ttc-214-wtm-en - Travel Trade Caribbean

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ttc-214-wtm-en - Travel Trade Caribbean
International Tourism Publication founded in 1996
Year XII • No. 214 • November 2012 • Europe 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 to Reach 30
Million Tourists in 2030
The Caribbean will reach the
30 million international tourists
in 2030, and will be the fourth
world subregion in arrivals per
resident population, Carlos Vogeler, regional director for the Americas of the World Tourism Organization, estimated in his lecture
Performance and trends of international tourism, given at the FITCuba 2012 International Tourism
Fair.
2
Cuba at WTM
Cuba’s stand at WTM 2011. Photo: TTC.
The WTM will have a varied representation of
Cuban entities and their commercial partners…
Ministry of Tourism, Gran Caribe, Gavio­
ta,
Cubanacán Group, Islazul, Habaguanex, San
Cristóbal Travel Agency, Cubanacán Travel
Agency, Cubatur, Sandals, Iberostar, SuperClubs and Meliá Hotels International.
2
Inter-American Tourism
and Multidestination
Tourism
Last year the WTO registered 982 million international tourists, who spent 1.03 billion dollars: 1,050 dollars per tourist. Of these, Latin
America and the Caribbean received 78 million tourists and 66 billion dollars in tourist
income: 846 dollars per tourist.
What’s happening with this region? It is at
a semi-standstill: in 2005 it received 10% of
the world tourist flow and 9% of the tourist
income; it dropped in 2011 when it received
8% of the international tourists and 6% of the
income.
6
Dominican Republic Invests to Double
Tourist Arrivals. The Dominican Republic
received 3.2 million visitors from January to
August of this year –around +7% than the
same period in 2011. This is a good premise
for its project to reach the 10 million tour-
Investment Projections
in the Cays North
of Cuba
ists in the next five years, which implies
doubling the number of arrivals. The interview given to TTC by Eng. Luis Maldonado,
Counselor of the Dominican Republic Embassy in Cuba, is about the strong investment process that accompanies this aim. 4
English Presence in the Caribbean: a History Imprint
14
Trinidad and Tobago
Celebrates 50th
Anniversary of
Independence
16
English-Speaking
Caribbean Still
Confident
of Its Beaches
18
Today, British tourism is considered among Cuba and the Caribbean’s principal tourist markets. The tourist offer should
create the bases for a cultural
tourism that transmits the centuries-old ties between these nations.
8
2
TRAVEL TRADE CARIBBEAN • YEAR XII • NO. 214 • NOVEMBER 2012
Carlos Vogeler, regional director for the Americas of the World Tourism Organization. Photo: TTC.
Caribbean to
Reach 30 Million
Tourists in 2030
I
t is estimated that “tourism
constitutes 5% of the world
GDP, directly, and 9% indirectly…it generates from 6% to 7% of
direct or indirect jobs in the world
(1 out of each 12 jobs), and is a very
important export activity since it
represents 30% on a global level
of export of services,” Vogeler affirmed.
In 2011, world tourism reached
990 million arrivals (+4.6%), just
in terms of overnight stays, and
passed the barrier of a trillion dollars in income for world tourist
destinations (1.03 trillion).
The Americas attracted 16%
of the world arrivals and close to
20% of the total income. The insular Caribbean, in particular,
received 21 million arrivals (2.1%
of the world total), 73.7% of them
concentrated in seven destinations; and registered an income of
$24.3 billion (+4.6%).
Vogeler referred to the “tourist development of the small island states, which obviously include those of the Caribbean. We
will analyze a series of factors that
have a specific incidence in the
way in which they have to work
tourism, since they have some
traits that are very different from
those of other competitors.”
Based on the premises of the
high dependence on the North
American and European markets, and the fact that some Caribbean destinations are beginning to notice more the emerging
Latin American markets, some of
the key elements for the Caribbean’s market are: innovation of
products through a multidestination platform; improvements
in the air interconnection in the
area; strengthening of the position of the Caribbean brand as
a unique destination; intensification of the association of the
public and private sectors; and
establishment of integrated tourist policies that facilitate intraregional travel. ■
Country
Dominican Republic
Puerto Rico
Cuba
Jamaica
Bahamas
Aruba
Barbados
Arrivals
4,306,000
3,679,000
2,688,000
1,952,000
1,344,000
871,000
568,000
Tel. +39 02 36649575
Fax +39 02 36649576
E-mail [email protected]
[email protected]
Web www.traveltradecaribbean.com
Honorary President
Renzo Druetto
Principal Director
Giuseppe Ferraris
Director
Alfredo Rodríguez
[email protected]
Marketing Director
Jesús Rodríguez
[email protected]
Editorial Staff for Italy
Tiziana Settanni
[email protected]
[email protected]
Tel.: +39 02 36540545
Editorial Staff for Cuba
Josefina Pichardo
[email protected]
Designer
Andro Liuben Pérez Diz
[email protected]
Digital News Services
Frank Martín
International tourism Caribbean 2011
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Via Galileo Galilei, 47 20092
Cinisello Balsamo, Mi
Income (million $)
4,209,000
3,598,000
2,187,000
2,001,000
2,059,000
1,251,000
1,052,000
Source: World Tourism Organization.
Webmaster
Ariel ESTRADA
[email protected]
Collaboration and Marketing
Ana Cecilia Herrera
[email protected]
Dagmara Blanco / Orlando Ojeda
[email protected]
[email protected]
Ernesto L. Rodríguez
[email protected]
Cuba at WTM
The United Kingdom is still
rent operations with the market’s
one of the principal issuers for the
principal tour operators –Thomas
Cuba tourist destination, ranking
Cook, TUI UK, Virgin Holidays,
in second place.
The Holiday Place; increasing the
The favorite destinations of
summer air operations to Jardines
British visitors are: Varadero,
del Rey, Holguín and the cays of
Holguín, Jardines del Rey, the
Villa Clara; introducing and posicays of Villa Clara and Havana.
tioning Cuba in the programming
They consume mainly, by orof the market’s cruise ships; and
der of preference, the following
positioning the scuba diving, cytourist products: sun and beach,
clotourism, nature, events and incombinations, circuits, weddings
centives product.
and honeymoons, scuba diving
During the last year, Cuba reand other variants of specialized
ceived 175,822 tourists from the
tourism.
United Kingdom, 0.8% more than
The principal objectives of the
the previous year, when 174,343
tourist strategy Cuba has drawn Cuba’s stand at WTM 2011. Photo: TTC. had been received. In the Januaryup with respect to this market
August period, the latest available
are increasing the number of visitors and diversify- official figures by the National Office of Statistics and
ing the market segments, for which the following ac- Information at the close of this edition revealed that
tions are taken into account: consolidating the cur- 103,380 British visitors had arrived on the island. ■
Magdalena García
[email protected]
María E. Leyva
[email protected]
Silvia I. Alfonso
[email protected]
Zoe Alfonso
[email protected]
Mercedes GUILLOT
Printer
Palcograf
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.
