Page 1

International Tourism Publication founded in 1996 Year XII • No. 208 • February 2012 • Regular Edition • • ISSN 1724 - 5370 Poste italiane Spa - Sped. in Abb. Post. D.L. 353/2003 Conv. in L. 27/02/2004, no. 46 Art. 1 comma 1, DCB Milano - Prezzo per copia EURO 0,25

Italian Presence in Cuba’s Commercial Sector

Italy is Cuba’s seventh trade partner, the second in Europe after Spain and the fourth in terms of joint ventures present in the largest of the Antilles. 4

Italian Tourists Return to Dominican Republic Last year, the arrival of Italians to the Dominican Republic increased by 5% as compared to 2010 and thus overcame a downward tendency that began in 2007. 4

Italian Ambassador to Cuba Mr. Marco Baccin speaking at the 11th round table on Italian Emigration and Presence in Cuba.

Italian Culture Week in Cuba. All the events of the Week…were accompanied by the profuse attendance by a very qualified and interested public, mainly comprising young people. 12

Battista Antonelli’s Imprint on Caribbean Military Architecture 20

Some Caribbean Novelties at FITUR 2012 FITUR is the sector’s most important fair for Spain and for a great deal of the world because it is the first of the year with an international character. 28

New Air Connections in the Caribbean 22 Barbados: Italy, Second Largest Market from Continental Europe in 2011 26

Cuba-Italy Scientific Collaboration Consolidates TTC interviews Professor Pasquale Bartolomeo Berloco, president of the 4th Italy-Cuba International Surgical Sciences Congress. The Surgery Congresses have been consolidated by the scientific cultural collaboration that began more than five years ago. 2



Cuba-Italy Scientific Collaboration Consolidates


uring these years, these meetings have been attended by numerous Italian surgeons of several specialties (thoracic, abdominal, cardiovascular, angiology, urology, among others), thus favoring the exchange from the point of view of scientific, research and introduction of new technologies as well as other subjects of great importance, for example bioethics, with the participation of experts and university researchers. Based on this great experience between the Italian and Cuban scientific communities, we felt the need to create an association that would make it possible to strengthen even more this exchange: the Italy-Cuba Association for the Development of Surgical Sciences (ONLUS), which has gotten the approval and consensus of the Cuban Embassy in Italy as well as the Italian in Cuba. The participation of Italian political figures in this initiative has enhanced this collaboration project, which has contributed notable immediate results with future perspectives that make us enthusiastic and give our aims a boost. Thanks to this association, young Italian surgery residents have been able to train in important Cuban hospitals, and renowned Cuban surgeons have visited and exchanged experiences in our universities, public training centers as well as in private structures accredited to the national health system. During the 2010 National Surgery Congress of Cuba, a numerous representation of Italian surgeons was invited to take part in an Italian-Cuban scientific day, where, in addition to the fruitful experiences, an official document of collaboration with the Cuban Society of Surgery was signed. In the last two international Italy-Cuba Surgery Congresses (2010-2011), in addition to the interesting scientific sessions, there were “live surgery” sessions with mixed teams of surgeons (ItalianCuban) in the CIMEQ Hospital and the Cira García Central Clinic, which have made it possible to validate, compare technologies

Address Via Galileo Galilei, 47 20092 Cinisello Balsamo, Mi Phone. 02 36649575 Fax 02 36649576 E-mail Web

Honorary President Renzo DRUETTO

Principal Director Giuseppe FERRARIS

Director Alfredo RODRÍGUEZ

Editorial Staff for Italy Tiziana SETTANNI

National Institute of Oncology and Radiobiology. Photo courtesy of Servimed.

and results in general surgery as well as spinal surgery. During the next 4th Italy-Cuba International Surgery Congress (May 3-5), which will be held for the first time in the Havana Convention Center, due to the magnitude it has gained, this year’s central theme will deal with a current aspect of medicine, “Innovations in Oncology”. It will include high-level interdisciplinary scientific sessions that will involve the medical-surgical-investigative world; major Cuban institutions will participate with professors and researchers of diverse surgical specialties from throughout the country, since in addition to CIM-

PASQUALE BERLOCO is the director of the Transplant Center of Rome’s Umberto I University Polyclinic and Regular Professor of Surgical Sciences at Rome’s La Sapienza University. He is the author of some 400 scientific papers in national and international journals. Professor Berloco’s scientific work is documented by numerous participations in national and international agreements.

EQ, venue of these events, and the Cira García Clinic, the Institute of Cardiology and Cardiovascular Surgery has been incorporated, and live surgeries will also be carried out there, which we consider is a major event. Our wish is that this important cultural initiative, which since it started has been designed for exchange and collaboration with Cuban scientists, can be the reason and point of departure for new experiences and collaborations with the Latin American scientific community and thus favor, above all, the exchange with young people interested in the development of surgery and the introduction of new technologies. To favor these possibilities, the Italy-Cuba Association for the Development of Surgical Sciences has set itself diverse goals, among which we advance that we will grant scholarships to young Cuban surgeons and researchers to carry out specialized training stages in Italian universities and hospitals and participate in diverse research projects with possible scientific publications. These and other initiatives will be presented during our next 4th Italy-Cuba International Surgery Congress. ■ Tel.: +39 02 36540545

Editorial Staff for Cuba Josefina PICHARDO

Digital News Services Frank MARTÍN

Collaboration and Marketing Ana Cecilia HERRERA Maria E. LEYVA Orlando OJEDA Magdalena GARCÍA Mercedes GUILLOT

Printer Officina Grafica S.R.L. Via Della Meccanica, 8 Vigano Di Gaggiano 20083, Mi

Registered at the Milan Court under the number 166. 13/03/2002. Publicity 45%. Property of Travel Trade Caribbean S.R.L. Registry date at the Chamber of Commerce: 08/01/2001. Registered in ROC Italia (registry of communications operators). Distributed through postal subscription. Cost of copy: 0.25 USD. Partial or total reproduction of the articles is forbidden without the express authorization of their authors, who have legal rights over them and are responsible for their contents.

Sense of Passion Rest and privacy. Unforgettable landscapes and romantic sunsets. Experiences and sensations that wake up new emotions and make the bows in common even stronger. Passion, it’s another of the senses of Cuba you can enjoy in any of the Sol Melia hotels specially design to live those memorable moments.

URBANS Meliá Cohiba I Meliá Habana I Tryp Habana Libre VARADERO Paradisus Princesa del Mar I Paradisus Varadero I Meliá Las Américas I Meliá Las Antillas I Meliá Varadero I Sol Palmeras I Tryp Península Varadero KEYS Meliá Buenavista I Meliá Cayo Santa María I Meliá Las Dunas I Meliá Cayo Guillermo I Meliá Cayo Coco I Sol Cayo Largo I Sol Cayo Guillermo HOLGUÍN Paradisus Río de Oro I Sol Río de Luna y Mares



Italian Presence in Cuba’s Commercial Sector


ore than 40 Italian companies have been established in Cuba as branches before the Chamber of Commerce – by virtue of the legislation in force in the country -, predominantly related to the tourism, hotel (suppliers of inputs, technology and services), food, construction and industry sectors. The last Havana International Trade Fair (FIHAV 2011) reaffirmed the incidence Italian companies have on Cuba’s economic-commercial activity, Italy being the third most represented country, with 771 m2 of exhibition ar-

ea – higher than the contracted amount in the previous edition –, preceded by Spain and China. Thirty-one exhibitors/stands participated in the Italian pavilion, representing 67 companies and entities (12 more than the previous year). More than a dozen sectors were present at FIHAV 2011: products, equipment and machinery for tourism; oil; construction of marinas; products, materials, equipment and machinery for construction and restoration; metals; lighting and complete electrical systems; re-

frigeration and air-conditioning systems; food; equipment and machinery for industry; telecommunications systems; household goods; and transportation and logistics services. At FIHAV 2011 Italy won the Gold Medal for its Resicrete NZR-750 Fiber-reinforced Neoplastic for structural repairs, of the IBC RESIGUM Internacional, SRL., and the Design Award for the Flight universal design washstands, of Goman. According to what was published on www., His Excellency Mr. Marco Baccin, Italian ambassador to Cuba, said that the commercial economic exchange (some 250 million dollars) has increased, and at present there is a strong balance in favor of Cuba. In terms of cooperation, the Italian support for three projects of the Office of the Historian for the urban recovery in the Plaza de Cristo is coming to an end and projects associated to renewable energies and the social sphere are being carried out. Cuba and Italy have traditionally maintained important commercial economic relations, which is a demonstration of a sustained growth in important sectors of the economy and culture, a fact that has been highlighted by Ambassador Baccin in several public speeches. He has also referred to the will to expand and develop relations in sectors like culture, tourism, energy, telecommunications and the environment, among others. With the aim of encouraging commercial exchange and business between the representatives of the two countries, in 2011 the Cuba-Italy Business Committee was created, a valuable instrument comprised by the Italian side with a group of companies and chambers of commerce and by the Cuban side with close to 70 entities and the Chamber of Commerce of the Republic of Cuba. ■

