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International Tourism Publication founded in 1996 Year XIII • Issue 218 • March 2013 • Regular Edition • www.traveltradecaribbean.com • 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

Caribbean Islands a Tourist Destination for German Market

The economic crisis that has characterized the European climate in recent years has also been felt in Germany, although the Germans do not aim

to renounce their vacations. The German market continues being the most important issuing market of the European continent. 4

CTO Recommends a Caribbean Single Visa Regime

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Aviation Task Force has recommended a review of visa regimes in member countries in order to improve the visitor experience. The CTO Aviation Task Force is a highly focused committee established to facilitate air transportation into and throughout the Caribbean and to enhance airlift. It is to recommend to its membership a system similar to Europe’s Schengen visa program, where visitors who are cleared at the initial port of entry can continue travelling seamlessly throughout most of the European Union. The decision came out of a recent meeting of the CTO Aviation Task Force held in St John’s, Antigua, to review issues affecting intra-regional travel and make recommendations for increasing consumer demand. ■

Cuba at ITB 2013. Cuba is present at ITB 2013 at stand 209, Pavilion 3, decorated with images of the Authentic Cuba Campaign. The German market is extremely important for Cuban tourism. In 2012 a total of 108,712 Germans visited the island, 14.3% more than in 2011. It was the third issuing market of foreign visitors to the destination, after Canada and the United Kingdom. 2

International Tourism to Maintain Strong Growth in 2013 Fire Fest Dedicated to Colombian Caribbean Caribbean Culture Events

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Caribbean’s Cultural Product Favors Intercultural Dialogue

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The World Tourism Organization (WTO) forecasts that international tourist arrivals will grow between 3% and 4% in 2013, which fits in well with its prediction until 2030: a mean annual +3.8% between 2010 and 2020. By re-

gions, the best perspectives for 2013 are for Asia and the Pacific (between +5% and +6%), followed by Africa (+4% and +6%), the Americas (+3% to 4%), Europe (+2% to +3%) and the Middle East (0% to +5%). 2


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TRAVEL TRADE CARIBBEAN • YEAR XIII • ISSUE 218 • MARCH 2013

Cuba at ITB 2013 Continued from front page—The principal objectives of Cuba’s participation in ITB 2013 are geared at strengthening the ties with the most important German partners for tourist operations from the market to Cuba, as well as exhibiting the wealth and variety of the Cuban tourist product, especially Sun and Beach as the star product, in addition to others of notable quality like Combinations, Circuits, Nautical, Events and Incentives, Youth Tourism, Weddings and Honeymoons, Historic-Cultural and Nature Tourism. The presence of the Caribbean island will be emphasized in the specialized Nautical tourism (scuba diving, fishing, life on board and other modalities), given the importance of the goal sector of the product in the market, while updating the participants on the potentials of Havana, Varadero, the Keys, Holguín and the center of Cuba as the principal regions for the German market.

Via Galileo Galilei, 47 20092 Cinisello Balsamo, Mi Tel. +39 02 36649575 • Fax +39 02 36649576 E-mail italia@traveltradecaribbean.com commerciale.it@gmail.com Web www.traveltradecaribbean.com Honorary President Renzo Druetto Principal Director Giuseppe Ferraris

Cuban delegation will emphasize the modality of nautical tourism.

Moreover, at ITB Cuba aims to highlight among the participants the messages and supports of the current destination campaign Authentic Cuba and promote the principal events to be held in Cuba in 2013: ▶▶ Varadero Gourmet International Festival, April 10-12, and the event Saborear lo cubano (Savoring the Cuban), both with the aim of perpetuating Cuban culinary culture. ▶▶ Montecristo Golf Cup Tournament, April 25-27. ▶▶ Underwater Activities World Championship (CMAS), April

8-14, in Cayo Largo. ▶▶ IMASUB, in María La Gorda, June 10-16. ▶▶ Ernest Hemingway International Marlin Fishing Tournament, June 3-7, and the Jardines del Rey Fishing Tournament, in October. ▶▶ Nature Tourism Event, September 24-28. ▶▶ The most important event of the Cuban tourist industry… FITCuba 2013, already with 33 years of experience, will be held May 7-10 in Varadero, dedicated to the Sun and Beach product and with Brazil as its guest country. ■

Director Alfredo Rodríguez director@traveltradecaribbean.com Director Italy Roberto Barbieri roberto.barbieri@traveltradecaribbean.com Marketing Director Jesús Rodríguez jrd@traveltradecaribbean.com Marketing Tiziana Settanni ttc.italia@gmail.com Tel.: +39 02 36540545 Editorial Staff for Cuba Josefina Pichardo redaccion@traveltradecaribbean.com Graphic Design Andro Liuben Pérez Diz androliuben@traveltradecaribbean.com Digital News Services Frank Martín Webmaster Juan Manuel González webmaster@traveltradecaribbean.com Collaboration and Marketing Ana Cecilia Herrera anac@traveltradecaribbean.com Dagmara Blanco / Orlando Ojeda dagmara@traveltradecaribbean.com orlando.ojeda@traveltradecaribbean.com