4
Dominican Republic
Invests to Double
Tourist Arrivals
T
o give an overview of the works in execution in each of the Dominican Republic’s tourist destinations to support the 10 million arrivals, Mr. Maldonado began by referring to the modern recreation
park of the Bávaro-Punta Cana region, the Extreme Park –valued at
180 million USD–, which would be the largest park of its kind in Latin
America, whose foundation stone was laid by the president of the Caribbean nation, Danilo Medina.
“In the tourist destination of Boca Chica-Juan Dolio…,” he noted, “a
project is being developed that is very linked to the tourist activity, for the
expansion of rooms in apartments –towers built facing the seashore–, for
residential homes as well as for leisure. In any case, those who buy them
can use all the services offered in the area.” For this purpose, even areas
where there currently exist old tourist installations will be used. Puerto
Plata, one of the traditional destinations, was the most dynamic in the
1980s-early 1990s, but in recent years its development has been slow.
“The Bávaro-Punta Cana pole emerged subsequently,” the counselor
explains, “the country’s principal destination, where the greatest development has taken place in the tourist sector and which has the largest amount
of rooms and service offers and the airport with the largest operational
volume, Punta Cana (even more than that of Santo Domingo, Las Américas), a sign of the flow of passengers that come and go [more than half of
the visitors arrived from January to August 2012 through this air terminal]. The whole world has reference about Punta Cana; in the area’s different hotel complexes we also have excellent golf courses, designed by the
sector’s principal specialists, where prominent Dominican sports and arts
figures carry out their annual events of this sport, which have an important repercussion in the golf world, since big international stars participate
in them attracted, among other things, by the quality of the golf courses.
“To the east of the country, where there are many attractions, other investments are being made in areas outside Bavaro, like those of Venezuelan businessman Gustavo Cisneros, who is carrying out a project; of Julio
Iglesias and Oscar de la Renta. That area also features the Casa de Campo
resort, included for 20 years on the list of the world’s 100 principal resorts.
“Samaná is a destination with a lot of potential, which should have
been the first; investments were made in the early 1970s but road works
were not executed until 8-10 years ago, which reduced the Santo Domingo-Samaná journey from 4 to 1½ hours. Investments were also
made in the infrastructure and in an airport that has given it some dynamism. The area will not have such a mass flow of tourists as Punta
Cana, since the hotels have less density, but they are presently receiving
a considerable affluence. In Samaná there are important places like Las
Terrenas, Las Galeras or Playa Rincón –the latter considered among
TRAVEL TRADE CARIBBEAN • YEAR XII • NO. 214 • NOVEMBER 2012
the world’s 10 best, although it
is still a virgin area, with a great
deal of potentials, since it lacks
tourist development in terms of
rooms and facilities.”
Because of its attractions, more
thought is being given to ecotourism in Barahona. Some of the outstanding places are the Enriquillo
Lake, one of the Caribbean’s largest; the forests of the Sierra de
Bahoruco, several rivers and the
Bahía las Aguilas beach, “one of
the most beautiful in the country,
where we have great expectations
and there are debates on whether
construction is carried out outside the area to protect the environment. Important investments
Eng. Luis Maldonado, Counselor of the have been made like the María
Montez Airport, but this has to
Dominican Republic Embassy in Cuba.
be accompanied by the incorporation of new rooms, an aspect that will have to be intensified.”
Regarding the means of maritime transportation, Maldonado said:
“Almost all those destinations have marinas with a high affluence of
private yachts, fundamentally in Bávaro-Punta Cana, Casa de Campo
and even Boca Chica, where the nautical club close to Santo Domingo
with the biggest activity is located, which is part of the infrastructure
created to attract certain segments of tourism, a very wise move.”
The Dominican Republic receives cruise ships through three terminals; Samaná, where there was a considerable investment and, because
of its dynamism, has increased the docking frequencies; Puerto Plata,
which has decreased as a consequence of what I previously explained;
and in the Port of Santo Domingo, part of which will be turned into the
future Sans Souci Tourist Port, with its totally changed vocation, since it
will be limited to the reception of cruise ships to thus increase the frequencies and offer other tourist services. This investment is made by the
country’s principal private group, which has links with the tourist sector.
“Broadly speaking, these are the perspectives of the Dominican
tourist destinations. Some things will have to be improved, but the hope
of doubling the number of tourists depends a great deal on the investments and the constant promotion, as has been done in recent years,
whose results are already being seen in the increase of arrivals. In addition, we have worked to create the country image, all of which has
helped to position the country as one of the principal tourist destinations of the Caribbean.
“We consider that more than a competition between the region’s destinations what we have to do is a united work to offer the multidestination option. Thus, whoever comes to the Dominican Republic could
also visit Cuba, Puerto Rico, Jamaica or other Caribbean islands,” Mr.
Maldonado concluded. ■
Samaná is a destination with lots of potential, plenty of famous places and virginal areas.
6
TRAVEL TRADE CARIBBEAN • YEAR XII • NO. 214 • NOVEMBER 2012
The southern state of Quintana Roo,
with its marvelous Riviera Maya,
has a high growth rate.
■■ Dr. Miguel Alejandro Figueras■
Professor of the University of Havana. Cuban
National Prize for Economy in 2007
W
hen dividing the region into four large
subregions, we see that they move differently, two at a standstill or semistandstill, Mexico and the Caribbean, and two
with a high dynamics, Central America and
South America.
Mexican tourism is at a standstill. However, its southern state of Quintana Roo, with
its marvelous Riviera Maya and its diversified Cancun, has a high growth rate. The second airport in terms of passenger traffic, the
first in international passengers operates there
and receives more than 30% of Mexico’s tourist income. Therefore, there must have been a
backward step in the arrivals of international
tourists during the last six-year period in other
Mexican regions. Cancun was the star in the
1970s; the Dominican Republic in the 1980s;
Cuba in the 1990s; and the Riviera Maya has
been so in the first decade of this century.
From where do the visitors to the insular
Caribbean come? Around half of them from
the United States, about 20% from Europe, a bit
less from the Caribbean and the rest of America and around 10% from Canada. If we add the
Mexican Caribbean to the insular Caribbean,
the fact stands out that the Spanish Caribbean
(Quintana Roo, Dominican Republic and Cuba) has been the shining star, a dynamic part
since the mid 1980s to date. A key factor was
the Spanish hotel chains, which have invested
a great deal of money and, above all, sounded
off with a system of Sun and Beach All-Inclusive hotels.
In the first decade of this century, international tourism to Central America grew at
rates that surpassed three and four fold those
of the Caribbean. It cannot be forgotten that
in this subregion the bases for a very diversified product can be easily combined: splendorous nature, mystical and historic Mayan ruins,
beautiful beaches, abundant fishing, marvelous sites for scuba diving and good connections with many airlines, among them Copa
and Taca. If Central America were to continue
growing at the rate of the last 10 years, in the
second decade of the 21st century it will tend to
equal the insular Caribbean in the reception of
international tourists.
Inter-American Tourism and
Multidestination Tourism
destination left only four airlines functioning
(Cubana, Aeroflot, CSA and Iberia). This was
one of the reasons why international tourism
in Cuba disappeared during the 1960s.