Italian Tourists Return to Dominican Republic

A TOTAL of 99,822 Italian tourists surpassed the figure of 94,952 for 2010, which represented a respite for the Dominican Republic who had seen a decline in tourist arrivals in 2008, 2009 and 2010 due to the prolonged economic crisis. According to the report, the economic crisis continued hitting the European Union in 2011, but for tourism from Italy it was a year of recovery in terms of the Dominican tourist industry. For García, “the work carried out by the Dominican Ministry of Tourism during the last year had its results, achieving the start of the

market’s recovery, waiting for 2012 to see a higher number of tourists and that they return to or surpass the figure for 2007. “We are satisfied with the results with which the year ended; I believe the program we are implementing is reaping its fruits and we will continue developing our promotion and contact activities with the tour operators to surpass that goal in 2012,” said the director of the Tourism Promotion Office. Milan’s BIT, Italy’s most important, will be an important moment in that sense. ■



Italy Invests in Tourism Sector in Nicaragua

ITALIAN INVESTORS are participating in important Nicaraguan tourist projects, like the coastal highway and the building of a railroad that will join the Pacific with the Atlantic in Nicaragua. A business meeting at the close of 2011 brought together in Managua Italian, Spanish and Nicaraguan investors to discuss these projects. During the meeting, Alvaro Baltodano, presidential delegate

for investments, said that the some 40 businesspeople who participated showed “special interest in sectors like infrastructure, ports, energy, tourism, duty free zones and manufacturing.” Italy ranks 10th among the major investors in Nicaragua, with a committed 7.26 million dollars. Some 35 Spanish firms operate in the Central American country, with a total of 780 million dollars in investments. ■

Blue Panorama Airlines


lue Panorama Airlines is present at BIT 2012 with a well-established summer program that reaffirms its leadership in the Caribbean. Like in the winter season, Blue Panorama will operate in all the islands and the principal Caribbean destinations with a broad gamut of offers for the market. Cuba from East to West, Dominican Republic, Mexico and Jamaica are the objectives of the program that will be presented during the Milan fair. It should be highlighted that after the positive results of the winter season, the flights from Verona to La Romana (Dominican Republic) are continuing. Operations in East Africa to destinations in Tanzania (Zanzibar) and Kenya (Mombasa) are also being strengthened with flights from Milan, Bologna and Rome. But in the long term the real news lies in the opening on February 14, 2012 of the direct flight to Seychelles from Milan and Rome, the only direct flight that makes it possible to arrive in the Pearl of the Indian Ocean from Italy. For the occasion, the tourism office of the Seychelles islands will be present in the stand of Blue Panorama. ■




he investments made in Villa Cuba Resort, of the Gran Caribe Hotel Group, have made it possible to completely renovate its swimming pool and remodel 130 rooms which in turn were redecorated and refurnished. Privileged by its centrally located position between the traditional and the modern Varadero, close to the Golf Club and on the front line of the best beach area, it offers a diversity of accommodation options (hotel, houses and module) and a high standard of services that attract the preference of many clients. It has 365 rooms – 261 doubles, four suites, seven mini suites, five duplex, 88 king size – with telephone, satellite TV, safety-deposit box, hairdryer, mini fridge, private bathroom, balcony, view to the garden or to the sea and air-conditioning. The main building’s rooms admit a third additional bed. Two rooms are equipped for the handicapped with all the established requisites, located at lobby level and with no access barriers. The installation has four restaurants, a principal buffet and three a la carte, specialized in

Novelties at Villa Cuba Resort Asian, Cuban and international cuisine; in addition to four bars – a swimming pool snack bar, lobby bar, Mirador Bar, beach bar and nightspot. Guests can enjoy varied shows and good music…Cuban thematic nights, the sea, the election of Miss or Mister Villa Cuba; fashion shows, wa-

Habaguanex’ Coming of Age

EIGHTEEN YEARS AGO, on January 6, 1994, the Habaguanex S.A. Tourist Company was created. Today it has a wide-ranging network of hotels and complementary services that open the doors of the Historic Center of Old Havana to the world. Habaguanex stands out for being the witness and protagonist of the recovery of a Historic Center declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982. Thus this company’s greatest pride has been to invest its income in the restoration work carried out by the Office of the City Historian and seeing the rebirth of past centuries before its eyes,

in addition to collaborating with different social initiatives. Many remember its origins, when it only had the Valencia Hotel and some gastronomic establishments. At present, it has 19 hotels, 38 restaurants, more than 60 cafeterias and bars and more than 80 shops, and this 2012 has begun with new challenges and efforts for each one of its workers. Habaguanex congratulates all those who have been linked to the start and development of this project that is already coming of age and thanks those who have contributed to this common objective. ■

ter ballet, games and competitions (volleyball, aerobics, ping pong, billiards and table games), dance and scuba diving initiation lessons, games room, tennis court, shooting range, mini golf, catamarans, snorkeling, kayaking, windsurfing, petanque, gymnastics, nightclub, horses, jet skis, motorcycles. ■

FITCUBA 2012 IN CAYO SANTA MARÍA THE VENUE for the 32nd International Tourism Fair, FITCuba 2012, to be held May 8-11, will be Cayo Santa María (Villa Clara province), also known, because of its beauty, as the White Rose of the Jardines del Rey archipelago. The product that will be presented includes the beautiful attractions of the island’s youngest destination, the Villa Clara keys, made up by Santa María, Ensenachos and Las Brujas, incredible islets with excellent beaches, impressive natural surroundings and state-of-the-art infrastructure in terms of comfort and facilities, harmoniously inserted into nature. Moreover, the participants will be able to hold talks about family tourism, a segment with great possibilities for Cuba. The guest country is Argentina, already among the first seven markets and with close to 76,000 Argentineans who traveled to Cuba in 2011 – 29.6% more than the previous year -, to establish a new record. Gaviota Tours and Cubatur will be the event’s travel agencies and Transtur, Transgaviota and Cubana Airlines the official transportation companies.



For Eden Viaggi Cuba is an Important Destination

TTC On Line

Statement by Angel E. Cartelli, commercial and marketing director of Eden Viaggi.


or Eden Viaggi Cuba is a very important destination, from the professional as well as emotional point of view. We are joined to the island by the memory of the birth of the first Eden Viaggi and the debut in the world of the tourist villages, a fundamental moment in the history of the tour operator. From that day on, Eden has continuously grown and now there are more than 30 Eden Villages worldwide. We have never left the island nor have we stopped designing programs for it, one of the most popular destinations in the region, although this year the figures are rewarding other Caribbean destinations.

Allegro Varadero.