International Tourism to Maintain Strong Growth in 2013 Continued from front page—WTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai affirmed that the sector has demonstrated its ability to adapt to the market’s changing conditions and, although at a slightly more modest pace, it is expected it will continue expanding in 2013. International tourist arrivals grew 4% in 2012, according to the WTO Barometer of World Tourism. With 39 million more international tourists as com-

Several Spanish hotel chains plan to invest in Cuba in 2013, a year in which four projects will be concretized with companies from Spain, Xiomara Mar-

Spanish Investments in Cuban Tourism

pared to the 996 million in 2011, in 2012 the arrivals surpassed a billion (1.035 billion) for the first time in history. The emerging economies (+4.1%) again were ahead of the advanced (+3.6%). The Asia and Pacific region (+7%) had the best performance, while, by subregions, Southeast Asia, North Africa (both with +9%) and Central and Eastern Europe (+8%) headed the ranking. ■

tínez Iglesias, Cuban deputy Minister of Tourism, announced. During the last 33rd Madrid International Tourism Fair (FITUR), Martínez stated that Cuba highly

values Spanish investments, and the Meliá chain, which in two decades has accumulated 25 establishments in the Caribbean nation, is there to prove it.

Ernesto L. Rodríguez ernesto@traveltradecaribbean.com Magdalena García magda@enet.cu María E. Leyva mariae.leyva@traveltradecaribbean.com Silvia I. Alfonso silvia@traveltradecaribbean.com Zoe Alfonso zoe@traveltradecaribbean.com Mercedes GUILLOT Print Officina Grafica S.R.L. 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.


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TRAVEL TRADE CARIBBEAN • YEAR XIII • ISSUE 218 • MARCH 2013

Caribbean Islands a Tourist Destination for German Market

■■ Dr. Jos Luis Perell■ Doctor in Economic Science, Master in Tourism Management, Professor of the Faculty of Tourism, University of Havana. Consultant for National Chamber of Tourism of Honduras (CANATURH) and Havana International Center (CIH)

Arrival of Germans to Cuba and the Dominican Republic • Dominican Republic • Cuba

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ermans are flexible tourists, who can venture traveling at any time, who are not linked to any tour operator and who only use travel agencies when they consider it indispensable. Thinking about money and not about time can change the world of tourism in upcoming years. To this it will be necessary to add the fact that demographic projections indicate that starting 2010 the German population started decreasing and the population aging phenomenon will become deeper, given that the age groups of 50 years and more will be the only ones to increase and potentially will be the most interested in traveling. These trends globally influence the fact that the Germans continue traveling in a stable way, but holidays are increasingly shorter. In this scenario the low-cost airlines are gaining a position in the face of the service offered on charter and regular airlines. The consequences will be the changes in the market quotas among travelers of organized packages and of individual trips. The price is increasingly an important factor when it comes to deciding on one or the other destination. Vacations in the Caribbean cost on average almost double those in Turkey or Croatia and triple the ones in Germany itself. This difference is simply understood because a long-distance trip generally lasts longer and this leads to its final increase in price. This scenario forces the Caribbean destinations to recognize Germany’s relevance as one of the biggest European issuing markets by 2020, according to the WTO’s forecasts, and the challenge that this represents for the planning and promotion of tourism seeking a repositioning within the most important world markets in terms of number of tourists and spending. German tourists not only are one of the groups that travel the most internationally, but they also represent an important spending, only after those from the United States.

Like in several world issuing markets, the trends of the tourist flows will be increasingly influenced by the migratory flows. In the case of Germany, the growth in trips to Turkey is due fundamentally to a unique process in the social development of the German nation in recent decades. In that sense it must be taken into account that 3.7% of Germany’s population is of Muslim origin, of which approximately 80% are Turks. The number of Turks surpasses the total of foreigners from the European Union. Germany is Turkey’s principal trade partner. This scenario favors that, together with the nation’s economic recovery and growth, there is a tourist flow toward countries of the origin of the immigrants who have achieved a certain level of income that allows them to make business trips and to take holidays, generally short ones.

In the opinion of experts, cruise vacations, trips to Turkey and mid-distance leisure travel have marked the trends of these recent years. For the Caribbean islands, German tourism ranked one of the first places for the two principal Caribbean destinations. For the Dominican Republic, which received a bit over 450,000 Germans in 2000, it decreased to less than 250,000 in 2002. The participation rate in the total arrivals decreased from 14% in 2000 to less than 4% in 2012, while for Cuba, during that same period it decreased from 11.5% to less than 4%. It would be necessary to study what has been the participation of the marketing agents or the publicity and promotion campaigns in this performance of the market; and perhaps try to find an answer to the question: Is the Caribbean’s tourist offer and its promotional image coherent with the interests and motivations of the current German traveler? ■

Germany’s participation in total arrivals to Cuba and the Dominican Republic • Dominican Republic • Cuba


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Fire Fest Dedicated to Colombian Caribbean Green Globe Announces Certification of True Blue Bay Resort

The 33rd Caribbean Festival or Fire Fest will be held July 3-9 in its usual venue of Santiago de Cuba.

