TTC ITB 2014

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Information about TTC ITB 2014

Published on March 2, 2014

Author: TTCaribbean



Germans in the Caribbean.
Tourism in the Caribbean, Ups and Downs in 2013.
Cuba at ITB 2014

# 227 International Tourism Publication founded in 1996 Year XIV • No. 227 • March 2014 Regular Edition • ISSN 1724-5370 Germans in the Caribbean A certain recovery of the German market in the Caribbean during last 2013 can be seen based on some statistics published on tour- ist arrivals from that country to the region’s principal destinations. In this way, increases were registered in the Dominican Republic of 16% and in Cuba of 7%, where it closed as the third issuing market. Germany was the sixth market in the Riviera Maya and the Mexican Caribbean, and ninth in the ranking of arrivals by air to Mexico, as a whole.  4 Cuba at ITB 2014 2 Cuba is present at ITB 2014 in stand 209, Pavilion 3, decorated with images of the Authentic Cuba campaign. Tourism in the Caribbean: Ups and Downs in 2013 A total of 25 million tourists traveled last year to the Caribbean, 1.8% more with respect to the previous year, although this growth is below the 4.9% reported in 2012, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) reported. 8 6 International Construction Fair in Cuba 8 Aruba 2014 Calendar of Tourism Events 12 New Air Connections in the Caribbean 18 The 15th Dominican Annual Tourism Exchange (DATE 2014)

Cuba Cuba at ITB 2014 the potentials of Havana, Varadero, the keys, Holguín and central Cuba as the principal regions for the German market. Moreover, Cuba aims to highlight among the participants in ITB the messages and supports of the current Authentic Cuba destination campaign and promote the principal events that will take place in 2014: he German market is of notable importance for Cuban tourism. In 2013, 115,984 Germans visited the island, 6.7% more than in 2012; it closed the year as the third issuing market of foreign visitors to the destination, after Canada and the United Kingdom. The principal objectives of Cuba’s participation in ITB 2014 are geared at the strengthening of the links with the most important German partners for the tourist operation, from the market to Cuba; as well as the display of the wealth and variety of the Cuban tourist product, especially Sun and Beach, a star modality, as well as others of notable quality like Circuits, Nautical, Events and Incentives, Weddings and Honeymoons, Historic-Cultural and Nature Tourism. The island’s presence will emphasize specialized Nautical tourism (scuba diving, fishing, life on board and other modalities), given the importance of the goal sector of the product on the market; while updating the participants on ▶▶ Montecristo Golf Cup Tournament, April 10-12. ▶▶ The meeting of Clients and Friends of the Partagás Casa del Habano, April 14-18 and November 17-21, in Havana. ▶▶ Varadero Gourmet International Festival, April 23-25. ▶▶ FITCuba 2014, the most important event of the Cuban tourist industry, already with 34 years of experience, to be held May 6-10 in Havana, dedicated to the Circuits product and France as the guest country. ▶▶ Fotosub, to be held May 14-18 on the Isla de la Juventud. ▶▶ Ernest Hemingway International Marlin Fishing Tournament, June 9-14, and Jardines del Rey Fishing Tournament, in October. ▶▶ 4th International Underwater Photography Meeting (IMASUB), June 16-21, 2014. ▶▶ 3rd International Nature Photography Contest, September 15-20, 2014. T TTC Travel Trade Caribbean srl Via Balbo, 1 Chieri. Torino, Italia Tel. +39 3938196638 E-mail Web Honorary President Renzo Druetto Principal Director Giuseppe Ferraris General Director Alfredo Rodríguez Editorial Director Italy Roberto Barbieri Editorial Staff Italy Filippo D'Arino Editorial Staff Cuba Josefina Pichardo Francisco Forteza Editorial Staff Dominican Republic Francesco Pandolfo Marketing Italy Paola Germano Marketing Cuba Guadalupe Pérez Marketing Dominican Republic Flavia Anelli Graphic Design Italy Mauro Melis Graphic Design Cuba Andro Liuben Pérez Diz Webmaster Hairo Rodríguez Cuba Registers More Than 1.8 Billion Dollars in Tourism Income Cuba’s tourist entities attracted in 2013 more than 1,803,916,200 CUC (Cuban convertible pesos, equivalent to the same amount in dollars) in income –expenditures by international visitors in the fundamental activity–, representing 1.9% more than in 2012. According to the National Office of Statistics and Information’s International Tourism –Selected Indicators report, the greatest contributor was gastronomy, 701,907,200 CUC (38.9% of the total), followed by accommodation, transportation, retail commerce and recreation. In the hotel sector, during 2013 there was an average occupancy rate of 44.8%, estimated based on the existing hotel room capacity. During this period, Cuba’s accommodation establishments registered 15,827,441 overnight stays by foreign tourists, 86.1% of the figure for 2012. • 2ttc Jesus Rodríguez Jr. Website Narmys Cándano Collaboration Ana Cecilia Herrera Dagmara Blanco Ernesto L. Rodríguez Magdalena García María E. Leyva Mirta Valdés Silvia I. Alfonso Print Micrograf S.r.l. The greatest contributor was gastronomy. Photo: Courtesy of Habaguanex S.A. TTC Travel Trade Caribbean srl Registered at the Milan Court, number 166, 13/03/2002. Registered at the Chamber of Commerce: 08/01/2001. Registered in ROC Italia.