In terms of novelties, we inaugurated the Eden Village Allegro Varadero, located on the Hicacos Peninsula, close to the center of Varadero, and the Eden Village Cayo Largo has been completely renovated. In Cuba, combined excursions are also being offered with sea stays, the Fly & Drive with the open coupon program and the Cuban salsa program in Havana with Margo, the line of alternative products to tourist towns. The hope for the future is that the island returns soon to the numbers we are used to, and to get there we will continue working in contact with the Cuban Tourism Office in Milan. ■

As a novelty, printed editions of TTC will be available on line. People who read our news from our webpage and weekly e-bulletin will have free access to all the information and ads directly from their PC, just click on the access instructions and you will be able to navigate through our pages. This is a new service that easily approaches more readers to TTC’s printed versions, dedicated to the direct distribution to the sector’s professionals at the world’s most important tourism fairs. in 2012 each edition of TTC will come out in Italian, Spanish and English, so the readers for whom we write our information will have the possibility of reading it in their preferred language. Thus we are increasing our potential readers to close to 50,000 contacts, with weekly repletion, throughout the world. Never before has news from the Caribbean been so close to readers. Navigate through our pages and get updates on the most recent Caribbean product and the issuing markets to the area. Cordial greetings, TTC writing staff



Press Tours Goes For Sustainable Tourism on Cayo Levisa T

he principal concept of Press Tour’s EXPLORACafé product on Cayo Levisa, to the north of Pinar del Río province, is focused on putting clients in contact with that sea product, while sensitizing them about the need to protect the manatee from human predators and to care for and protect Cayo Levisa, which has become an important diving destination, like Cayo Largo, segments operated exclusively by Press Tours for the Italian market. “We take tourists to see the manatee in its natural habitat, which is one of the few places inhabited by that noble and sensitive species, practically extinct and difficult to reproduce. We have there a family of 8 to 12 specimens, at least that’s what we have been able to study,” Mr. Fernando Fernández, director in Cuba of Press Tours, told TTC. “We have demonstrated that we are aficionados of sustainable tourism. There’s nothing farther from our philosophy than to come to a destination, exploit it and leave it deteriorated. We have also demonstrated this for 19 years with the operations in Jardines de la Reina, where the tourist use and protection have favored the development of one of the areas with the most marine species in Cuba and one of the best fly fishing centers of the world. Both projects are similar in their concept, but Jardines…is a specialized product for divers and fishers, and Levisa, for its part, also has a splendid beach.” The Cubanacán Cayo Levisa Hotel, the only building there, is marketed by Press Tours as an ecological resort, Ecolodge Cayo Levisa; it exclusively operates the majority of the rooms for the Italian market, and the Cubanacán Hoteles chain is in charge of the rest. “We don’t take clients there who are seeking a five-star hotel, but rather those who opt for

nature, a clean and crystalline sea, tranquility, familiarity, little animation…. Having an Italian chef in the key has led to a high level of satisfaction among the guests,” Fernández added. “Our aim is for this key to be different from the others, and we are working for this. We are seeking an average stay of six nights in Levisa, contrary to what happened previously, which was from one to two nights; for a product like this one, that is disastrous for operations. We cannot seek a higher stay due to the air connections and the arrival schedules to Cuba, which are generally late, which is why we make combinations with a visit to Havana the first night.” Press Tours offers different varieties of personalized tours, from three nights onwards, which include this destination: the Tour Cuore di Cuba (Heart of Cuba Tour), with direct flights, combine tours through Cuba (Havana, Guamá, Cienfuegos, Trinidad

and Santa Clara) with stays in Levisa, and they can be extended to Jamaica; as well as the Wedding Club, which combine Havana + Cayo Levisa, with direct flights from Milan, Rome and Bologna. ■

CUBANACÁN CAYO LEVISA HOTEL** Located on an area with more than 3 km of fine white sandy beach, it is one of the hotels most sold by Cubanacán. Equipped with 33 air-conditioned standard cabanas, two restaurants – one a la carte and another for excursion lunches -, snack bar and shop, it offers medical services, massages, currency exchange and has a nautical infrastructure for excursions, snorkeling, day and night scuba diving in 23 diving sites, scuba diving lessons, fishing and taxi boat. Near to sites of interest like Viñales Valley, Cayo Jutía or the city of Pinar del Río, it is 146 km away from Havana. ▶ Carretera a Palma Rubia, La Palma, Pinar del Río, Cuba. Tel: (53-48) 75 6501-03 (53-48) 75 6505 (53-48) 75 6506



hrough a growing effort to gain the participation of many public and private operators, coordinated by the Italian Embassy in Havana, the 14th Italian Culture Week in Cuba was held November 21-27, 2011. It was especially dedicated to the 150th anniversary of Italy’s unification. An unprecedented participation by the public characterized an event that is increasingly awaited and celebrated by Cubans and which had broad media coverage thanks to the wide-ranging participation of the local press. All the events of the Week…were accompanied by the profuse attendance by a very qualified and interested public, mainly comprising young people. After the solemn official opening ceremony on Monday the 21st with the presence of Cuban Culture Deputy Minister Rafael Bernal and City of Havana Historian Eusebio Leal Spengler, the exhibition Maddalena, by contemporary versatile artist Valerio Berruti, was inaugurated in the beautiful environment of the complex of the San Francisco de Asís Convent, in the heart of Old Havana. Later, at the Convent’s Basilica, soprano Katia Ricciarelli, accompanied by tenor Francesco Zingariello and pianist Roberto Corlianó, interpreted a rich repertoire of opera arias that literally captivated those present. On Tuesday the 22nd a series of interesting lectures began at the University of Havana, given by outstanding academicians from several Italian universities. That same day, professors Francesca Bernardini and Maria Serena Sapegno, of La Sapienza University, presided over a round table on the role of women in the history of Italy’s unification, which was attended by a large number of students. In the afternoon, at the Provincial Center of Visual Arts and Design, the exhibition Visus by artists Mauro Magni and Erik Chevalier was inaugurated, presented by the Luigi di Sarro Documentation Center on Artistic Research. In the evening, thanks to the collaboration of the ARCI, the review “150 years of Italy’s unification” was presented at one of the city’s principal movie theaters and began with the screening of El Gatopardo, by Luchino Visconti, followed during the rest of the week by Novecento, La Grande Guerra, Il Conformista, Una giornata particolare and Rocco e i suoi fratelli. Wednesday the 23rd: Professor Scacchi, of the University of Roma-Tre, gave an interesting and well-attended lecture at the University of Havana focused on the “Scope and Moments of Italy’s Unification,” in which he dealt with the most significant and emblematic events of The Resurgence and made some connections with the experience, chronologically parallel, of Cuba’s unification. In the afternoon, at the venue of the prestigious Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC) and with the presence of Cuban Culture Minister Abel Prieto, the title of Knight of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic


Italian Culture

Prof. Giuseppina Moscatelli, Prof. Domenico Capolongo and the Italian Ambassador to Cuba, Mr. Marco Baccin, at the 11th round table on Italian Emigration and Presence in Cuba. Photos:TTC

Presentation of the DVD Los Antonelli en la Isla de Cuba (The Antonellis on the Island of Cuba).

Guided visit to the San Salvador de La Punta Castle.

was conferred on Miguel Barnet, president of UNEAC and an outstanding figure of Cuban culture. Barnet subsequently moderated a round table – a panel shared with Melania Mazzucco, Bianca Pitzorno and Luigi Guarnieri – on “The Historic Novel.” As conclusion, with the collaboration of ARCI, a new edition of the Italo Calvino literary award context was presented, for which many talented young Cubans opt every year. That night, the Italy in Son jazz concert, in the Basilica Minor of the San Francisco de Asís Convent, was the scenario to join Italian guitarist Guido Di

Leone with some of the most successful Cuban musicians like Yasek Manzano, Enrique Plá, Jorge Reyes and Harold López-Nussa. At the venue of the Office of the City of Havana Historian, on Thursday the 24th, the general secretary of the Italian-Latin American Institute, Giorgo Malfatti, presided over a round table on the cooperation backed by the Institute. Meanwhile, the diplomas for the course on the restoration of old maps were given out and it was attended by professors Cecilia Santinelli and Andrea Papi, of the University of Florence. Later, in the Palace of the Captains-General, a display of the


Week in Cuba

Inauguration of the exhibition “Maddalena”, by Italian visual artist Valerio Berruti.