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edicated to the al Prize to Colombian cultural tradisinger Sonia Bazantions of the Cota, popularly known lombian Caribbean, as Totó, La Monpothe 33rd Caribbean sina, who has conFestival or Fire Fest firmed her presence. will be held July 3-9 The José María Hein its usual venue of redia Plaque will also Santiago de Cuba. be given to her comThe Colombian Capatriot, scholar César ribbean is of great im- Caribbean and Latin American cultures will be repre- Pagano. portance for Carib- sented at the Festival. At the close of this bean culture because issue, participants of the value of its traditions, customs and re- from Cuba as well as Argentina, Venezuela, ligious practices. The Fire Fest will pay tribute Mexico, Curaçao, the United States, Suriname to the cultural diversity of Barranquilla, Cart- and, of course, Colombia –from which a large agena and Santa Marta, regions that make up delegation is expected– had confirmed their that area. intention to attend. The number of foreign The cumbia, that alluring melodic style that guests is estimated at around 800. intertwines African and indigenous rhythms, Spaces like The Caribbean that Unites Us and the vallenato, considered Colombia’s most Colloquium, the Serpent Parade and the Burnpopular musical genre, will be heard. ing of the Devil will form part of the 2013 CaThe Festival will become a propitious occa- ribbean Festival, an excellent occasion to honsion to award the Casa del Caribe Internation- or the region’s popular cultures. ■

Hotel Paseo Habana Located a few steps away from Paseo Avenue, in El Vedado, this hotel is central and at the same time private. It has 30 rooms with AC, private bathroom, satellite TV, telephone and safety deposit box. Four of the rooms are designed for the handicapped. It also has a restaurant, cafeteria, shop, cybercafé and meeting room. Hotel Tulipán It is in the heart of the neighborhood of Nuevo Vedado and is excellent for relaxing and resting because of its welcoming atmosphere and spacious gardens. With 326 rooms, it also has a restaurant, cafeteria, shop, party rooms and meeting room.

Green Globe certifies Grenada’s True Blue Bay Resort because the Caribbean boutique hotel “has taken a proactive role in preserving and protecting its untouched natural surroundings”, the environmental organization informed. “We are very proud to receive this prestigious recognition from Green Globe Certification,” said Russ Fielden, Owner of the True Blue Bay Resort, “Our management and staff have been working hard to come up with innovative ideas to help keeping the environment clean and play a beneficial role in Grenadian society. A beach clean-up was just recently accomplished by our staff and friends, who collected over 17 large bags of garbage on a nearby beach. We will continue to improve our environmental efforts, promoting awareness and sustainable practices on all possible levels.” A long-term sustainability management system is in effect at the True Blue Bay Resort, and a dedicated Green Team monitors the progress of green measures, shaping and realizing environmental goals set by the property. Over the past year the resort has experimented with solar lights, and “True Green Rooms,” which will virtually use no electricity and be powered by solar energy, are currently being planned. Green Globe Certification is the worldwide sustainability system based on internationallyaccepted criteria for sustainable operation and management of travel and tourism businesses. Operating under a worldwide license, Green Globe Certification is based in California, USA, and is represented in over 83 countries.

The Islazul Hotel Group, present throughout the Cuban archipelago, is becoming reasserted as one of the hotel chains with the widest coverage and diversity throughout Cuba.

www.islazul.cu

Hotel Bella Habana Aeropuerto Also located in Nuevo Vedado, along Avenida Boyeros, this hotel has 84 rooms, a restaurant, cafeteria, shop, beauty parlor, post office and meeting room.


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Dominican Republic Closes 2012 with +1.5% in Hotel Occupancy The average hotel occupancy rate in the Dominican Republic closed 2012 with a 1.5% increase as compared to the previous year, a growth that was driven by the strong dynamism experienced in the area of Punta Cana-Bávaro and Romana-Bayahibe, which at the end of 2012 registered rates of 77.4% and 75.7%, for a growth of 1.4% and 0.5%, respectively. This was reported by the bulletin

of tourist statistics of the Association of Hotels and Tourism of the Dominican Republic (ASONAHORES). The city of Puerto Plata increased by 5.0%, going from 53.4% in 2011 to 56.0% in 2012, due to the improvement in services offered. Boca Chica-Juan Dolio maintained its operations in 2012 at 62.8% and in 2011 at 60.3%, for a positive balance of 2.6%.

Santiago de los Caballeros registered an average rate of 54.3% that, compared to the estimated 53.3% in 2011, represents a 1.9% growth. The province of Samaná and SosuaCabarete decreased in their occupancy levels by 0.5% and 6.7%, respectively. In Santo Domingo, hotel activity decreased by 4.9%, going from 60.3% in 2011 to 57.3% at the close of 2012. ■

Turks & Caicos named Top Ten Family Vacation Destination for 2013 Caribbean Development Bank Forecasts Another Slow Year for Tourism The international situation will not favor tourism this year either, according to analysts. Bad news for the Caribbean and it was given by the Development Bank: 2013 will not bring growth to a sector that is the principal source of income of the majority of the Caribbean countries. William Warren Smith, president of the Caribbean development Bank, said that the economic problems, the high unemployment rate and the strong fiscal adjustments in Europe and the United States, the principal issuing markets for the Caribbean, will not allow the recovery of tourism in the region. Smith warned that only Haiti and Guyana showed increases in their GDPs of more than 5%; the rest of the nations did not surpass the 1-2% growth. ■