U.S. airlines are a key factor in the connection between
Caribbean islands with international tourism.
In the last six-year period, South America
increased at an annual rate of 6% in arrivals;
it was the subregion that registered the highest growth in tourist income, at an annual rate
of 11%. Of the 21 million foreign visitors who
increased arrivals in Latin America and the
Caribbean in 2005-2011, South America is responsible for 11 million of them.
Is there an inter-American tourism?
Yes, but it is weak. It should be stronger, but
there are weak points that don’t help. In a great
deal of the countries international tourism is
built on the binomial tour operators of developed countries + national travel agencies and
tour operators. The U.S., Canadian and European tour operators are interested in sending
their tourists to our destinations and make the
maximum of profits. The Latin American and
Caribbean tour operators are few, weak and
professionally not very efficient. The rest of
the infrastructure does not complement them.
Air connections between the Caribbean islands are very deficient. The U.S. airlines are
decisive. If American Airlines decides to suspend its flights to one of these islands, it will
probably liquidate international tourism in
this destination. Cuba has sufficient experience to tell about when the economic blockade
and the ban on travel by U.S. citizens to this
Subregion
Mexico
Caribbean
Central America
South America
Arrivals 2005 (M)
22
19
6
18
Multidestination tourism:
the unfulfilled promise
Multidestination tourism is probably an
unfulfilled promise. Developing it was logical.
But its results have been meager in the Americas. Why?
▶▶ Political will and business interest is required to foment it. Thousands of hours
have been spent in conferences, workshops
and conventions, where the politicians and
those responsible for the tourist administrations in Latin America and the Caribbean have invested time and effort, but little
has been achieved.
▶▶ The tour operators on which this region depends are not interested in the complexities
inherent to the implementation of the multidestination modality.
▶▶ Our travel agencies and tour operators prefer the large masses of tourists traveling to
All-Inclusive Sun and Beach resorts than
attending to small groups that come in special conditions from a destination and that
in a few days will travel to another.
▶▶ The boom in the last 20 years in cruise ships
is a strong competition for tourism of multidestination stays since, although limited,
the cruise passenger is a tourist who in a
week visits four to five destinations.
▶▶ While the national leaders of the tourist administrations defend multidestination, other important figures of their governments
who would have to authorize reduction in
taxes and in the cost of tickets, the subsidizing of the first stage of flights between the
destinations or simply getting a visa are not
of the same opinion. ■
Arrivals 2011 (M)
22
21
8
26
Growth rate
0,0%
1,7%
5,0%
6,0%
TRAVEL TRADE CARIBBEAN • YEAR XII • NO. 214 • NOVEMBER 2012
Mexican Caribbean
Champions
Sustainable Tourism
The Mexican Caribbean continues being one of European
tourism’s favorite Mexican destinations, and because of this the
conservation of its biodiversity
has become a fundamental link
in the development of that strip’s
tourist sector, towards which they
are making many efforts.
In fact, the Planning, Design
and Sustainable Construction
Guide for the Mexican Caribbean, whose principal objective is to
orient investors on fundamental
aspects that should be taken into
account with respect to the natural surroundings and regulations,
has the aim of fomenting sustainable and convenient practices in
the planning and construction of
tourist real estate developments
on the coast of the state of Quintana Roo. This seeks to generate,
on the one hand, certainty in the
security and protection of the economic investment of the buildings
and, on the other, the conservation of the environment and the
natural surroundings that characterize that region.
Mexico’s Riviera Maya, which
expects to cater to some four million tourists in 2013, consistent
with the opening of new domestic
flights and the increase of international frequencies from London,
Paris and Russia, according to official sources, is at the vanguard of
the initiatives that guarantee the
sustainable development of tourism in harmony with the environment and its cultural heritage.
The Tourism Initiative of the
Mesoamerican Reef, promoted
by tourism services providers of
the Riviera Maya, aims to minimize the negative impacts that the
so-called leisure industry could
generate on that reef system, the
largest of the Atlantic Ocean and
second worldwide –with a length
of more than 643 km, it extends
from the Yucatan Peninsula, to the
south of Mexico, passing by Belize
and Guatemala up to Honduras.
Another aspect that has had
wide media coverage has been the
recognition by the Mexican Institute of Standardization and Certification of the Riviera Maya’s effort in the cleaning up of beaches,
which allowed it to renovate its
certification of Clean Beach for
the next two years. In general,
Quintana Roo is marking its advance in the cleaning up of beaches, basins, aquifers, lagoons and
wetlands and in the preservation
of the native ecology.
Meanwhile, the Cancun-Riviera Maya Clean Beaches Committee has worked based on 10
strategic indicators regarding the
coverage of sanitary sewer systems, waste water treatment, efficiency in the operation of treatment plants, the quality of the
water of the beaches, recreational
beaches with public toilets, management of solid wastes, efficiency
in public management, promotion
of research, efficiency in the execution of actions and certification
of beaches. ■
7
8
TRAVEL TRADE CARIBBEAN • YEAR XII • NO. 214 • NOVEMBER 2012
The San Francisco de
Asís Basilica served as
the principal temple of
the Anglican Church.
English Presence in the
Caribbean: a History Imprint
■■ Dr. Jos Luis Perell■
Doctor in Economic Sciences.
Master in Tourism Management. Professor
of the Faculty of Tourism, University of Havana.
Consultant National Chamber of Tourism
of Honduras (CANATURH) and International
Center of Havana (CIH)
T
he realities of the peoples and nations of
the Caribbean Basin are very different despite sharing common problems. The political, ethnic and cultural diversity of the region of the Greater Caribbean has its origin
with the arrival of Christopher Columbus on
October 12, 1492 to the island of Guanahani,
at that time named San Salvador by its discoverer, and today located on the Bahamas. The
subsequent expeditions took place to Cuba
and Hispaniola, presently shared by the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Their travels and
discoveries continued in subsequent years,
thus giving Spain the biggest military and territorial power of its time.
These discoveries stirred up the interest of
other European States, like England, and they
gradually started establishing themselves in
several Caribbean islands. Already by the mid
17th century they had decided with great tenacity to dismantle the Spanish dominion in
the Caribbean.
Later, with the consolidation of the English monarchy, plus the new economic system
implemented by France, Spanish power began
ceding autonomy and domination in the Caribbean region. The British influence fostered
an English-speaking island attitude, self-excluding for centuries, which marked great differences with the Spanish, French and Dutchspeaking Caribbean.
Old engraving that illustrates the capture of Havana
by the English in 1762.
This notable certainty was accentuated in
Jamaica, Barbados, Bahamas, Trinidad and
Tobago, Grenada, Saint Kitts-Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and
Antigua and Barbuda; in addition to Cayman
Islands, Turks and Caicos and the British Virgin Islands –the three latter still belong to the
United Kingdom. The English imprint spread
throughout the region, challenging the decadent Spanish empire.
