the Playa Nueva Romana, Residencial Marina Golf tourist-residential project, valued at more than a billion dollars. In the Riviera Maya there are plans to inaugurate in 2009 the Bahía Príncipe Riviera Maya Golf Resort residential complex, annexed to the five-star Gran Bahía Príncipe Riviera Maya, which has a 27-hole golf course and another with 9 holes par 3.

Antigua and Barbuda

The local media echoed both participants’ and organizers' satisfaction over the race, the third such event held in Antigua. "The

four á la carte restaurants offering Japanese, American, International and Italian cuisine.

route for the Cruise to Run event, which began its 13-km route at the Redcliffe Quay and ended at Fort Barrington. Mexican Caribbean

in the Mexican Caribbean, Dominican Republic and Jamaica, where the chain already has hotels and from whose infrastructure it could benefit. In late 2008, the Group’s president, Pablo Piñero, placed

The Bahía Príncipe Jamaica residential complex will also begin this year on the country’s northern coast. It will have a commercial center, a residential area for families, leisure options and a golf course.