Inauguration of the photo exhibition “Fangio in Cuba and the Maserati”, by Renato Zacchia.

works carried out as part of the course was inaugurated. In the afternoon, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Cuban magazine Mujeres, the round table “Women, emancipation and communication: Italian and Latin American experiences” was held in the chamber of the Museum of Fine Arts, with the participation of Nadia Angelucci and Tiziana Bartolini, from Noi Donne; Lilian Celiberti, from Cotidiano Mujer; Melania Mazzucco, Bianca Pitzorno, the national representatives of the Federation of Cuban Women and the direc-

tor of the National Center for Sex Education, Mariela Castro. To mark the end of the day, in the Museum’s theater, singer Francesca Leone dazzled the public, accompanied by the young and talented group Sexto Sentido in an exclusively women’s jazz concert. In the morning of Friday the 25th, professor Roberto Antonelli, of the Accademia dei Lincei, culminated the series of lectures at the University of Havana with an interesting class on “Italy’s unification, European unification and literary canon,” in which he highlighted the importance of the formation and stratification of a common literary conscience, in the


Italian Resurgence as well as during the current road toward continental integration in Europe. Afterwards, with the backing of ARCI and the Emilia-Romagna region, the DVD The Antonellis on the Island of Cuba was presented and was dedicated to making an in-depth study of the historiography and architecture of the important work of fortifications carried out throughout the Antilles by the family of architects during the Renaissance. In the afternoon, Professor Domenico Capolongo, following the tradition, brought together outstanding representatives of Italian descendants in Cuba in a round table symbolically dedicated this year to highlighting the history of emigration since Italy’s national unification until present day. At the Provincial Center of Visual Arts and Design, journalist Alessandra Atti di Sarro also held a meeting on “Art and urban transformation,” also attended by Paola Larghi, of the CISP, and the expert in international cooperation Stefano Marmorato. Moreover, a “mural” created during the week by Mauro Magni and Erik Chevalier in the barrio of Cantarrana, which was the heart of a project of architectural and social restoration through art, was inaugurated. The night ended with a fiesta with music through the barrio’s streets. On Saturday the 26th, a press conference was given to conclude the historic exhibition Caravaggio in Cuba, inaugurated on September 23, 2011 and which in just over two months since its opening to the public registered 25,000 visitors (never before had an exhibition organized in a museum in Cuba had such a level of participation). Caravaggio in Cuba was an unprecedented success, an initiative that has created great enthusiasm among the Cuban public and generated a deep feeling of nearness to Italy. On that same day, chefs Mario Berutti and Fabio Trezzi celebrated the 120th anniversary of the first publication of the guide Artusi with a course on Italian cuisine that has had great repercussion. Following, tenor Francesco Zingariello and pianist Roberto Corlianó carried out a magnificent concert of opera arias with soprano María Eugenia Barrios, the most representative and famous Cuban opera singer. On the final day, Sunday the 27th, the photo exhibit Juan Manuel Fangio and the Maserati in Cuba was inaugurated. It was organized in collaboration with the automobile firm from Modena and talented Italian photographer Renato Zacchia, while the conclusion of the Week was celebrated with a concert by young Cuban and Italian musical talents in the National Opera Theater. Therefore, it was an especially rich and varied program that tried to respond to the broad interest in the “Italianating” of all the segments of the Cuban population. Once again, the 14th Italian Culture Week in Cuba has underlined the importance of the cultural dialogue between the two Latin countries that share a great tradition in all spheres of art, music and culture in general. ■



Top Cruises in Warm Waters during Winter Season As never before, the 20112012 winter season of the cruise ship operator is dedicated to the Caribbean: since the new association with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises until the collaboration with Norwegian Cruise Line, the focus has been on the Caribbean product.


hat Top Cruises signed up for this year is a “warm” winter: the Genoa cruise operator is going for a cruise season dedicated to sun and sea, with new programs designed for the best routes on the market, with the Caribbean as the destination. “This year we have invested in the expansion of our offer in the Caribbean. Thanks to the strengthening of the alliance with Norwegian Cruise Line and the new marketing agreements signed with the RCCL group, Top Cruise’s winter has an increasingly wide-ranging and more organized gamut of proposals,” Francesco Paradisi, marketing director of Top Cruise, explained. “The new season’s opening is represented by the routes signed in association with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises: the top products feature the Norwegian’s freestyle cruises that depart from the principal American ports with excursions for all tastes with stopovers in the Eastern, Western and Southern Caribbean.” The winter’s principal novelty is the inclusion of the Royal Caribbean cruise ships in the Top Cruises programming: the operator will offer during the season trips on board Oasis-class ships (the largest and most innovative of the fleet) comprising 5, 7 or 9 nights in the Eastern or Western Caribbean leaving from Fort Lauderdale and including the Christmas and New Year cruise. Itineraries on board the Celebrity Cruises also leave from Miami, San Juan and Fort Lauderdale, from five days in the Western Caribbean to two weeks in the exotic Southern Caribbean. Attention is also focused on the freestyle cruises on board the Norwegian Cruise Line ships: the Norwegian Epic is the protagonist that leaving from Miami stops in the Virgin Islands and the Bahamas with the special Italian assistance of Top Cruises. And to enhance the offer, there are seven- and nine-night cruises from Miami to the Western Caribbean on board other fleet ships (Norwegian Sun, Norwegian Pearl, Norwegian Dawn, Norwegian Jewel) which depart from the main American ports. NEW GUIDE FOR EXCURSIONS IN DOMINICAN REPUBLIC AVAILABLE The 2011-2012 Guide for Excursions in the Dominican Republic, published by the Association of Tour Operators of the Dominican Republic (OPETUR), sponsored

There are even more proposals for those who dream of cruise vacations through the Caribbean. The cruise operator offers the possibility of making reservations on one of the Carnival cruise ships that make stopovers in the Southern Caribbean, or enjoying the original adventure of an entertaining line of Disney Cruise Line cruises: the option includes the seven-night cruises with departures from Port Canaveral to the Eastern and Western Caribbean, or the four nights dedicated to the Bahamas, with life on board in the company of Disney characters. For always updated information on departures, itineraries and ships, just click on the site, which has a “sea” of Top Cruises initiatives for the entire season. Top Cruises, a Genovese cruise operator specializing in Italy in the cruise sector since 2002, has been a partner on the Italian market with the sailing companies that operate in the seas and rivers throughout the world. Its extensive programming includes the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, Northern Europe, Alaska, Hawaii, United Arab Emirates and Polynesia, and the exclusive Tour product in Europe with the broadest gamut in the Italian market, which includes the river cruises in Europe and Russia. Its partner companies in Italy are: Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Pullmantur Cruises, Holland America Line, Carnival Cruise Lines, Star Clippers, for sea cruises; the young A-Rosa Company and CroisiEurope and Orthodox Cruise, for river sailing. ■ ▶ Art&Fun srl. Press and communication office Phone. 06 5745283 / Fax 06 5744154 / E-mail: ▶ Arianna Palmieri / Tel. 3888468590 / E-mail: ▶ Annalisa Sandirocco / Tel. 3479658338 / E-mail: by the Ministry of Tourism, is already in circulation. This fourth edition, available in Spanish, English, French and German, offers activities in areas like scuba diving, local agricultural crops (tobacco, cacao and coffee), carnivals, shopping,

ecotourism, museums, national parks and sports (baseball and golf). OPETUR is an organization of companies specializing in tourism made up by 29 of the most renowned tour operators of the Dominican Republic.



Travelnet Committed to Increasing Operations in Cuba Travelnet takes around 5,000 tourists a year to Cuba, among its direct clients and those of the Italian tour operators it represents Condor Viaggi, Brixia Viaggi, Jolly Roger and other smaller ones.


n an interview with TTC, Mr. Lorenzo Paciello, marketing director of Travelnet in Cuba, said: “We have a showcase on the web, recently restructured, since we are interested in reaching clients directly, even if they are not Italian because persons from all over the world have access through this means…. Among the European markets, Italy has always held the first positions in terms of tourists to Cuba, perhaps because of the historic relations, language facility and similarity of character; although looking at the total figures we have fluctuated. I cannot say they are good years, not just for Italy. Canada is a logical market, like the United States when it opens, but from Europe it’s not the same.”