The largest of the Antilles, the island of Cuba, did not take long in being influenced by
the British. On June 6, 1762, a formidable navy squadron commanded by British Admiral
Pockock presented itself at the entrance to the
fortified bay of Havana. The Count of Albemarle, at the head of the troops, landed the following day through the area of Bacuranao and
Cojímar, and after 67 days of siege the English
took over Havana. The British occupation lasted 11 months, which if they had perpetuated it
would have changed the course of history.
In the 11 months of English domination,
George Keppel, Count of Albemarle, took
over the post of Captain General and later
his brother William. These governors effectively and perseveringly fought against the
enormous administrative corruption that
had characterized the Spanish colonial authorities.
Meanwhile, by giving Havana the freedom
to trade, freeing it for a while from the Spanish commercial monopoly, made the natives
see the wealth and possibilities of these lands.
From there on the Cubans would fight to obtain from Spain the necessary concessions.
It was England, according to illustrious Cuban historian Emilio Roig de Leuchsenring,
which gave way to the economic and cultural
flourishing that Havana and all of Cuba enjoyed during the first years of the 19th century
and at the same time contributed to the awareness of the independence struggles that characterized that century.
The English imprint in Cuba was perpetuated with the introduction of the Anglican
Church using the San Francisco de Asís Basilica as its principal temple. In the summer
of 2001, 239 years after the English entered
Havana, the 14th Count of Albemarle, Rufus
Keppel, got married with Anglican rites in
the Havana basilica to recall the first Anglican ceremony that was attended by his ancestor the admiral, Lord Georges Keppel, Count
of Albemarle.
The year 2012 marks the 250th anniversary
of the English presence in Cuba: the Taking of
Havana by the English. Today, British tourism
is considered among Cuba and the Caribbean’s
principal tourist markets. The tourist offer
should create the bases for a cultural tourism
that transmits the centuries-old ties between
these nations. ■
9
TRAVEL TRADE CARIBBEAN • YEAR XII • NO. 214 • NOVEMBER 2012
Jamaica: More
Than Two Million
Tourists Up to
Date in 2012
From January to August
2012, Jamaica received around
2.2 million tourists and an income of 1,480 million dollars,
for a 3.4% increase as compared to the same period in
2010, Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett announced.
The arrival of cruise ships increased 13.6% in the first eight
months of the year. ■
Some 200 Cruise Ships to Cross the Panama Canal this Season
With the passage to the Atlantic
of the ship Coral Princess, of the
Princess Cruises Company, the
Panama Canal opened its locks
for the 2012-2013 season, when
some 200 cruise ships are expected to cross through this interoceanic sea route.
Jaime Castillo, specialist with
the Marketing Research and
Analysis Office of the Panama
Canal, indicated that the majority of the vessels that sail through
the area cover more than 10-day
journeys.
Other smaller cruise ships like
the National Geographic Sea Lion
and the Wind Star, which make
short trips, will also cross the isthmus on route to the Caribbean
and Central America. Ships of the
Holland America Line, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, Norwegian
Cruise Line and Carnival Cruise
Lines companies will use the canal this season, according to Castillo. ■
12
TRAVEL TRADE CARIBBEAN • YEAR XII • NO. 214 • NOVEMBER 2012
The Caribbean
in the Olympics
■■ BA Guillermo Bentez Saz■
Journalist of the Sports Staff
of Cuban Television
T
he 30th Olympic Games (London 2012)
undoubtedly was the most important multidisciplinary world sports event held in
the last four years.
A total of 204 nations went to the British
capital from last August 12 to 27 to fraternally
measure their strength in the 26 programmed
sports, and among these there were 18 countries from the 31 that make up the Caribbean.
The performance of Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt and Cuba’s ascent from 28th
to 16th place, as the leader of the
Caribbean nations, peppered
this geographic area’s performance.
Bolt was the Caribbean’s topmost gold
medalist with three
titles, winning in the 100
and 200 meter sprint, as well as a
member of his country’s 100 meter relay team,
together with Yohan Blake, Nesta Carter and
Michael Frater, which set a new world record
of 36.84 seconds.
The Cuban delegation, meanwhile, won five
gold medals through its shooter Leuris Pupo,
judoka Idalys Ortiz, wrestler Mijaín López and
boxers Roniel Iglesias and Robeisys Ramírez.
The other Caribbean nations that won gold
medals only achieved one and they were the
Dominican Republic, which ranked in 46th
place; Trinidad and Tobago in 47th place; as
well as Bahamas and Grenada, both ranking
in 50th place.
In these cases, the performance of Dominican sprinter Félix Sánchez should be highlighted, who reestablished himself and won a
second Olympic gold medal, after the one he
won in Athens 2004, in addition to becoming
the oldest runner, at 34, to win a gold medal in
London 2012.
Others who marked a difference were Trinidadian Keshorn Walcott, winner in javelin
throw; the Bahamas 400 meter relay team,
made up by Michael Mathieu, Ramón Millar,
Demetrio Pinder and Chris Brown, which set
a national record of 2:56:72 minutes, as well as
Grenadian Kirani James, winner in the 400
meter sprint.
The countries that again were included
in the table of medals were Cuba, Jamaica,
Cuban Leuris Pupo surprised everyone after beating
best rapid-fire pistol shooters of the world.
Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago and Bahamas, and on this occasion Grenada and Puerto Rico were able to join the
much-longed for list.
If we compare the table of medals with the
previous Beijing 2008 Games, the Caribbean countries surpassed their performance in
medals and amount of nations included on the
select list.
The number of gold medals was 13 as compared to the 10 won in the Chinese capital; in
the silver medals they descended from 18 to
nine; the same in the bronze, in which they
achieved 14 after having won 15 in Beijing.
It is interesting that despite there being a
quantitative descent in the number of medals,
36 in London and 43 in China, qualitatively
speaking their performance was superior
since they won three gold medals more
at the recently concluded games in the
United Kingdom. ■
Usain Bolt was the Caribbean’s topmost gold medalist in London 2012.
Caribbean Tourism Organization joins International Council of Tourism Partners
Caribbean Tourism Organization joins International Council
of Tourism Partners alliance as a
destination member, according
to a report of Travel Daily News
International.
The representation of the Caribbean Tourism Organization
is vast and includes: Anguilla,
Antigua&Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermu-
da, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands,
Cayman Islands, Cuba, Curacao,
Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, Nevis, Puerto Rico, Saint Lucia,
St. Barthelemy, St. Eustatius, St.
Kitts, St. Maarten, St. Martin, St.
Vincent&the Grenadines, Suriname,
Trinidad&Tobago, Turks&Caicos, US
Virgin Islands, and Venezuela.
The Caribbean Tourism Organization exists to increase significantly
the inclusion of the Caribbean region in the set of destinations being
considered by travelers. Its mission
is to create and manage the partnerships necessary to increase the purchase of travel to and within the Caribbean that results in sustainable
economic and social benefits for its
people.
The CTO, with headquarters
in Barbados, comprises 32 member countries, including English,
French, Spanish, and Dutch countries and territories, as well as
private sector allied members.
These include the Caribbean Hotel Association, companies, organizations, and persons providing
products and services to the Caribbean tourism industry.