The Mexican Caribbean will give a strong boost in 2013 to golf tourism in Cancun and the Riviera Maya, with three new courses to be inaugurated or start being designed this same year, which will combine hotel infrastructure with installations for that segment, according to a report by the daily El Economista. The three new projects to the north of Quintana Roo are: one linked

Three Golf Courses to be Built in Quintana Roo

Once again the Turks & Caicos Islands has garnered international recognition by being named in the top ten family vacation destinations for 2013 by Family Vacation Critic. The family planning guide is a comprehensive online travel resource for families that offers reviews of family hotels, resorts and destinations. The site which features vacation ideas, family travel tips and an online forum for family travelers says that families kick off the New Year by starting their vacation planning and reports that January is the peak month for family-vacation related searches.

The Turks and Caicos joins an illustrious group of other family-friendly destinations including Amelia Island, FL., Montreal, Park City, UT., San Diego, CA. and Alaska Cruises. In the region only the Bahamas was included in the top ten listing. ■

to the Puerto Aventuras residential tourist development –it plans to build this year a nine-hole course; another to the Puerto Cancun– about to conclude a pro-

fessional 18-hole course that should be inaugurated in 2013; and the third, to the Mayakoba complex –it is expected that during the current year its second course will be reactivated. In the last five years, the northern area of Quintana Roo increased from 5 to 14 its golf course offers with an average investment of between 10 and 15 million dollars each.


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TRAVEL TRADE CARIBBEAN • YEAR XIII • ISSUE 218 • MARCH 2013

Costa Ricans and Panamanians Won’t Need Visas for Mutual Visits

Laura Chinchilla, President of Costa Rica.

Costa Ricans and Panamani- that the elimination of the passans won’t need a passport to cross port would expedite the flow of the border between both coun- visitors between the two countries. “Panama’s economy has a tries, Costa Rican President Lauvery important ra Chinchilla announced during We have to set an growth in Latin America, we the welcome ceremony for the example of unity by want Panamanians to visit Costorch of the Central American eliminating the pass- ta Rica, that they buy our products Sports Games, at the bordering city port for Costa Ricans and they come as tourists, and of Paso Canoas. “We have to and Panamanians so they also want to visit and increase set an example of unity by elimi- that in this way we commercial relations with the nating the passport for Costa can consolidate re- Costa Ricans,” she said. Ricans and PanChinchilla anamanians so that lations between the nounced that the in this way we can consolidate rela- two countries.” first to benefit from the elimitions between the two countries,” the president said. nation of passports would be peoChinchilla commented that ple of the areas close to the comCosta Ricans as well as Panama- mon border and that later the nians want to increase commercial exemption would be extended to relations between both nations and the nationals of both countries. ■

Costa Rica Assumes Pro Tempore Presidency of Central American Tourism Council Costa Rica assumed the pro tempore presidency of the Central American Tourism Council. The transference of the presidency took place during the LXXXVII Regular Meeting of the Central American Tourism Council (CCT) by Nicaraguan Minister of Tourism Mario Salinas Pasos to Costa Rican Minister of Tourism Allan Flores. Minister Allan Flores has been acting as pro tempore president of the CCT since January 2013 for the period of six months. Flores presented his six-month work plan to be carried out by the Council through the Secretariat of Central American Tourist Integration (SITCA) –the source of this information– with the support of the Central American Federation of Chambers of Tourism (FEDECATUR).


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TRAVEL TRADE CARIBBEAN • YEAR XIII • ISSUE 218 • MARCH 2013

Caribbean Culture Events ■■ Regino M. Cruz■ Events planner. Was the executive secretary of the Latin American and Caribbean Association of Conventions Bureaus (LatinCaribeBureau) and its vice president from 2000 until its disappearance in 2002

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he International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), with more than 900 members in 87 countries, inclu­ des in its statistics of international events only those that comply with the requirements: Rotating through at least three countries, Having more than 50 participants and Being periodically organized. In the 2011 figures the Caribbean islands1 are taken into account, although only four countries –Jamaica, Cuba, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico– appear in the ICCA ranking since the rest have four or less international meetings. Recent years’ events present trends from which Latin America and the Caribbean do not escape, like the decrease in the average number of participants –the one for this region is the lowest in the world sphere– as well as the reduction of their duration, a result of the changes caused by the crisis that affects a significant number of nations. Another aspect that shows great force is the tendency to carry out meetings in hotels with halls and facilities: in the region they represent 66.5% as compared to 13.6% in convention centers and 15.6% in universities. But many events are held in the Caribbean that are not considered by the ICCA –the organization only takes into account the meetings of international associations, it does not include corporative, 1 Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Cuba, Dominica, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands, Virgin Islands, Jamaica, Martinique, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Saint KittsNevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago. Source: ICCA Statistic Report 2002-2011.