Mr. Lorenzo Paciello, marketing director of Travelnet in Cuba

Travelnet operates in Cuba with Blue Panorama, Neos and Air Italy, which recently entered into operations, and will possibly also incorporate Livingston. “They are charter airlines in Italy but in Cuba they have the right to regular flights, which is why there is a great deal of traffic between both countries. In the charter flights which are also regular, our tour operators have allotments, usually from 50 to 100 per week, sometimes divided by destination, since all the flights are not direct; they can make stopovers in Mexico or Dominican Republic…to diminish a bit the risk of the sale of a destination…. I think that for Italian tourism the charters are the best way to travel; there are other routes with regular companies from France or Spain, but they always have to change planes, which is more bothersome for mass tourism,” Paciello explained. He concluded by summing up Travelnet’s projection: “Trying to sell the Cuba destination; my project is to bring the largest amount of tourists. We have maintained and even increased operations, so therefore I have achieved my goal.” ■



Gaviota Gets Ready for FITCuba 2012 Martin, taking into account that FITCuba 2012 will be dedicated to promoting the charms of the Villa Clara keys destination, whose hotel plant belongs to the Gaviota Tourism Group, what actions is the Group carrying out to organize the major event? The Gaviota S.A. Tourism Group, as part of the Organizing Committee of FITCuba 2012, has carried out a group of actions to guarantee the success of Cuba’s most important tourism event. In this sense, together with the Ministry of Tourism, plans are underway for the organization of information desks in the tourist town of La Estrella for each one of the participating companies; business meetings and presentations of the Villa Clara and Jardines del Rey keys product in the halls of the Memories Paraiso and Memories Azul Hotel; in addition to familiarization tours of the tourist destination with the principal tour operators, travel agencies and airlines, plus the accredited press. The dissimilar facilities the destination offers will be exhibited during the presentations of the Villa Clara keys product, such as: a hotel plant with 5,364 rooms including the recent opening of the Gaviota Santa María Hotel, with growth projections; the tourist towns of La Estrella and Dunas; the Marina Las Brujas, the Dolphinarium and the excursions from the keys that make it possible to combine the stay with sites of historic, cultural and natural

Apropos the holding of Cuba’s 32nd International Tourism Fair (FITCuba 2012), to be held in Cayo Santa María, Villa Clara province, May 8-11, TTC interviewed Pedro Martin Suárez, director of the Gaviota Tours S.A. Varadero agency.

interest, among them Remedios, Santa Clara, Trinidad and Topes de Collantes. Specifically, what role does Gaviota Tours S.A play as the official travel agency receptive of FITCuba 2012? Being the official travel agency receptive of Cuba’s most important tourism event is in itself a great responsibility. This is why Gaviota Tours is presenting excellent options to the participants in the event to guarantee the best accommodation conditions, transportation and other facilities.

Latin American and Caribbean Aviation Summit in Chile Chile will host March 28-30 the 7th Latin American and Caribbean Aviation Summit, known as Wings of Change 2012. The organizers announced that the principal actors of the American conti-

It is important to highlight that our exchanges during the fair are aimed at strengthening the promotion of the Cuba Destination directed at the targeted public; reinforcing the communication actions designed for the principal issuing markets to Cuba, placing emphasis on Argentina, the fair’s guest country. Gaviota Tours, as the Gaviota Group’s travel agency receptive, is closely linked to the development of the keys; this is why our central role as the official travel agency receptive for FITCuba 2012 is geared at boosting the po-

nent’s aviation industry will get together in the meeting and that, in its last edition, it was attended by 500 delegates from 35 countries. The 2012 event will be jointly organized by FIDAE, IATA and Abiax Air. Wings of Change 2012 will offer numerous novelties, like guided visits on airplanes to Santiago’s airport and to FIDAE, as well as several press conferences by the region’s principal aeronautics companies and entities.

sition of the Villa Clara and Jardines del Rey keys, a veritable natural luxury, which is a novel concept of the Cuban tourist destination. Because of its exclusive geographical location, the Villa Clara keys have a wide-ranging portfolio of excursions that are complemented by Aerogaviota S.A. daily flights to Havana, a safe and fast option so that the destination’s guests can visit the Cuban capital. What are some of the novelties Gaviota Tours is taking to BIT 2012? For this BIT 2012, Gaviota Tours aims to insist on the introduction of its specialized programs of Life Onboard Round Trip Varadero-Cayo Santa María and Jeep Tour to the Center of Cuba, just like it has done with the Sea and Land Tour. The natural and exclusive characteristics of these programs, together with their excellent value for money, potentially grants them great possibilities to gradually position them in the Italian market. General projections of Gaviota Tours… Gaviota Tours is a developing company, supported by the growing acceptance and quality of the services we offer (certified by ISO 9001:2008) and by the sustained growth of our client portfolio with prestigious tour operators in the markets where we operate. At present the projections are focused on extending our presence to all of Cuba’s destinations and reaffirming the Villa Clara and Jardines del Rey keys as autochthonous and internationally competitive products, based on a tourism of peace, health and safety. ■

World Passenger Traffic Increases by 5.9% in 2011 The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reported that the world passenger traffic in 2011 registered a 5.9% increase according to the long-term growth forecasts.

BIT 2012: Hall 3.1 Stand 218



Battista Antonelli’s Imprint on Caribbean Military Architecture

View of the Tres Reyes del Morro Castle from the San Salvador de La Punta Castle.


hree generations of the Antonelli Italian family carried out works at the service of the Spanish Crown throughout almost a century (1559-1649), during the reigns of Philip II, Philip III and Philip IV, mainly to build fortresses that had a significant presence in the Spanish-American defense system. The Antonellis come from the town of Gatteo, Department of Forlì-Cesena, EmiliaRomagna Region, but it was at the service of Spain that they were able to stand out as hydraulic engineers and military architects. Of the family members, Battista Antonelli (Gatteo 1547-Madrid 1616) was the one who built the most important works and demonstrated a great talent and security in his technical assessments, which is why he is known as “the Antonelli who fortified the Caribbean”; in fact, the decade Antonelli spent in the Caribbean, from 1589 to 1599, was his decade of glory. Meanwhile, he was the military engineer who left the greatest legacy in 16th century Cuba. Spain needed military architects and engineers experts in fortifications to build the defense of its towns and it turned to the Italian technicians, since the most advanced experiences at the time were precisely the Italian ones. The proliferation of irregular fortifications with strongholds began with Battista Antonelli, to whom the Spanish Crown assigned the putting into practice of the first “Defense plan of the West Indies”, mainly in the Caribbean, a region where Battista Antonelli, his son Juan Bautista and Cristóbal de Roda Antonelli, nephew of the former and cousin of the latter, had worked for 63 years. When analyzing today the fortifications of the Antonellis, precursors of the Italian school

Antonelli’s fortress in La Punta.

in Spanish America, one sees a conceptual regularity in the design of the fortresses. Practically all the fortifications of Battista Antonelli underwent modifications and expansions during the 17th and 18th centuries; however, none of those later works have been able to erase the idea of their first author. In Havana, Battista Antonelli built, under the command of Governor Joan de Texeda, the castles of Los Tres Reyes del Morro – recognized by some as his most important work -, and San Salvador de La Punta. His work

was also decisive in finishing the Zanja Real, the Cuban capital’s first aqueduct. He was also responsible for the walls and fortifications of Cartagena de Indias, among them the fortress of Santo Domingo in 1614. Specifically regarding the military works in Havana, it should be highlighted that in a letter addressed to the King, Antonelli reconfirmed the importance of the Morro and La Punta castles to close the defense of the port’s channel on both sides of the entrance to the bay, based on the crossfire of their respective artilleries, arguments that were subsequently demonstrated given the role played by that group of fortifications. Researcher Roberto Segre noted about the Antonelli works: “The Morro Castle adapts to the irregular shape of the rock promontory that closes the bay, forming a broken polygonal and a system of terraces that descends to the sea in order to create the successive defensive fire walls down to the water, culminating in the last battery called Los Doce Apóstoles; Havana would be from then on the key point of the Caribbean’s defensive system.” In the four years that Battista Antonelli spent in Havana, his principal occupation was taken up by the Morro Castle; on October 8, 1594 he put a final end to his Cuban period, leaving the works of the Morro and La Punta fortresses in the hands of his nephew Cristóbal de Roda Antonelli, and he leaves for Nombre de Dios, Portobelo and Cartagena. ■ Source: Multimedia Los Antonelli en la Isla de Cuba (The Antonellis on the Island of Cuba), edited by María Cristina Turchi.



Tradizione e modernità


ata nel 1902, per iniziativa e impegno del suo fondatore, il Sig. Vincenzo Vedani, in via Orifici, vicina alla celebre Piazza del Duomo, la più importante zona industriale di Milano, la centenaria impresa, che unisce tradizione e modernità, è tra i più importanti gruppi imprenditoriali della regione Lombardia, nel nord dell’Italia. È presente nei mercati del Medio Oriente, del Nord e del Sud America, dell’Europa dell’Est ed Europa Occidentale, così come a Cuba.