13
T
hose seeking tranquility and relaxation
can find in Cayo Guillermo the ideal option for their vacations in the Jardines del
Rey destination, to the north of the central
province of Ciego de Avila, some 380 km east
of Havana.
We’re talking about Villa Cojímar, recently
renovated to expand its accommodation capacities, improve the infrastructure and renovate the hotel’s image, the first to be built on
Cayo Guillermo.
This three-star All-Inclusive installation is
named after the small Havana fishing town
where U.S. writer Ernest Hemingway used to
dock his yacht Pilar.
The rooms located by the seashore were
renovated, 54 new standard accommodations
and eight junior suits were built, all of them
located in double Brazilian-style wooden cabanas.
It also opened a mini club with independent
swimming pool, the beach thatched-roof restaurant was redesigned to accommodate more
guests, the Italian restaurant was renovated
and the snack bar was completely restructured.
Villa Cojímar is a hotel of the Gran Caribe
Hotel Group that harmonizes with the nature
of the area where it stands.
Villa Cojímar, a
Getaway to Paradise
It has 280 rooms, all with air conditioning
and telephone, satellite TV, safety deposit box,
hairdryer, minibar, private bathroom, terrace
and a view to the sea.
Four restaurants, the same amount of bars,
Internet, a variety of sports, many entertainment options and wedding planning services
are some of the facilities for those who choose
this hotel to vacation in Cuba.
Villa Cojímar will soon open a kitecenter
for lovers of one of the extreme sports that attract the most followers worldwide.
In this way, those who practice kitesurfing
will have here an access area for the takeoff,
maritime safety and qualified personnel.
The stretch between Pilar and Los Perros
beaches is a privileged area for practicing and
learning kitesurfing because of the direction
and force of the winds, not very deep waters,
the tides’ behavior and the height of the waves. ■
Villa Cojímar ***
Address: Cayo Guillermo
Jardines del Rey, Ciego de Ávila, Cuba
Telephone: (53 33) 30 1712
Fax: (53 33) 30 1725
Email: [email protected]
www.gran-caribe.cu
Visits to Cuba by Foreign Tourists Grow
Arrival of visitors to Cuba from the five principal issuers.
January-August 2012
A total of 2,210,649 foreign tourists traveled to Cuba between January and August 2012, 5.2% more than the same
period last year, according to the latest official available
figures of the National Office of Statistics and Information
(ONEI) at the close of this edition.
The 17 principal issuing markets were, in that order: Canada (39.9%), United Kingdom (5.1%), Italy (3.8%),
France (3.7%), Argentina (3.7%), Germany, Russia, Spain,
Mexico, Venezuela, Holland, Colombia, Chile, Peru, Switzerland, China, Brazil and Belgium.
Cuba’s tourist authorities have forecasted that this year
the number of travelers would reach 2.9 million; the sector
aims to reach in the future the three million visitors. ■
14
TRAVEL TRADE CARIBBEAN • YEAR XII • NO. 214 • NOVEMBER 2012
Blue Diamond
to Continue
Growing in
Cuba
Marina Gaviota Cayo Las Brujas will increase to 200 its mooring spaces.
Investment
Projections in the
Cays North of Cuba
Frank P. Oltuski Rodrguez, Marketing Vice President of the Gaviota
Tourism Group, gave a lecture on the future development of the tourist
product in the cays to the north of Cuba –to reach more than 45,000
new rooms between the Villa Clara cays and Cayo Coco, Cayo Guillermo and Cayo Sabinal– at the inaugural session of FITCuba 2012. Given
its interest, TTC is publishing a summary of that information.
“I
n the Villa Clara cays we will continue
the construction of hotels until in 2017
we reach a total of 13,093 rooms. Close to
Piedra Movida and in Cayo Santa María, works
began in the area of Lagunas del Este, a hotel
development that will include five five-star
hotels, with a total capacity for around 3,620
rooms, which should be finished completely in
2016,” the vice president of Gaviota said.
In Cayo Las Brujas, another five hotels will
be built –two four stars and three five stars–
that in all will incorporate close to 2,762 new
rooms, a tourist town with SPA services and a
golf course on terra firma, close to Caibarién;
moreover, the Marina Gaviota Cayo Las Brujas
will increase to 200 its mooring spaces.
Parallel to this, projects include: developing
the support, communications, water supply
and electricity infrastructure; expanding the
transportation services by incorporating new
yachts and catamarans and building a new
highway that links Santa Clara airport with
the causeway to the cays of Villa Clara.
“But the expansion plans go beyond that, to
the north of the provinces of Ciego de Avila
and Camagüey… by 2015, in Cayo Coco and
Cayo Guillermo a total of 3,452 new hotel capacities will have been concluded,” Oltuski announced.
Two hotels are being built in Cayo Coco and close to 2,268 new capacities will be
completed in three four- and five-star hotels. In Cayo Guillermo, two accommodations will be built in Playa Pilar –around
500 five-star deluxe rooms; and three fivestars in Punta Alegre– some 1,162 rooms. In
Cayo Paredón Grande the development of
seven hotels with 3,200 five-star rooms is
previewed, which will be gradually built until 2017.
Regarding the complementary offer, the development of two tourist towns is previewed,
one in Los Flamencos (2013) and another in
Punta Alegre (2014); and in Cayo Coco, the
building of an international marina in the area of Bautista, with 300 mooring spaces, while
the ideas for a dolphinarium and a golf course
are being developed.
To the north of Camagüey, Cayo Cruz will
be the scenario where the Cayo Cruz –Cayo
Guajaba– Cayo Mégano Grande destination
will be developed, with a total of 9,250 rooms;
and in Cayo Sabinal, there are plans for 14,485
rooms.
“These new projects will be supported by an
increase in the road infrastructure and the services that will allow access from the Jardines
de Rey and Camagüey international airports,
as well as the supply of water and electricity
and the establishment of a new information
and communications network,” Oltuski concluded. ■
Memories Paraíso and Azul.
Blue Diamonds Hotels & Resorts currently manages five Memories hotels in Cuba,
with a total of 3,373 rooms:
•• One in Varadero, four stars, the Memories Varadero with 1,035 rooms
•• Two five stars on Cayo Santa María, the
Memories Paraíso and Azul complex,
with 1,386 rooms
•• Two on Cayo Coco; one four stars, which
is the 328-room Memories Caribe, and
one five stars, the Memories Flamenco,
the latest incorporation in February,
with 624 rooms.
As a novelty, starting December 1 the
chain’s first Royalton Hotel will open its
doors on Cayo Santa María. A Grand Luxury
boutique hotel with 122 rooms, top quality
services and installations, not to mention
its exquisite gastronomy, for which “we
have hired an internationally renowned
chef to give the special touch we need in
our restaurants,” Maite Medina, marketing
director Cuba, said to TTC.
Medina added that “our hotels” management team in Cuba is undergoing
changes in its structure, headed by Mr. Fazwi, and the favorable changes have immediately started to be seen in all the installations, thus ensuring the success of the next
winter season. Projections… are always being brought up and, of course, we will continue growing extensively on this marvelous island.”