caribbean Travel Trade Caribbean • Year XIV • No. 227 • March 2014 Seven Cuban Townships Celebrate 500 Years Sancti Spíritus Founded by Governor Diego Velázquez between 1511 and 1519, the first seven Cuban townships are commemorating around these days their half millennium, an entire tourist event. Baracoa, the First City, began its celebrations in 2011 –created as Nuestra Señora de la Asunción de Baracoa on August 15, 1511–, followed by Bayamo, formerly San Salvador de Bayamo, whose settlement dates back to November 5, 1513. This year (2014), Trinidad (Santísima Trinidad), Camagüey (Santa María del Puerto del Príncipe) and Sancti Spíritus, townships whose foundational dates are recognized as January 1514, February 2, 1514 and June 4, 1514, are celebrating their half millennium. Santiago de Cuba will arrive at half a millennium in 2015 (created on July 25, 1515), and Havana will do so in 2019 –officially established on November 16, 1519 under the name of San Cristóbal de La Habana. Some of these township’s zones are among those declared by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites: Old Havana and its system of fortresses, Trinidad and the Valle de los Ingenios, the San Pedro de la Roca Castle in Santiago de Cuba and the Historic Center of Camagüey, in 1982, 1988, 1997 and 2008, respectively. At this moment in time, all of them, tourist destinations per se, make up the group of most important sites of interest for historical and cultural tourism, which combine with other tourist modalities. • 4ttc Germans in the Caribbean T he Central Bank (BC) of the Dominican Republic highlighted the performance of the European market, the EFE news agency published, which continues showing improvement, basically explaining the increase witnessed by Germany and other European issuing markets. The BC data point out that the United States maintains the greatest participation, followed by Canada. According to the Monthly Bulletin of Tourist Statistics of the Association of Hotels and Tourism of the Dominican Republic (ASONAHORES), in 2013 a total of 4,689,770 foreign and non-resident Dominican passengers arrived in the country, which compared to the 4,562,606 arrivals in 2012 represents a 2.8% growth rate. The media has highlighted the notable positive performance of the German market with 214,151 tourists which, with respect to the 183,887 in 2012, represents a more than 16% growth, thus surpassing the poor performance in the last decade. Reviewing the figures for non-resident visitors to the Dominican Republic, according to nationality and airports, in 2013 we saw that the 214,151 Germans, which as a whole represented 5.3% of the total, had a greater incidence in the air terminals of Punta Cana, Puerto Plata and Las Américas (Santo Domingo). Specifically in the Punta Cana airport –through which 2,591,175 visitors arrived, 63.3% of the visitors to the country in 2013–, German travelers represented almost 4%; and in the one of Puerto Plata, the European market, which as a whole contributed 101,318 travelers, was led by Germany with 34,159 (0.8%), followed by the United Kingdom and France. Germany closed last year as the third issuing market to Cuba, like in 2012, only preceded by Canada and the United Kingdom. According to reports by the National Office of Statistics and Information, 2,852,572 tourists visited Cuba in 2013. Last year the Germans contributed 4.1% of the arrivals, with a total of 115,984 visitors, a figure equivalent to 106.7% in 2012 when the island welcomed 108,712 Germans. Germany is the third consumer market (6%) of nature tourism in the province of Holguín, one of the principal Cuban destinations. According to the Integral System of Migration Operations of Mexico, Germany continued among the principal issuing markets for the Riviera Maya and the Mexican Caribbean, preceded by the United States, Mexico, Canada, United Kingdom and Spain. Between January and November 2013, the Cancún and Cozumel airports registered the arrival of 4,924,814 visitors, 10.9% more than in 2012; meanwhile, some 2,967,060 tourists arrived in the Riviera Maya, representing an increase of 6.4% with respect to the previous year. In the ranking of arrivals by air to Mexico in 2013, Germany came in ninth place with 187,100, implying a 2013/2012 variation of 8.3%. •