political or government meetings and, therefore, a process of attracting venues or sports competitions or cultural festivals are not included. And the cultural festivals are precisely one of the largest and most important manifestations in the Caribbean and in many cases are a reason to travel for the tourists who visit our islands. It would

be practically impossible to bring together in just one text all the festivals, carnivals or popular fiestas that are organized in the region; just to mention some of the best known, still not daring to make an assessment of which are the most important. One of the most emblematic is CARIFESTA, Caribbean Festival of the Arts, carried out for the

first time in 1972 in Guyana and held in a different country each time. Inspired in the Caribbean Festival of the Arts (Puerto Rico, 1952), it is already in its 11th edition and will be held this year in Suriname August 16-23, after four years not being held. During the Summit of CARICOM Heads of State and of Government, Haiti expressed the wish to be the venue in 2015. Many international festivals are held in Cuba, like the Caribbean Festival (Fire Fiesta), in Santiago de Cuba, dedicated to a certain country each year, which brings together thousands of participants to share the best of the culture of the Caribbean nations –in 2013 it will be held July 3-9; the Romerías de Mayo, in Holguín, which will be celebrating its 20th edition; and the New Latin American Film Festival which in December brings together in Havana the region’s best cinema. In Cayman Islands its Prate Week stands out, held every November: 11 days of music, dance, competitions, games, parades and fireworks. Few things can be more Dominican than the merengue and this is why in July the Festival of the Merengue is held in Santo Domingo; a contagious rhythm that those days is heard in all the corners of the country, at any time of the day. Aruba is renowned as one of the destinations for windsurfing aficionados, thus the island’s most important competition is a grand fiesta in July; the fun begins at the beach when the aficionados gather to see the sports events. Puerto Rico has a rich African tradition and where it is most seen is in the city of Loíza, which every July celebrates the Santiago Apóstol Festival, the fruit of religious syncretism. It includes street fiestas, open-air concerts and carnival parades, generally for a week. They are these and many more, but all of them are events proper of Caribbean culture, which attract visitors and join peoples while generating benefits for the culture and the economies of these countries. ■


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TRAVEL TRADE CARIBBEAN • YEAR XIII • ISSUE 218 • MARCH 2013

Germany is Dominican Republic’s Fifth Tourist Market

From left, Arturo Villanueva, executive vice-president Asonahores; Isabel Vásquez, Ministry of Tourism Promotion Director; Fausto Fernández, Deputy Minister of Tourism; Thomas Bruns, ambassador of Germany in the Dominican Republic, and Rosalinda Thomas, ITB representative for the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean.

In a meeting with the press held in the Dominican-German Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, the ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in the Dominican Republic, Thomas Bruns, reported that between 200,000 and 300,000 Germans arrive every year to the Caribbean country, placing Germany as the fifth is-

suing country of tourists, attracted in their majority by the sun and beach offer in addition to cruises. Bruns highlighted that the commercial exchange between both countries stands at US$250 million a year; mainly agricultural products, especially machinery, are exported to Germany.

Rosalinda Thomas, Messe Berlin representative for the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean, said that the Dominican Republic is one of the principal destinations in the German market, in addition to highlighting the importance of the country’s participation every year in ITB Berlin, whose 2013 edition it is attending with a stand of some 400 m2. ■

Riviera Maya Receives Almost Four Million Tourists The Riviera Maya closed 2012 with 3,895,548 tourists, 7.9% more than the previous year, when 3,610,367 visitors were received, according to the Department of Statistics of the Riviera Maya’s Tourist Promotion Administration. The national market saw a 19.44% growth as compared to 2011, while foreign tourism registered a 5.15% increase. U.S. tourism continued to predominate in the foreign market, with 1,201,959 visitors, which is equal to 39.21%, followed by Europe, with 935,861 travelers (30.53%). Canada ranked third with 697,875 visitors, 22.76% of the grand total.

South American tourism went from having a participation of 4.75% in 2011 to 6.64% in 2012, with 203,538 tourists from the

different countries of the region. From the rest of the world, 26,455 holidaymakers arrived, representing 0.86% of the total of foreigners.

The general occupancy rate was 74.97%, as compared to 72.75% in 2011; this is a growth of 2.22%. The year 2012 concluded with a total of 10,989,796 overnight stays, 7.77% more than 2011. The increase in hotel occupancy was accompanied by an increase in average rate, which in 2011 was 2,194 pesos and last year was 2,443 pesos. The Riviera Maya is Mexico’s most successful tourist destination. It has the largest number of rooms, only after Mexico City, and the annual occupancy rate of this vacation destination in the Mexican Caribbean is the highest in the country. ■

Germans an Important Market for Riviera Maya

Quintana Roo Pursues Surpassing 17 Million Visitors

Germans are an important market for the Riviera Maya since Playa del Carmen began as a vacation tourist destination more than 20 years ago, and the majority of them prefer to stay in small hotels, Jamil Elías Hindi, president of that destination’s Association of Small Hotels, commented. Hindi added that, starting 2009, the German market began recovering… tourists also interested in cultural activities, not just enjoying the sun and beaches. At the Berlin International Tourism Fair (ITB) the Riviera Maya hoteliers have programmed meetings with travel agencies and tour operators to agree on or renew new commercial alliances for this year.