TRAVEL TRADE CARIBBEAN • YEAR XII • NO. 214 • NOVEMBER 2012
15
British Market Operators for Caribbean Destination
Among the tour operators that market the Caribbean region in the
United Kingdom, those that stand out for the diversity of their offers,
types of products and amount of destinations where they operate are
Thomas Cook, Thomson Holidays, Virgin Holidays and The Holiday
Place, according to information on their websites.
The Thomas Cook portfolio includes Cancun, Cuba –Morón, Havana, Caibarién, Santa Clara, Minas, Ciego de Ávila– and the Dominican Republic –Palo Bonito, Bayahíbe, Boca de Pantanal, Bavaro, Los
Ranchitos and Puerto Plata.
Meanwhile, Thomson Holidays extends its portfolio of offers to Antigua, Bahamas, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Jamaica, Tobago, Turks and Cai-
cos, Barbados, Cuba (Cayo Santa María, Havana, Holguín and Varadero), Dominican Republic (Puerto Plata, Punta Cana, La Romana and
Samaná), Jamaica and the Mexican Caribbean.
Barbados, Antigua, Saint Lucia, Jamaica, Bahamas, Tobago, Cuba, Mexican Caribbean and Grenada, plus St. Maarten and Turks and
Caicos, for some nautical activities and adventure, are destinations in
which Virgin Holidays operates; and Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Jamaica, Cancun, St. Kitts-Nevis, Saint
Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Tobago, Turks and Caicos,
are offered by The Holiday Place. ■
16
TRAVEL TRADE CARIBBEAN • YEAR XII • NO. 214 • NOVEMBER 2012
Trinidad and Tobago Celebrates
50th Anniversary of Independence
■■ Her Excellency■
Dr. Jennifer Jones-Kernahan■
Ambassador of the Republic
of Trinidad and Tobago in Cuba
T
rinidad and Tobago, after a long and oppressive history of slavery, colonialism
and neo-colonialism, hoisted the symbol
of its sovereignty, its national flag, on August
31, 1962, under the leadership of Prime Minister Dr. Eric Williams.
From the depths of a savage, brutal, discriminatory and racist society a strong Caribbean
people has emerged, capable of facing the inevitable challenges and constraints in order to
forge together, institutions such as Cuba, CARICOM and ECLAC, which defend the principles of independence, social justice, peaceful
co-existence, collaboration and fraternity.
The achievement of this milestone has inevitably generated in the hearts and minds of our
people a state of sober introspection, a level of
intense analyses of our unique multicultural
national identity.
We celebrate our Caribbean identity, forged
from the love of liberty on the part of our first
peoples, Amerindians, Caribs, decimated but
never destroyed. The first peoples have survived and today their cultural traditions are
part of our identity as a people.
We celebrate our identity forged in the fires
and trials of our ancestors: those brought in
chains from Africa, bought and sold like chattel, their very humanity denied.
But who can chain Man’s love of Liberty?
We celebrate those brought from India as
indentured labourers, and have survived discrimination and oppression to define their
place and contribution to a new Trinbagonian
identity.
Indeed, in the words of one of Trinbago’s
outstanding poets and protagonist of the genre
of poetry called Rapso, Brother Resistance:
“We’ve been oppressed for a very long time but
we never surrendered”.
Our collective retrospection allows us to revere the memory Hyarima, Hero of Amarindian resistance.
We remind our children of the Camboulay
riots in the early 19th century when afro Trinidadians defended their right to celebrate their
traditional streets parades, and of the massacre
perpetrated against Indo Trinidadians in 1884,
who defended their rights to religious freedom.
We celebrate our national identity moulded
and shaped in the struggle of our people in 1937,
led by our National Hero Tubal Uriah “Buzz”
Butler, political leader of the British Empire
workers and Citizens Home Rule Party, and
militant Trade Union Leader, whose anti-colonial movement rocked the foundations of Brit-
The Trinidad Carnival is the greatest show on earth.
ish colonialism in Trinidad and Tobago and in
the West Indies, and whose legacy is a strong
Caribbean Trade Union Movement.
Our national pride and national identity
has been nurtured by committed nationalists
and internationalists such as George Padmore,
acclaimed after his death as the father of African Liberation; such as Stokely Carmichael also known as Kwane Toure, a militant protagonist in the civil rights movement in the United
States in the 60’s and 70’s, credited with having coined the phrase Black Power; and by African Prince Daaga, leader of the Action Joint
National Committee, who served as inspiration for a profound social-cultural revolution
in the 70’s.
But our history shows that our independence of thought and action, our ideals and
pursuance of social justice and equity, of economic and political independence has never
been in question, and has never ceased.
Today our multiculturalism identity is
symbolised by the Steelpan, a versatile, amazing musical instrument, the only musical instrument invented in the 20th century and
developed in spite of the full force of colonial
terror.
It is symbolised in our autochthonous music, calypso, a traditional expression of resistance, of our hopes and dreams and our vision
for a better world.
Our identity is crystallised in the multitude
of genres of musical expression of our multiethnic family, calypso, soca, classical Indian
music, chutney, chutney soca, parang, soca parang to name a few.
Our national identity is expressed in our
national observances of various religious and
cultural traditions, as attested to by the fact of
our many national holidays. Not many countries have more than we do.
Our national identity is reflected in our
multicultural expression of the Trinidad Carnival, the greatest show on earth, our most important export which for many years has been
celebrated by patriots, and coverts abroad in
major cities of the world.
The Embassy of Trinidad and Tobago in
Cuba, with the support and collaboration of
the Ministry of Culture, the Cuban Institute
of Friendship with the People and Randance
Show, is proud to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the independence of Trinidad and Tobago, two islands, one nation. ■
Today our multiculturalism identity is symbolised by the Steelpan, a versatile, amazing musical instrument.
17
TRAVEL TRADE CARIBBEAN • YEAR XII • NO. 214 • NOVEMBER 2012
N E W A I R C O N N E C T I O N S I N T H E C A R I BB E A N
Condor Incorporates New
Destinations in Mexico
After signing an agreement
with Mexico’s Volaris, Condor has
incorporated new destinations in
Mexico: Mexico City, Guadalajara, Puebla and Toluca via Cancun;
from Madrid, Barcelona or Bilbao.
New Flights to Guyana
and Barbados from
Suriname
Caricom Airways plans to start
regular services to Guyana and
Barbados from its Surinamese
hub next December. The airline
operates charter flights to several
Caribbean destinations: Anguilla,
Barbados, Grenadines, Dominica,
Grenada, Montserrat, Nevis, Saba,
Saint Eustatius, Saint Kitts, Saint
Maarten, Saint Vincent, Trinidad
and Tobago.
More Cubana Airlines
Flights
Cubana Airlines will operate
nine new flights between Argentina and Cuba during the 20122013 peak season; four of these
air links could become regular
flights and it plans to reach the
destinations with the highest demand among Argentine tourists:
Havana, Varadero, the cays to the
north and Holguín. Eight of the
frequencies will depart from the
Buenos Aires Ezeiza International
Airport and the other from Córdoba or Rosario. Moreover, the
airline announced it will extend
its services in the Caribbean and
Central American regions.