Dedicandosi, dalla sua fondazione, alla raffineria e alla fusione di metalli non ferrosi, gode di un grande prestigio tra i suoi clienti per la flessibilità della sua struttura. Con presenza diretta o indiretta nei paesi, garantisce la qualità delle materie prime e della produzione, disponibilità immediata di tutti i prodotti e attenzione personalizzata ai clienti. Per Vedani non esiste un cliente o un mercato distante; tanto la

distribuzione quanto la fornitura sono garantiti dal suo controllo diretto. Il gruppo Vedani, nonostante la difficile situazione internazionale, ha continuato la sua espansione nella sfera dei servizi e della finanza. ■ ▶ Lamparilla No 2, Edificio Lonja del Comercio, 3er piano, Sezione D2, Habana Vieja Tel.: (537) 866 0781 (537) 861 9761 Fax: (537) 866 0782 E-mail:

Tradition & Modernity BORN IN 1902, IT WAS FOUNDED by D. Vicenzo Vedani on the Via Orofici, close to the well-known Plaza del Duomo, Milan’s most important industrial zone. The more than a hundred-year-old venture, a mixture of tradition and modernity, is one of the most important business groups of the region of Lombardy, in northern Italy. It is present in markets like the Middle East, North and South America, Eastern and Western Europe, as well as in Cuba. Dedicated since its foundation to the refining and smelting of non-ferrous metals, it has extensive prestige among its clients due to the flexibility of its structure, with direct or indirect presence in their countries, ensured quality of raw materials and its productions, the immediate accessibility to all its products, and personalized attention to clients. For the Vedani there are no faraway clients or markets, all the distribution and supply is guaranteed by its direct control. The Vedani group, despite the difficult international economic situation, has continued its expansion in the sphere of services and finances.



Cubanacán Presents Playa Girón Hotel THE CUBANACÁN hotel chain is presenting for this season the Playa Girón Hotel, located in the Ciénaga de Zapata Peninsula, an area declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO and known worldwide as the Bay of Pigs. The Playa Girón was recently remodeled and new services were added, and today it offers its guests a higher standard and more comforts. The new facilities include two swimming pools for adults and one for children, completely remodeled; a room with roundthe-clock Internet and another for small format events, for up to 60 persons, completely equipped; a restaurant specializing in seafood, the Club House

on the beach and a thatched-roof ranchón with varied offers and a marvelous view of the sea, perfect to enjoy a sunset. Excursions are organized from Playa Girón to Caleta Buena. Cubanacán manages more than 70 hotels of diverse categories in Cuba’s principal tourist destinations and is constantly working to raise the quality of its services and satisfy its clients. ■ NEW AIR CONNECTIONS IN THE CARIBBEAN

COPA AIRLINES’ PANAMA-MONTERREY DIRECT FLIGHTS The Central American Copa Airlines announced new direct flights between the cities of Monterrey and Panama. A company spokesperson said that the routes are convenient for connections to the rest of Latin America. The Monterrey-Panama flights operate four times a week, departing from the Nuevo León capital on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 5:03 a.m. and arriving in the hub of the Americas in Panama at 10:26 a.m. The flight from Panama to Monterrey will depart at 6.52 p.m., arriving at 10:23 p.m., on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. In addition to flying to the city of Monterrey, Copa Airlines offers four daily flights from Mexico City to Panama; four daily flights from Cancún to Panama, and a daily flight from Guadalajara to Panama. At the close of 2011, Copa Airlines began operating other new destinations in addition to Monterrey: Asunción in Paraguay, Chicago in the United States, Montego Bay in Jamaica and Cúcuta in Colombia. NEW ARGENTINA-CUBA FLIGHT


Havana, Varadero, Cayo Largo, Cayo Coco, Santa Clara and Holguín. It was announced that a new air corridor between the two countries will operate until next May. The flights already link Buenos Aires with eastern Cuba. Each flight has a capacity for 300 passengers and operates every Tuesday, with Boeing 767s. It is expected that the opening of the new commercial flight between Argentina and Cuba will increase in 2012 the number of Argentineans traveling every year to the island, which are already an important issuing market. The project, which will last throughout the year, turns Argentina into the second country with the largest amount of direct air connections to several Cuban regions, after Canada. During the first four months of 2012, the number of weekly flights will increase to eight – six of which will be with Cubana Airlines – between the Argentinean capital and

A study by the newspaper El Universal reflected that the tourists who choose medical tourism in 2015 will attract to Mexico 1.35 billion dollars’ worth of incomes. To achieve the figure,

JETBLUE HAS NEW CONNECTICUT-PUERTO RICO DIRECT FLIGHT JetBlue Airways opened a direct service between the international airport of the city of Hartford, in the U.S. state of Connecticut, and that of the capital of Puerto Rico, San Juan. A company spokesperson said that with this the airline continues improving the air connections of that Caribbean island. In Puerto Rico, JetBlue already operates in San Juan, Aguadilla and Ponce with direct flights to 11 destinations, seven in the continental United States: New York, Boston, Hartford, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Jacksonville and Tampa; and four in the Caribbean: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, plus Saint Maarten, Saint Thomas and Saint Croix. ■

a program was released that consists in attracting this type of tourism, focused on the Hispanic population of the United States that does not have the right to medical services or simply cannot

pay for them. This project begins with orthopedic, heart and cancer procedures at basic and intermediate levels, as well as dentistry, ophthalmology and cosmetic surgery.



Occidental Hotels & Resorts Opens Occidental Grand Nuevo Vallarta Hotel*****


ast December saw the opening of the Occidental Grand Nuevo Vallarta Hotel*****, the first “Grand” resort of Occidental Hotels & Resorts in Nuevo Vallarta. The new hotel has four restaurants, three bars, two swimming pools – one for children – and exclusive Royal Club service. The Occidental Grand Nuevo Vallarta Hotel required an investment of 14 million dollars and almost a year’s work. At the close of December 2010 the former Allegro Nuevo Vallarta closed its doors and a year later

it again opened as the Occidental Grand Nuevo Vallarta. The new hotel is located in Nuevo Vallarta, an important part of the Riviera Nayarit destination in the Bay of Banderas, which has beautiful and extensive beaches in the Mexican Pacific. Just 25 minutes from the Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport and 35 from the center of the city of Puerto Vallarta, it is surrounded by tranquil waters and exuberant vegetation, a perfect place for fun and enjoying entertainment and relaxa-

tion. A few meters from the hotel is the principal commercial center of Nuevo Vallarta. After its opening, it now has 270 rooms: 150 with a view to the sea, 48 Deluxe rooms with a view to the garden, six one-room suites, three two-room suites, six studios and two attics; the Royal Club has 43 Deluxe rooms, four junior suites and four Master Suites, which offer all the services and installations that guarantee a memorable stay. For the guests of the Occidental Grand Nuevo Vallarta who wish greater privacy during their leisure or business stays, the resort offers an exclusive area called Royal Club. Elegant rooms, private check-in in their independent reception desk, exclusive restaurant, private concierge and exclusive areas, just to mention some of the services and installations it has. The variety of services of the Occidental Grand Nuevo Vallarta’s All-Inclusive plan comprises everything guests could wish for. For the more active guests, the team in charge of activities at the hotel will present you with an attractive sports program and daily activities. The hotel’s younger guests can enjoy their own program of supervised activities. ■ CONTACT: Tel.: 34 91 395 97 00

Catalogue Summary EDITORIAL STAFF IN ITALY / +39 02 36540545



TTC, Travel Trade Caribbean

PRINTED NEWSPAPER It is distributed in the world’s principal tourism fairs in Italian, English, Spanish and French. It also presents every year the Special Edition for FIHAV in Havana, one of the region’s most important fairs. It is also sent, in the digital version –in Spanish, Italian and English– through an extensive mailing list. Both distribution channels, printed and digital, add up to more than 50,000 impacts per edition.

2012 EDITIONS First semester

Second semester


Fitur, Madrid, Spain

September Top Resa, Paris, France


BIT, Milan, Italy


TTG Incontri, Rimini, Italy


ITB, Berlin, Germany


FIHAV, Havana, Cuba


MAP, Paris, France


WTM, London, U.K.