Cubanacán Travel Agency, German Market’s Best Host C ubanacán Travel Agency offers German clients a varied range of products for a delightful and pleasant stay in Cuba. Diverse seven-to-14-day circuits, excursions, transfers and accommodations in all the tourist destinations form part of its extensive portfolio. It also has programs with cars included and for ecotourism, always offering visitors the possibility of getting to know the beauty of the island and to be in direct contact with its culture and history, together with the unequalled friendliness and hospitality of Cubans. Between November 2012 and December 2013 the Agency received more than 27,000 German tourists. Statistics place Havana, Trinidad, Pinar del Río, Santiago de Cuba, Holguín and the keys as the most visited destinations. According to Lilia Cira Fernández, marketing specialist, “the German market is of great importance for the Cubanacán Travel Agency. We are betting on offering new products and improving those that require it, for the sake of pleasing the most diverse and demanding requests. Our goal is to win over the fidelity of clients with the guarantee that we will always be, as our slogan says, ‘at your side’.” On August 4, 2014, Cubanacán Travel Agency will be celebrating its 20th anniversary, for which a publicity and marketing campaign has been projected that includes the launching of new catalogs and more attractive offers adapted to the new trends of current tourism. Some of the novelties for this year include the Home plus Car and Free Vacations catalogues. Both modalities with cars provide clients with the option of planning their trip with total freedom and according to their interests, combining them with the contracting of restaurant and accommodation services while fully enjoying the beauties of the Cuban tourist destination. • ttc5

Luxury Cigars at Top-Notch Beaches T hese spaces, which express the vocation for details of the Gaviota S.A. Tourism Group, are a veritable paradise for Havana cigar aficionados, with the brands most renowned for their variety of types of cigars and personalized and preferential service. Top-notch beaches, comfort and hospitality are found in these hotels to open a new path to achieve perfection and pleasure of the senses, between aromas and flavors that offer a dis- The Cigar Bars of the hotels Playa Cayo Santa María, on the Villa Clara keys; Playa Coco, on Cayo Coco, Jardines del Rey, to the north of Ciego de Avila; and Playa Costa Verde, in Holguín, have been especially created for the contact and enjoyment of Havana cigars in the company of some of its most faithful allies like spirits, chocolates, coffee and other many products from selected and wide-ranging places in Cuba and the world. tinct way of enjoying Cuba by getting firsthand knowledge about Havana cigars, the rituals associated to their consumption, the history and tradition of a manufacturing with Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) that is also a symbol of national culture and identity. With their Cigar Bars the Playa Cayo Santa María, Playa Coco and Playa Costa Verde hotels present their guests with the gift of an alluring parenthesis of confabulation between refinement, distinction and art; a different place where luxury consists in enjoying one of the most prized products of the world, with the guarantees of a proverbially hospitable host and by the seaside of beaches that classify among the best in the Caribbean. • International Construction Fair in Cuba The 10th International Construction Fair (FECONS 2014) will take place April 8-12 at the PABEXPO fairgrounds in Havana. FECONS has achieved an important space in the international commercial activity as a specialized biennial event. Through the relation between exhibitors, buyers and professional visitors it favors knowledge about products and novel technologies for their introduction and generalization 6ttc in the Cuban market. This biennial event saw the light in April 1998 and in the last edition in 2012 the business deals stood at more than 50 million dollars. The 10th Scientific-Technical Construction Conference, a scenario to gauge the development in this sector as well as exchanging information and scientific and technical experiences, will be held, as a usual associated event, from April 8 to 10, on the sidelines of the Fair. • TTC to Publish Special Supplement for FECONS TTC Travel Trade Caribbean is preparing a Special Supplement on the principal investments in Cuba to be distributed at the 10th International Construction Fair (FECONS 2014). For more information contact us:

caribbean Travel Trade Caribbean • Year XIV • No. 227 • March 2014 Tourism in the Caribbean: Ups and Downs in 2013 D uring the presentation of the annual report on the State of the Industry, Beverly Nicholson Doty, chairwoman of the CTO, said that it is expected that the demand in the tourist sector will continue buoyant and the arrival of tourists to the Caribbean will increase between 2 and 3% in 2014. According to the report, the increase in international tourist arrivals is below the global growth of 5% registered by the World Tourism Organization in 2013. In that indicator, other regions of the world noted more significant increases like the case of Europe (+5.4%), Asia-Pacific (6%) or Africa (5.6%). On the other hand, international tourist expenditure in the Caribbean region stood at 28.1 billion dollars in the recently concluded year, 2.3% more compared to 2012, while the accommodation sector registered a 7.5% increase in income per room. According to official data, these results respond to the improvement of three of the principal hotel indicators: price per room, average income per available room and the hotel occupancy rate. Nicholson Doty also highlighted the important increase in the number of arrivals of visitors from Latin America, as well as the number of trips Turks and Caicos Islands Develop Medical Tourism The British Overseas Territory’s Cabinet of Turks and Caicos announced it is looking to turn its medical tourism dreams into realities. The Cabinet had approved the membership of a Medical Tourism Steering Committee. The committee, which is established initially for a period of one year, will “develop clear policies for the operation of medical tourism activities in the hospitals in Providenciales and Grand Turk,” according to an official statement. Turks and Caicos Islands Governor Peter Beckingham first announced the territory’s plans to develop a medical tourism policy in his Throne Speech at the beginning of January. That is part of a wider push by the Turks and Caicos Islands to expand its tourism product beyond the traditional hub of Providenciales. Several other countries in the region have announced similar pushes to court medical tourists, most notably Jamaica, caribjournal. com informed. • 8ttc within the region “as evidence that the Caribbean’s tourism industry is showing signs of progress.” An estimated 1.5 million Latin American tourists visited the Caribbean last year, up 13% over 2012 and 70% higher than the 859,000 reported visitors in 2009. Meanwhile, travel among Caribbean destinations grew by 2.1% in 2013, with an estimated 1.6 million Caribbean people travelling for touristic purposes. In terms of the issuing countries, the report specifies that the U.S. market continued its recovery, with arrivals up nearly three per cent. Meanwhile, Canada was flat with a marginal rise of 0.7%, the lowest year-overyear growth in this market since 1997. The number of tourists from the United Kingdom was down to under a million visitors –a 1.4% drop– and from Europe an overall down of 3.75%. On the other hand, cruise passenger visits were up 2.7% to 21.8 million passengers. Notwithstanding the ups and downs of 2013, the CTO forecasts a better evolution for the Caribbean in 2014, when it expects an increase in tourist arrivals of between 2 and 3%. • Aruba 2014 Calendar of Tourism Events The Aruba 2014 calendar of Tourism events is revealing a series of dates that provide an appealing mix of entertainment and activities, giving visitors a host of diversions from sun, sea and sand. The calendar published by the Aruba Tourism Authority shows crucial dates for the Carnival season that is already underway in Aruba, with the spectacular event celebrating its 60th anniversary. It reaches its explosive finale on March 2 with the Grand Carnival Parade through the streets of the capital, Oranjestad, with pulsating music, amazing floats and colorful original costumes, decorated with sparkling stones, sequins and feathers. More celebrities will hit the island in July for the Aruba International Film Festival. Actors, producers and directors will be at red carpet premieres and screenings of an eclectic collection of international and Caribbean films. Aruba’s prevailing trade winds provide the perfect conditions for the Caribbean’s largest amateur windsurfing event, the 28th Annual Aruba Hi-Winds, from July 3 to 7. Staying on the water, yachtsmen head to Aruba from August 15 to 17 for the Aruba Regatta. Music returns in a big way in September for the two-day Electronic Music Festival 2014, with world-renowned DJs hitting the stage. More genteel is the Aruba Food, Wine & Art Festival, scheduled for September 12 to 13, showcasing the island’s culinary best. Visitors are encouraged to help with the Aruban environment in September with the 21st Annual Reef Care Project, where more than 800 volunteers, including holidaymakers, help clean diving and snorkeling sites, as well as raising awareness of marine ecology. •