Europe-Cancun
Connection Expands
The French Corsair airline
has started two weekly frequencies between France and Cancun,
which have joined the Air France
KLM and Virgin Atlantic opera-
Havana.
tions, which has announced the
start of a third flight from the
United Kingdom in April.
Interjet Connects
Monterrey and Havana
The Interjet airline recently
opened a direct route that will be
covered with two weekly frequencies, Thursdays and Sundays, between the Mexican city of Monterrey and the Cuban capital.
The flights will be carried out on
A320s with capacity for 150 passengers.
18
TRAVEL TRADE CARIBBEAN • YEAR XII • NO. 214 • NOVEMBER 2012
■■ Frank Martin
A
placid fine sandy beach that
can be in any of the 12 nations making up the English-speaking Caribbean is not
just a reason to go on vacations
in these states. It is also a basic
and crucial product for the fragile
economies of the area.
The leisure industry, in the
midst of the global crisis affecting the world –the rich countries
issuers of tourism as well– already
proved to be a sort of cornerstone
for those paradisiacal islands that
if withdrawn by some giant hand
would cause a human disaster of
biblical proportions.
But the English-speaking Caribbean, made up by Antigua and
Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Kitts-Nevis,
Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the
Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago, has no plans to change tourism for some other national resource. The situation would not
allow it.
Rather, the islands with populations that range from 2,825,928
inhabitants in the case of Jamaica, to barely 52,000 in Saint KittsNevis, are well prepared to fight to
attract –at times at all costs– international tourism.
Five years ago, in 2007, the English-speaking Caribbean and the
states of this tropical sea already
gave the definitive momentum
to the hotels with the “all-inclusive” system, especially the Spanish headed by the Meliá chain. But
the palm trees are for cruise ships,
at whose service, with increasingly greater enthusiasm, the ports of
the English-speaking Caribbean
are placing themselves.
According to official Panama Canal statistics, no less than
English-Speaking
Caribbean Still Confident
of Its Beaches
200 large recreation ships passed
through its locks during the 20112012 cruise season, with a total of
220,000 passengers.
The islands are struggling to
attract to their ports, to get additional “spills” of income, the
world’s largest ships of this type
and are not disoriented. Cruise
ships, worldwide, expect to transport 17 million persons in 2012,
which would be 4% more than
in 2011. The figure is right if it is
taken into account that 415 million tourists traveled through the
planet from May to August 2012,
despite the crisis.
The Caribbean, no matter what
language it speaks, also seems
more aware that in unity lies the
force to attract more tourists. For
example, the 16th Tourism Mart
held last June in the Dominican
Republic bet on “a solid multidestination Caribbean strategy”.
Though this is not, in the least, a
recent effort.
The region’s tour operators
still remember the so-called Single Domestic Space that united a
dozen English-speaking countries
during the World Cricket Cup, a
sport inherited from the British:
Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados,
Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint
Lucia, Saint Kitts-Nevis, Saint
Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and Dominica.
This space was in force from January 15 to May 15, 2007 and made
The English-speaking Caribbean is looking forward to cruise ships with increasingly greater enthusiasm.
it possible for foreigners to freely
move throughout those states after completing the immigration
paperwork in the first port of entry. Undoubtedly, a risky initiative
in the face of times of risk.
Life for the English-speaking
Caribbean –as well as for the other islands on that sea– is not easy,
and it is not expected to be at least
in the near future. A newspaper
from the area, Antigua Sun, recently said that the region is still
placing its development in the
hands of the prosperity of tourism, but, cautiously, it recommended that the governments
should take advantage of other
opportunities “beyond” the leisure sphere. An editorial by this
publication said that tourism is
like a backup platform for the
area’s continuous challenges in
its development. It quoted in this
sense a report by the entity Centre for International Governance
Innovation (CIGI) which underlined that the regional governments’ current concerns include
migration, increasingly more
complex commercial relations
with the world and the support
provided by tourism.
Economists in the area believe
that an important factor in that
regional situation is the need to
develop the services as an important source of income. This will be
possible only if the region moves
beyond tourism to take advantage of opportunities in the area
in terms of financial and banking services, the editorial recommended.
However, this is asking for the
impossible. That is why, the islands continue, as centuries ago,
scanning the horizon to see the
life-saving ship, currently the
large floating hotels with passengers full of money. ■
19
TRAVEL TRADE CARIBBEAN • YEAR XII • NO. 214 • NOVEMBER 2012
Hoteles C Improves
its Hotel Portfolio
in Cuba
Hotel Presidente.
Hoteles C will participate in another edition of the World Travel Market from the Cuba stand, where it will hold meetings with the
principal British and international tour operators with the aim of improving collaboration,
as well as making new contacts to increase the
flow of clients to our hotels in the marvelous
Cuba destination that, year after year, continues providing a wide range of cultural options
as well as multiple leisure and entertainment
activities so that their visitors can enjoy an unforgettable stay.
Arenas Doradas Hotel.
We have currently restructured our hotel
portfolio in Cuba to offer the best to our dear
clients. In the Havana tourist destination we
manage the Presidente Hotel, which still has
the charm of the 1920s in its recently remodeled installations and has the assistance of a
qualified staff whose principal characteristic
is its kindness and dedication.
We also manage in the Varadero tourist destination the Barlovento, a cozy hotel very well positioned in the markets, because of its proximity to
the center of Varadero as well as its pleasant and
attentive staff, and the Arenas Doradas, a hotel
resort that has had 100% of its rooms and installations renewed and offers its guests a diverse variety of new services designed to satisfy the most
demanding clients, also with a humane, familiar
and welcoming team, internationally renowned.
At present, Hoteles C is carrying out multiple works to expand, in Cuba as well as in the
rest of the Caribbean, in order to continue offering a quality and personalized service and
a familiar treatment to make you feel we are
always Close to you… ■
20
TRAVEL TRADE CARIBBEAN • YEAR XII • NO. 214 • NOVEMBER 2012
Global Distribution
Systems (GDS) in Cuba
■■ Dr. Jos Enrique Salgado■
Permanent Professor, University of Havana
T
he GDS, electronic distribution giants in
the travel and tourism sector, make it possible for online and traditional travel agencies to book flights, hotels, cruise trips, insurance, car rentals and other services –associated
to a number of passengers; they process billions
of these electronic transactions every year.
“The GDS model emerged in its time as an
‘adder’ of all the contents, and the fact that an
agency can have online and electronic access
to multiple suppliers turns it into a model fully in force and, moreover, very efficient,” Luis
Maroto, CEO of Amadeus IT Group, affirms.
Cuban suppliers in the GDS
Cuba has achieved a significant growth of
“a responsible, non-pollutant and sustainable
tourism” that “guarantees peace, health security in the environment-friendly context.” The
attributes of the Cuba Destination, authentic,
rich and diverse, will attract this year close to
three million visitors who place it among those
with the highest demand in the Caribbean,
which requires a more efficient electronic distribution strategy.