The actions taken by Quintana Roo to surpass in 2013 the 17 million visitors it had in 2012 includes the launching of the Soy Quintana Roo (I Am Quintana Roo) publicity campaign. Mainly filmed in locations of Chetumal, Bacalar, Isla Mujeres, Cancun, Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Cozumel, Tulum, Muyil, Chumpón, Majahual and Playa del Carmen, this campaign will promote the state’s tourist destinations and sites of interest. Quintana Roo has almost 900 hotels with approximately 85,000 rooms and an infrastructure that is sufficient for conventions tourism.


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TRAVEL TRADE CARIBBEAN • YEAR XIII • ISSUE 218 • MARCH 2013

Greater Caribbean in Favor of Sustainable Tourism

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epresentatives of agencies devoted to promoting sustainable tourism in the region of the Greater Caribbean, coordinated in Nicaragua a common agenda in favor of the Caribbean Basin seeking, in the short term, to have a certification of sustainability and quality. “Our objective is to have an area of sustainable tourism,” Mario Salinas, president of the Nicaraguan Institute of Tourism, said when inaugurating the meeting. He recalled that international estimates reveal that the annu-

al figure of tourists in the world amounts to almost a billion, and this presents the need to assume the concepts of sustainability in an industry that could destroy the natural, cultural and human resources it uses. He called for paying attention to these negative aspects it creates, like any other activity, to the detriment of the environment. With this meeting the Sustainable Tourism Committee of the Association of Caribbean States sought to fine tune its sustainable tourism strategies in the region. ■

Jamaica: Arrivals by Air and Sea Hit a Record A monthly statistical report published by the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) said arrivals to the Caribbean island by air and sea hit a record 3.3 million in 2012, up 7.4% yearon-year. According to the released tourism data, arrivals in 2011 amounted to 3.07 million. Tourist visits also hit the three million mark in 2006.

The bulk of last year's increase came from cruise passenger growth, up 17%, mainly due to the newest port in Trelawny, the Falmouth Cruise Pier, built over a year ago. Total visitors by sea amounted to 1.34 million. Geographically, a rise in Canadian and US visitors balanced the decline in United Kingdom/Europe,

down 16.3% and 2.9%, respectively. Canada's growth, however, waned a bit from its previous doubledigit growth. In 2012,

some 403,200 Canadian visitors stayed in Jamaica compared to some 378,900 that visited during the same period in 2011. ■

Three New Air Routes from San Juan to Caribbean Announced Seaborne Airlines, the regional air carrier based in Saint Croix, Virgin Islands, announced a new direct service from Puerto Rico’s Luis Muñoz International Airport to three new airports in the Caribbean: Melville Hall, in Dominica; Aimé Césaire, in Forte-de-France, Martinique; and Pointe-a-Pitre, in Guadeloupe.

The three routes, which will kick off next April 1, will be flown with a 34-seat turboprop Saab aircraft, which operates with two pilots, a flight attendant, cabin service and bathroom. By adding these three routes, Seaborne will operate more than 625 weekly departures from San Juan to eight stations. ■

Air Berlin stands out for the diversity of routes.

Caribbean Destinations Connected with Germany Important Caribbean destinations are connected with Germany, directly or through connections, in which the tourist season has a great incidence. Using as sources the websites of the principal German air companies, Air Berlin stands out for the diversity of routes, with direct flights to Cuba on the Varadero-Berlin route until April 30, starting which it will operate with connections. This airline includes in its portfolio three destinations in the Dominican Republic –La Romana/Casa de Campo, Punta Cana and Puerto Plata; Freeport and Nassau in the Bahamas; Bridgetown in Barbados; Cancun in Mexico; San Juan in Puerto Rico; and Curaçao. Meanwhile, Condor offers flights to the Dominican Republic –Puerto Plata, Santo Domingo and Punta Cana; Cuba– Havana, Varadero and Holguín; Mexico (Cancun), Jamaica (Montego Bay), Puerto Rico (San Juan), Costa Rica (San José), Trinidad and Tobago (Tobago), Antigua and Barbuda and Saint Lucia. In the Bahamas its portfolio takes into consideration the airports in Freeport, Treasure Cay, Nassau, Rock Sound, Georgetown, Governors Harbour and Marsh Harbour. Sources: w ww.guialineasaereas.com www.condor.com www.airberlin.com