BMT, Naples, Italy


FITCUBA, Santa María Cay, Cuba










Caribbean Operators Book

TTC News

A detailed list of the insular Caribbean’s tourist entities, with updated data and email addresses. In Spanish, Italian and English, the COB can also be found in digital format by

Weekly news supplement in Spanish, Italian and English that makes known, through the web, the latest and most important news about the area’s tourist sector. It is sent through a mailing list of 40,000 addresses.

TTC website

TTC NewsLetter

In Spanish, Italian and English it features a summary of the printed newspaper and other sections of interest. It contains an archive of historical information from the printed editions and e-bulletins.


News Bulletin

Made on request, to publish punctual and useful news of institutional interest. It is sent through 40,000 addresses in Cuba, Italy, Spain and the United States, among the most representative.


Cayo Levisa’s Natural Settings A VERITABLE GARDEN of Eden, Cayo Levisa, one of the 160 keys of the Colorados archipelago, is located on the northern coast of Pinar del Río. A very small and suggestive virgin island, with a land area of 2.5 km2, from its crystalline waters visitors are captivated by spectacular sunsets and, when night falls, the course of migratory and resident birds. The some three-kilometerlong unpolluted and almost solitary beach of Levisa, donning fine white sand and turquoise-colored water, has not suffered any artificial transformation or urbanization, which is why the diving, during the day as well as nighttime, is undoubtedly the principal option for vacationers who come to the key. An excellent place for immersion lovers, its seabed, with a great variety of landscapes, is immersed among coral reefs, which are considered among the best in the Caribbean and form part of the Colorados coral barrier. This underwater world is teeming with

around 500 species of fish, sponges, gorgonians, corals and even a Spanish ship from the 17th century. Cayo Levisa is reached by sea from the Palma Rubia jetty, in a pleasant journey of around half an hour. The stay can be combined with tours of nearby sites of tourist interest, like the Guanahacabibes Peninsula – declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO -, the Sierra del Rosario, Viñales Valley or Cayo Paraíso and Cayo Arena. The privileged surroundings of Cayo Levisa have turned it into an authentic luxury product, mainly for lovers of nautical sports and virgin nature. ■




Barbados: Italy, Second Largest Market from Continental Europe in 2011 A 2011 FULL of success for tourism in Barbados: compared to the international crisis, the Caribbean island has had positive results throughout the year with a constant growth in tourist arrivals. Italy is still the largest market from continental Europe, with 4,425 passengers, a 12% increase as compared to 2010, only preceded by Germany. On an international level, last year the destination received a total of 572,066 visitors, 7% more than in 2010. Thanks to its position protected between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, Barbados is confirmed as an ideal destination the year round. The peak period for Italian visitors is the summer, with 33% of all arrivals – a maximum of 971 passengers in August, 23% more than the previous year. Even in the winter months the island reported an excellent performance, especially in December, with 643

Washington-Havana Air Connection to Operate Five Days Ahead of Pope’s Visit to Cuba WILLIAM HAUF, president of Island Travel and Tours in the United States, said there is great interest and enthusiasm for a new air service approved for Cuba and that will operate between Washington and Havana starting next March, five days before the arrival to Cuba of Pope Benedict XVI.

tourists (an 18% increase) and January with 604 arrivals (17% more than in 2010). “The Italian market holds a place of primary importance for Barbados and we hope that this growth tendency will continue during 2012. The result for 2011, possible thanks to the many actions carried out by the Barbados Tourism Authority (BTA) in Italy, is even more positive if compared to 2009, when there

was one direct f light from Italy and which closed with 4,421 visitors,” Robert Keysselitz, vice president of Continental Europe BTA, said. “To back the continuous growth of this market we are working on the reopening of a charter f light for a direct connection from Italy during the winter months. We will soon meet with the Italian operators to turn this project into a reality.” Last May, the BTA started in Italy the Barbados Pro online training course ( for travel agents and it already has, with just seven months of operation, 350 members, of which 40% are certified. On the consumer front, the tourism office has inaugurated recently the website in Italian, derived from the BTA’s international webpage, which can be consulted by travelers to obtain information about the island and find the best travel proposals of the Italian tour operators planning the destination. The site also includes the Holiday Planner section, which allows users to see all the accommodations on the island and organize their stay in Barbados. The Facebook fan page in Italian (with more than 12,100 fans) is dedicated to “social” travelers. Here you can keep yourself up to date about the island’s events, find travel ideas, even not too common ones, and ask the BTA and other fans for advice and recommendations to better organize your vacations in Barbados. ■

The Tampa-based agency will operate the flights together with the Sky King charter company, based in California. Hauf added in a recent communiqué that the charter service from BWI Marshall will facilitate to a great degree trips to Cuba by organizations and persons from Maryland, Washington, the region’s capital (DC) and the entire Atlantic coast. The weekly flights will leave at 3:00 p.m. from BWI. The tickets are available on or by dialing 202-558-2136. In the United States this is considered a historic connection. The charter service will begin according to what was announced in November by the company. It will be the first time in the history of U.S. aeronautics that a direct commercial flight is carried out between Washington and Havana. Before 1959 Cubana Airlines and Panama, Eastern and National airlines flew every day to New York, and Delta Airlines had a weekly Havana-New Orleans flight. After the blockade was established, air operations were totally suspended in 1962. BWI will be the eighth U.S. airport to begin direct flights to Cuba as part of a policy by the Barack Obama administration. The other airports that offer that service are Miami, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale and San Juan, Puerto Rico. In addition, 10 of the country’s international airports have been given the green light for air connections with the island.



Some Caribbean Novelties at FITUR 2012

In the center, Taleb Rifai, secretary general of the World Tourism Organization, accompanied by Gloria Rivero and José Napoleón Duarte, ministers of tourism of Mexico and El Salvador, respectively, at the launching of the Mundo Maya route.


he 32nd edition of the FITUR 2012 International Tourism Fair, held January 18-22 in Madrid, was attended by 167 countries/regions and more than 9,500 companies – distributed in 10 pavilions of the IFEMA fairgrounds, taking up a net area of 65,000 m2 – with the aim of contributing to boost the tourist market. FITUR is the sector’s most important fair for Spain and for a great deal of the world because it is the first of the year with an international character. An excellent scenario for a commercial platform, the fair concentrated its effort in strengthening its qualities and tools to promote the dynamism of a sector that, despite the difficulties, has demonstrated its strength with a 4.5% growth in international tourist arrivals during the first eight months of last year, an increase similar to the one the World Tourism Organization previewed for the entire 2011, which would stand at between 4% and 4.5%. Delegations from the Tourism Promotion Council of Mexico; the Costa Rican (ICT), Guatemalan (INIGUAT), Nicaraguan (INT) and Honduran (IHT) institutes of tourism, the Puerto Rican Tourism Company, the Panamanian Tourism Authority, the Dominican Republic, the Haitian Embassy, as well as the tourism offices of Cuba and Jamaica, represented the Caribbean Basin area.

CENTRAL AMERICA PRESENTS MUNDO MAYA ROUTE Five countries have joined efforts to launch together the macro Mundo Maya (Mayan World) Route, a tour of 100 archaeological sites which conserve the vestiges of the old Mesoamerican civilization of Mexico (Campeche, Chiapas, Quintana Roo, Tabasco and Yucatán states), Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, states and countries that have become multidestinations.

Dominican Republic’s stand at FITUR 2012.