Since 1993 Cubana Airlines distributes its
flights in Amadeus, one of the four greats
worldwide, and is today a Systems User, which
contributes other marketing and price advantages. Ninety-nine percent of the visitors arrive in the country by air and the GDS publishes the content of all the airlines that fly to
the island.
In 2007, the offer of the Cubanacán, Gran
Caribe and Islazul hotel chains joined Amadeus, as done by international hotel chains in Cuba like Meliá and Accor (through their headquarters’ contracts), while the Habaguanex
and Palco hotels are published as part of subscribed “consolidators” in the GDS.
More than 70% of the country’s hotels are in
the European GDS. Bookings in Amadeus are
headed by the Hotel Nacional de Cuba. Other
accommodations could be added in the future,
including those of the private or autonomous
The luxury Star Clippers cruise
company announced it will include Cuba on its routes starting
2014. The firm, one of the world’s
most important, announced that
its routes will touch Cuban ports
with exploration programs and
visits to beaches, colonial cities
and the possibility of visiting, before or after the cruise, Havana.
sector. The content incorporation of car rentals, bus transportation, insurance companies
and other local suppliers is also expected.
Cuban travel agencies
in the Amadeus GDS
Travel agencies are the third link in the
global distribution chain. Amadeus has
signed agreements with Havanatur and Cubatur –the first travel agencies in Cuba subscribed to a GDS– to use the Amadeus Selling Platform (ASP), the application for
agencies most used in the world (present in
some 90,000 travel agencies and more than
62,000 airline offices).
ASP allows agents to:
▶▶ speed up sales through a single point of access to all rates,
▶▶ optimized business processes and personalization possibilities,
▶▶ bookings in more than 425 airlines, 287 hotel chains, 103 railroad companies and 20
car rentals worldwide,
▶▶ integral and global offer to its clients, including those of corporative and multidestination trips, and
▶▶ 365x24 access to the Data Processing Center
of Amadeus in Germany.
Amadeus’ distribution and business model
has many advantages for Cuban entities, since
it guarantees access to the technology and systems of world leading GDS with total security
and availability.
Integration of GDS and Internet
Technology has driven everything toward
an open and global environment on the Internet, has generalized protocols and modified
the established business regulations.
In terms of conceptualization, all the agencies’ transactions through GDS (including the
ones on line) as well as those on the websites of
suppliers, are company-level electronic trade
types (B2B) or for tourists (B2C).
Amadeus bases its electronic distribution
platform on a centralized Multichannel Distribution System so that the content published
in the GDS can be reproduced on the webs of
the suppliers, seeking the most efficient channels in each case.
For example, Cubana Airlines carries out
around 12% of its bookings on its web through
an interface with the GDS. The hotels and
agencies have the same possibility of integrating Amadeus tools on their webs, allowing
them to increase online sales maintaining a
balance in the costs and according to the return forecast. Everything cannot be booked
on line.
The integration of the direct online channel
(airline, hotel and other suppliers’ websites)
and the indirect channel (traditional and virtual travel agencies clients of the GDS) is an essential factor for a successful electronic distribution strategy in Cuba, that responds to the
demand, of the foreign market as well as of the
growing national market. ■
Star Clippers to Include Cuba
on Its Routes
Star Clippers will initially have
four routes of this type that will cover a sailboat, the Star Flyer, a fourmast ship built similar to former
clippers and with a capacity for 170
passengers.
The journeys have been programmed starting February 2014
and will allow for choosing between 6- and 14-night cruise trips
that link Cuba with other Caribbean nations.
The news responds to a new initiative of the shipping line to exploit
the tourist attractions of Cuba, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic.
22
TRAVEL TRADE CARIBBEAN • YEAR XII • NO. 214 • NOVEMBER 2012
A distinctive climate and an impressive cultural, ethnic and historical diversity, make the Caribbean one of the preferred places in America. Photo: Hoteles C.
Tourism for the Caribbean Economy
Today the tourist industry is for the economy of the Caribbean countries what the sugar
industry used to be during the 19th century.
The gradual transformation of the Caribbean
economies in favor of the tourist sector was
fundamentally seen starting the second half
of the last century. However, together with the
arrival of these new possibilities, a risk inherent to this emerging sector was introduced in
the region’s economic sphere: the dependence
on favorable conditions and not on the principal issuing countries.
In the first decade of the new century the
principal issuing markets for the region have
been the United States with 48.3% of the visitors, almost half of the total visitors; Europe
with 27.8%; and Canada with 6.2%. Although
the issuing of U.S. tourists continues being a
majority from a regional perspective, we can
find countries whose reception fundamentally
comes from Europe, as is the case of Cuba, Curacao, Barbados, Guadeloupe, Martinique, the
Dominican Republic, Antigua and Barbuda
and the Netherlands Antilles.
The special climate characteristics of the
region, the impressive cultural and ethnichistorical diversity of the majority of these
Mexican
Caribbean
Beach Hotels
the Best
■■ Julio Antonio Gmez■
Professor of the Don Fernando Ortiz House
of Higher Studies, University of Havana
enclaves bathed by the sun and warm waters,
make the Caribbean one of the favorite spots
in the Americas (the second tourist destination after North America); for more than a
decade many of its countries have been exceeding the one billion dollars in income.
Despite this, the Caribbean region is still not
among the principal regional destinations
worldwide.
The dependence on the leisure industry for
the economic stability and growth of the area
determines the need for diversification strategies and the transformation of proposals for
users who are increasingly more demanding
in terms of destinations and qualitatively superior experiences. The growing complexity of contemporary man who is completely
immersed in the so-called post-modernity is
waiting for formulas that will meet the desires that were undreamed of only some decades ago.
Offering our visitors the magic reality dormant at times in the daily life of these lands
The Riviera Maya and Cancún
beach hotels are among the first
positions in the raking of the Insiders’ Select 2012 list, drawn
out by the Expedia on line travel
agency.
and eluding as much as possible filling with
mercantilism our tourist horizons, would be a
beneficial goal.
In terms of the level of income that the Caribbean has been able to generate in recent
decades from the tourist sector, it is satisfactory, keeping in mind that its fundamental
weakness lies in the imbalance between the
higher growth in the percentage of rooms
than the growth of the effective reception of
tourists.
The countries that register the most rooms
are the Dominican Republic and Cuba with
more than 42% of the regional total, which
emphasizes a certain margin of inefficiency
due to the incongruence between the growth
in rooms and the real number of visitors. This
gap has been compensated for thanks to the
increase in the average yield per tourist.
In the contemporary world, where the study
of the leisure industry has become indispensable to understand society, the course demanded by millions of users each year has to
be drawn up according to the role that these
consortiums assume as responsible for the expansion of a greater wellbeing that aspires to
integrality. ■
This list includes the world’s
best hotels available on the company’s portal, which are classified
according to the guests’ evaluation on the quality of service and
value for money they offer.
The winning hotels include the
Fairmont Mayakoba in Playa del
Carmen (Rivera Maya) and the
Westin Lagunamar Ocean Resort
Villas, in Cancún.

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