TRAVEL TRADE CARIBBEAN • YEAR XIII • ISSUE 218 • MARCH 2013

FITCuba 2013’s Latest News

Dedicated to Sun and Beach, Varadero, Cuba’s leading destination for this product, will host the 33rd International Tourism Fair (FITCuba 2013), from May 7 to 10. The Plaza América fairgrounds will be the venue of the principal activities of the major professional tourism event on the island. More than 70% of the Cuban hotels are associated to Sun and Beach tourism, which attracted 77.7% of the income from tourism in the first semester of 2012 (the latest available official statistics at the close of this edition). Varadero especially contributed 61.3% of the income in Cuba for this modality. The guest country in this edition will be Brazil, one of the emerging markets with the greatest growth. It closed 2012 with 16,174 visitors to the island, +11.5% compared to the same period in 2011. The Cuban tourism ministry made Brazil the country of honor during the FITCuba 2013 as part of an effort to increase tourism from the South American country. Recently, Cuban tourism officials met with Brazilian diplomats at the embassy in Havana to analyze a short-term plan to increase the number of Brazilian visitors and talk about Brazilian participation in the fair. The number of visitors from Argentina, Chile, Peru, Venezuela and Colombia to Cuba has multiplied over the past few years, but the number of tourists from economically booming Brazil has remained small. FITCuba 2013’s official transportation companies are Transtur (on land) and Cubana Airlines, and the travel agency is Cubatur. ■ www.fitcuba.com

Tobago Tourist Arrivals Boost Tobago is expecting an increase in tourist arrivals in 2013, Secretary of Tourism and Transportation Tracy Davidson-Celestine says. “There has been an increase of over 60% in bookings for the year to date when compared to the corresponding period last year”, Celestine added in an interview. She said the increase was due to the “Tobago Go Go” campaign which

started three years ago to facilitate late winter bookings from visitors in Scandinavia and the United Kingdom.Travelers from those markets were being offered up to £100 off packaged holidays to Tobago for at least a seven-night stay. “By the end of the season in April we are expecting Tobago to receive over 35,000 passengers, an increase of more than 2,000 over the 2011/2012 season,” she said. ■

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TRAVEL TRADE CARIBBEAN • YEAR XIII • ISSUE 218 • MARCH 2013

Roc Arenas Doradas Has New Image

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The Guanahacabibes National Park, especially the María La Gorda International Scuba Diving Center, to the west of Cuba, is the scenario for the 3rd Underwater Photography Meeting (IMASUB 2013), from June 10 to 16, which can be attended by underwater photographers worldwide. The morphology of the Guanahacabibes Park’s seabed shows an enchanting landscape, with extensive white sands where reefs, round hills, walls, caves, caverns and tunnels can be appreciated. Its marine fauna includes barracudas, parrot fish, lobsters, moray eels, gorgonias, among other species. Particularly attractive are the walls covered in colonies of black coral. This seabed is ideal for underwater photography because of the transparency of its waters that enables a visibility of a distance of up to 30 meters and a depth of 25 and 30 meters. Fauna, Macro, Environment and Atmosphere with model are the contest-

reforms, renovated furniture in the lobby, new All-Inclusive services, like ice cream parlor and coffee shop. Located by the seashore, next to the dolphinarium and the Marina Chapelín, it offers clients the courtesy bus service to the center of Varadero. It has 316 rooms distributed in 10 bungalow-style buildings, surrounded by gardens and streams. A large swimming pool with aqua bar, pool for children, tennis court, four a la carte restaurants and a buffet, a broad animation program with nighttime activities and shows, are some of its facilities. The hotel chain’s intentions include giving a boost to client satisfaction and positioning the Roc Arenas Doradas among the best in Varadero, on the most important international opinion websites. ■

© José A. Cañibano Ercilla. Imasub 2012. Cuba.

oc Hotels has recently purchased Hoteles C, a hotel chain that manages hotels in Cuba. In this way the Roc Hotels company, based in Palma de Mallorca, is expanding its international portfolio in 2013 to 18 hotels –eight in Mallorca, three in Menorca, three in Torremolinos, one in Almería and three in Cuba– a figure that places it close to the project to reach the 20 establishments in 2015. Roc Hotels will implant its brand on the three hotels in Cuba –it will give them its personality and experience–, which will be called Roc Presidente****, in Havana, and, in Varadero, Roc Arenas Doradas**** and Roc Barlovento****. The Roc Arenas Doradas especially enjoys a new image not just because of the new brand but also the reforms carried out during the last season… new paths between the gardens that lead to the beach, room

Underwater Photography at María La Gorda

ing categories. There isn’t a registration quota and participants must be certified as scuba divers of the member organi-

zations of the Recreational Scuba Training Council (RSTC) and have an updated medical aptitude record. Accommodations in the area are in Villa María La Gorda in Plan AP (Complete boarding: accommodation, breakfast, lunch and supper). Six immersions are included (one for reconnaissance, four for competition and a free optional). The immersions include: vessel, bottles, ballast and instructor. Thirteen prizes are awarded: three first prizes per category and a Grand Prize for the photographer with the most points. The Grand Prize will receive a trophy and a three-night stay at María La Gorda for two persons in a regimen of half board and with five immersions.