The ceremony for the presentation of the route and the signing of the respective agreement, during which the webpage was announced, took place in FITUR in the presence of Taleb Rifai, secretary general of the World Tourism Organization; Gloria Guevara, Mexico’s secretary of tourism and coordinator of the Mundo Maya 2012 Program working committee; José Napoleón Duarte, Salvadoran minister of tourism and interim president of the Mundo Maya Organization. The initiative uses as reference the old Mayan prophecy that predicts that the world will come to an end in December 2012, and encourages travelers to tour the 515,000 km2 of territory in which the former inhabitants of those countries left their imprint before disappearing. It is estimated that 40 million persons will be favored by this new tourist product. Tourists who wish to get to know

the Mayan World will be able to choose their tour a la carte, between a network of routes through localizations interconnected by air, sea and land. The designed route locates destinations whose access by land is carried out in no more than three and a half hours; the overnight stays are determined in the principal cities; 16 air links and 25 sites with access by sea have been envisaged. According to official data by the different ministries of tourism, during the first 10 months of 2011 Central America received a total of 9,577,114 tourists. As compared to 2010, during that same period, there were 6% more European visitors to the region; the Spaniards were the Europeans who most traveled, with a 3% increase. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC After a more than 5% growth in tourist arrivals, the Dominican Republic, the first Caribbean destination for Spaniards, launched at FITUR 2012 as nov-



elties the enhancement of the Autovía del Coral two-lane highway, the revitalization of the city of Santo Domingo as a cultural destination and the growth of golf. For 2012, the Dominican Republic will continue planning its particular destinations that combine nature and the beauty of its beaches. Minister of Tourism Francisco Javier García announced during the inauguration of FITUR that “in 2011 we received the largest amount of tourists ever received in one year with the arrival of 4.306 million visitors, which is a milestone in the history of Dominican tourism.” A 4% growth is expected for 2011; however, the upturn in December led to a 5.17% growth as compared to 2010. “Russia has become a consolidated market, with a 59% growth in 2011, and even surpassed Italy, although the latter continued to grow, to rank in fifth place [among the Europeans] after France. Germany, Spain and Great Britain,” the official affirmed. The United States continues being the principal market for Dominican tourism. Minister García reasserted at FITUR his country’s willingness to collaborate with Haiti in the

Cuba’s stand at FITUR 2012.

recovery of its tourist industry, as well as the possibility of creating a multidestination between both nations. He explained that the idea is to establish a technical commission to implement a series of actions benefiting both destinations and placing their services and knowledge in favor of the respective leisure industries. CUBA The diversification of the tourist product was one of the priorities that Cuba reaffirmed at FITUR when promoting the combinations and the circuits that combine sun and beach tourism with the nature, culture, history, health and quality of life modalities, under the slogan Authentic Cuba. In terms of the holding of events, the principal meetings for 2012 have been launched: Cuba’s International Tourism Fair, May 8-11, in Cayo Santa María; Fotosub Cayo Largo, in 2013, which will serve as the prelude to the next Underwater Photography World Championship of the World Confederation of Underwater Activities; and the Ernest Hemingway Marlin Fishing Tournament.

Cuban Tourism Minister Manuel Marrero confirmed during the inauguration of the Cuban Night at FITUR that the Caribbean destination closed 2011 with 2,716,317 international visitors, for a 7.3% growth as compared to 2010. He added that “although we won’t relinquish the sun and beach tourism, which is what defines us, we will commit ourselves to a diverse industry in which clients can enjoy our rich historic and cultural heritage, as well as nature and health tourism.” Commenting on the perspectives for the industry in Cuba for 2012, he referred to the decision to continue improving the quality of services and a high level of investments in hotel installations. This year the island expects the arrival of 2.9 million foreign visitors. Marrero regretted the slight decrease in 2011 in the amount of Spanish tourist arrivals, despite which Spain is Cuba’s fourth tourist market. “Spain has for us a special meaning and its businesspeople are the principal investors in Cuban tourism.” He added that Havana was the Latin American capital most visited by Spanish citizens in 2011. PANAMA Panama, a country that in 2011 received more than two million foreign visitors and earned 2.5 billion dollars in income from the tourist sector, revealed itself at FITUR “as an authentic and unexplored destination.” Among the novelties presented in the sphere of business tourism, Panama is planning the construction of a new convention center that will have the most modern infrastructure and services. It is estimated that 51 hotels will be opened in the country in upcoming years and that in 2012 there will be close to 24,000 rooms in Panama City and 2,500 more will be added in other regions of the country. The City Sightseeing Worldwide tourist bus operator announced its landing in Panama, thus becoming the tenth American city in which it functions. The panoramic buses are equipped with an innovative audio system, controlled by GPS, and tourists will receive information in six languages.

Rolando Pérez Soto, general manager of the Paradiso Travel Agency.

PARADISO AGENCY PRESENTED The launching of the Paradiso Agency, specializing in combining tourism with culture in Cuba, took place in the context of FITUR 2012. With more than 10 years as the island’s official cultural travel agency, in alliance with foreign tour operators specializing in cultural tourism and interested in the Cuba destination, Paradiso is working with the aim of making known the talent and creativity of Cuban artists. Events, festivals and traditional popular fiestas; specialized programs; art and culture academia; and diverse cultural options are the agency’s four business lines, which irradiate throughout the different art manifestations: music, dance, visual and scenic arts, museums, cultural excursions and circuits, film and literature. The novel Cultural Passport product was presented. It offers the possibility of enjoying a varied offer in cultural centers of Havana, Varadero, Santiago de Cuba, Trinidad and Pinar del Río. Valid for a month from the issued date, the passport functions like a checkbook of nine tickets, each one being equivalent to enter a specific locale (one person). When the clients enter a part of the ticket is torn off as proof of their visit. ■



Call Launched for 4th Italy-Cuba International Surgery Congress

Caribbean Office for Italian Émigré Families

Dr. Arturo Olivieri, Italian ambassador in Santo Domingo.


he Italy-Cuba Association for the Development of Surgical Sciences has launched a call for the holding of the 4th Italy-Cuba International Surgery Congress from May 3 to 5, 2012, under the central theme Innovations in Oncology. Thanks to the marked interest shown, the numerous participation applications and the novelties that are presented every year in these congresses, from the scientific point of view as well as collaboration between specialists, this year an important theme has been proposed that concerns diverse specialties. The Congress will take place as follows: the first day’s sessions will be held in the Convention Center; the second day, “live sur-

gery”, in three medical institutions: CIMEQ, Cira García International Central Clinic and the Institute of Cardiology and Cardiovascular Surgery (ICCCV) – the latter is participating for the first time. The last day, whose venue will be CIMEQ, will be dedicated to two present-day themes: new technologies and bioethics. The management of the Solymed Travel Agency, with excellent results recognized in previous editions, is in charge of the event’s organization and logistics. For information and registration to attend the Congress contact the organizing secretary of the ONLUS, Dr. Florana Menéndez: ■

IN LA ROMANA, Dominican Republic, the venue in the Caribbean region of the Association of Italian Émigré Families has been functioning since last October. The office, headed by Enrico Citati, honorary vice consul of Italy in La Romana, was inaugurated on October 3, 2011 during an official ceremony in the residence of the Italian ambassador in Santo Domingo, Dr. Arturo Olivieri. The Dominican Republic, and especially La Romana, receives a high number of Italian tourists every year. Ambassador Olivieri said that the regional office in the Dominican Republic will provide “support for Italian émigré families throughout the Caribbean.” The association, whose acronym is ANFE, was founded in 1947.

CARIBBEAN ITALIAN AND SPANISH TOURISM FAVOR OCHO RIOS IN JAMAICA THE NEW COMMUNICATION technologies have allowed tourism in the city of Ocho Rios, Jamaica, to grow by the day, and it is no longer frequented only by the British and Americans, but also recently by Italians and Spaniards. Special attractions for Italian tourists include the Toscanini Restaurant, Evita’s Italian Restaurant and Scotchie’s, all of them with magnificent food from the European country. “In Ocho Rios, Jamaica, it is possible to go horseback riding, swim with dolphins,

bathe in beaches with white sand and warm Caribbean waters, or enjoy versatile cultural shows. These varied offers make this site a veritable tourist paradise in the very heart of the Caribbean,” according to a promotional spot.

Ocho Rios is located to the north of Jamaica. It is a city in the parish of Santa Ana, just 1:45 hours away from the nation’s international airport. One of its most relevant attractions is Margarita Ville Dolphin Cove, a place

where visitors can interact naturally with dolphins; other attractions are the visits to one of its waterfalls or tropical forests. The city features architectural spaces like the Geddes and the Anglican churches, which are an example of the city’s colonial splendor. At this paradise’s beaches you can practice scuba diving, jet skiing, horseback riding, helicopter and other attractive proposals. The very famous Bob Marley was born in that city, where his mortal remains also rest, a site that is another attraction for tourists who are aficionados of reggae. ■