Contacts jefe.comercial.te@gaviotatours.cu comercial1.te@gaviotatours.cu comercial@mlagorda.co.cu


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TRAVEL TRADE CARIBBEAN • YEAR XIII • ISSUE 218 • MARCH 2013

Traveling to the Caribbean is Bouncing Back to Pre-recession Levels

Grenada Invest in Yachting Sector Grenada is investing a US$375,000 grant from CARTfund, administered by Caribbean Development Bank, to expand and develop the country’s marine and yachting, a report of the expert Vicky Karantzavelou said in Internet. According to Anita Sutton, President of Grenada’s Marine and Yachting Association, the island “as a yachting destination is one of the best kept secrets of the Caribbean and it is

time for the secret to be revealed,” explained Sutton. Grenada is investing in a range of other improvements to the sector. These include the training and certification of its yacht maintenance and technical staff, a security protocol to ensure that Grenada remains the Caribbean’s safest yachting destination, and steps to streamline the clearance requirements for yachts travelling between Grenada and St. Vincent. ■

Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) reports that the number of people traveling to the Caribbean is bouncing back to pre-recession levels. According to the regional organization, visitors from Canada and the U.S. are giving a boost to a region struggling to recover from a global economic crisis. The Dutch Caribbean islands reported a 5.6% increase in visitor arrivals from 2011. The most popular islands were Curaçao and Aruba. About 25 million tourists visited the Caribbean last year, a more than 5% increase from 2011. It’s a growth rate that outpaced the rest of the world, which saw arrivals increase by 4%, said Beverly Nicholson-Doty, chairwoman of the Barbados-based CTO. The bulk of tourists visiting the Caribbean come from the U.S., a number that increased by more than 4% last year, on par with pre-recession levels five years ago. Canada also remained one of the Caribbean’s largest markets, with tourists from that country increasing by nearly 6% t in 2012.


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TRAVEL TRADE CARIBBEAN • YEAR XIII • ISSUE 218 • MARCH 2013

■■ Roberto Pastor Raola■ Graduate in History of Art from the University of Havana. Master in Cultural Promotion from the Fernando Ortiz House of Higher Studies, University of Havana. Professor of Cultural Tourism, Faculty of Tourism, University of Havana and Formatur

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hen we say Caribbean we have the vision of exotic places, beautiful beaches, the multilingual hustle and bustle, a spectacular solar light, a musical and dance expression of very varied rhythms; thus a mystic atmosphere is conceived. But the Caribbean is also perceived as a geo-tourist area of great dynamism struggling to diversify its product, to find sustainable solutions for its development projects, to objectively approach to reality the ideas of integration and economic balance. Despite the effects of the crisis and the market’s turbulences, 2012 closed with a 5% growth as compared to 2011, and although the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s statistics are still not conclusive, some 25 million persons visited the Caribbean. It is expected that for 2013 the region will receive 30 million. The Dominican Republic, Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and Bahamas mark the vanguard in arrivals. For observers interested in that area of the planet, the recreation offers are concentrated in what some authors call modalities inserted in the single product of sun and beach: they essentially refer to golf tourism, cruises and the AllInclusive in comfortable resorts. While it is true that those modalities are the ones that contribute the greatest amount of income,

Caribbean’s Cultural Product Favors Intercultural Dialogue and that the Caribbean nations are making an effort to give value to products related to nature, sports, events, among others, it is also true that there still exists a great unexplored reserve in culture, especially to gauge an image that is more real based on the offer of more authentic products. The current changes taking place in the complex world scenario make increasingly more visible the prime role of culture in the solutions to social problems, political conflicts and integration, but also in the transnational dynamic of the markets. Today there is talk about tourism being part of the cultural industry and, therefore, the cultural products are occupying an in-

creasingly more privileged place within international trade. The idea is a broad spectrum that covers the philosophy of life of the symbolic productions (tangible and intangible) of the peoples, expressed in their music, crafts, popular fiestas, carnivals, oral and written literature, festivals, artistic presentations and visual arts, theater, dance and cinema productions, among so many others, from a rational perspective of respect for authenticity and origins, without a narrow protectionism. Seen in this light, the Caribbean tourist product can, from that platform, constantly innovate. In the All-Inclusive hotels the animation programs can become

distanced from the pre-established and standardized forms, to give way to a more autochthonous mix that allows visitors to pleasantly have access to the receiving country’s cultural codes. Due to its geographical dispersion and cultural diversity, the Caribbean can promote attractive cultural corridors, like in the manner proposed by Costa Rica about the culture of the African descendants; or thematic, for example, of the religious architecture during the conquest-colonization period, of popular crafts or of its gastronomic delights. The cultural road shows as participation itineraries are another interesting option, for example the parrandas, popular-traditional fiestas or carnivals, which can converge in mayor festivals like the Fire Fiesta or Carifesta. The historic recreation programs in the style of Puerto Rico’s Batallones de “Cazadores Patria” and “Alfonso XIII” (Patria and Alfonso XIII Fighter Battalions), which dramatize the Spanish-American war; or Cuba’s Ceremonia del Cañonazo (Cannon-Blast Ceremony), which revives a custom of the colonial period, contribute to the revaluation of history in a refreshing didacticrecreational combination. The establishment of art gallery circuits, like those of Santo Domingo, can show the wealth of the visual production that ranges from the naïf to the performance. Other proposals are the popular art fairs, the professional artistic creations and the museums, be it of fine arts or those offering a more anthropological vision of the Caribbean being. The Caribbean is undoubtedly a space for intercultural dialogue. ■


TTC ITB 2013  

TTC ITB 2013 No. 218

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