news Travel Trade Caribbean • Year XIV • No. 227 • March 2014 FITCuba Returns to Morro-Cabaña C uba’s International Tourism Fair, to be held May 6-10, 2014, is again taking up its venue in the Morro-Cabaña Park. This 34th edition will be dedicated to Havana as a destination and to the Circuits product, and France will be the guest country. Its main goals are to show to the different people attending the event the principal attractions and attributes of Cuba, fundamentally its historic-cultural heritage, as well as its facilities as a Circuits destination. Havana, the country’s principal cultural hub, is visited by half of the vacationers traveling every year to Cuba. Its Historic Center, together with the system of colonial fortresses, was the country’s first to be declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site. These and many other reasons validate FITCuba 2014’s being dedicated to this city. For Circuits tourism the largest of the Caribbean islands has exceptional characteristics, as well as an adequate infrastructure. Its geography of a narrow and long island, a well-distributed network of airports and marinas, the existence of sites of natural and historic interest throughout the country and the relative proximity between them makes it possible to combine, in a single stay, different modalities that coexist in all its tourist destinations. Starting the winter of 2014-15, British Airways will offer for the first time non-stop flights between London and Punta Cana, with a twice weekly frequency. Since 2009 British Airways had been offering this route from the London Gatwick Airport with a stop in Antigua. Now, in response to the British market’s growing demand for sun and beach during the winter, the airline has decided to start this direct connection. In 2013, the Dominican airports registered the arrival of 108,236 British tourists, 10.12% more than the previous year; 67% of them landed in Punta Cana and 22.7% in Puerto Plata. United Airlines announced plans to operate flights between 10ttc Choosing France as the Fair’s guest country has been a very relevant decision. This country for decades has been one of the principal issuing markets for Cuba and has left its imprint in the cities, crops, history, art and culture of this island. French Minister of Tourism Sylvia Pinel, in statements to Prensa Latina news agency, announced that she will travel in May to the Cuban capital to represent her government at the fair. FITCuba 2014 is taking place precisely when the first seven Cuban townships are celebrating the 500th anniversary of their foundation –Nuestra Señora de Asunción de Baracoa (1511); San Salvador de Bayamo (1513); Santísima Trinidad (today Trinidad), Santa María del Puerto del Príncipe (currently Camagüey) and Sancti Spíritus, in 1514; Santiago de Cuba (1515); and San Cristóbal de La Habana, in 1519–, events that in themselves constitute a tourist attraction par excellence. • New Flights to Dominican Republic Punta Cana Airport. the hub of the Liberty International Airport, in New York, and the city of Santiago, Dominican Republic, starting the summer of 2014, which is subject to government approval. United’s plans point to introducing a daily service on the route. United Airlines currently flies from New York-Newark to Santo Domingo, Punta Cana and Puerto Plata and, during season operations, from Chicago and Washington DC to Punta Cana. In 2013, U.S. tourists registered in the Dominican airports were the most numerous foreign visitors: 1,587,404, an increase of 8.97% as compared to 2012; 59.6% landed in Punta Cana and 22.6% in Las Americas Airport (Santo Domingo). Copa Airlines Colombia also announced its first direct flight to the Dominican Republic. It will have a frequency of four weekly flights, making it possible to transport 30,000 new travelers every year. The first aircraft will land in Punta Cana on the second week of April. Copa Airlines’ future plans include taking the flights to a daily frequency. In 2013, 48,174 Colombian tourists arrived in the Dominican airports, 3.96% less than in 2012; 50.8% landed in Punta Cana and 45.3% in Las Americas Airport (Santo Domingo). •

caribbean Travel Trade Caribbean • Year XIV • No. 227 • March 2014 20 Years with Islazul T he Islazul Hotel Group is celebrating this 2014 its 20 years of work, experience and results, a period in which its offer has been in constant evolution. Initially designed for national tourism, its origins date back to 1994. In 2009 it became a public corporation and expanded its services for international tourism. Its current portfolio includes more than 10,000 rooms throughout the Cuban archipelago. Hotel and non-hotel installations designed with the firm purpose of pleasing the most demanding tastes. Islazul offers a personalized service endorsed by its quality. Its offer’s link to Cuban culture and idiosyncrasy characterize and distinguish it. Islazul’s presence throughout the island is very attractive for tour operators, travel agencies and air- lines, precisely because of the possibility of organizing travel offers combined with diverse modalities of tourism: city, nature and sun and beach. A network of sales outlets distributed throughout the country, in addition to the web portal enable making reservations in real time: All this makes Islazul a unique product, given the extension of its catalogue, and this group’s having notably increased the number of clients. In this way it has met the goals set out in favor of the country’s economy in a sustained and growing manner. • British Airways to Expand Services to Antigua and Barbuda The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority announced the demand for the destination in the United Kingdom market continues recovering, and to respond to this British Airways will expand its services to the Vere C. Bird International Airport. With three new flights that will be added to the current seven weekly ones, Antigua and Barbuda will increase 10% the flight capacity from the United Kingdom. • New Hotel Developments in Jamaica In pursuit of the diversification of its product to maintain competitiveness, Jamaica’s hotel industry has opened in recent months several new and renovated hotels, with more than 2,000 rooms, and others are in the process of doing so. The Caribbean destination has welcomed some renowned brands, among them Blue Diamond, Hyatt, Karisma, Marriott, Meliá Hotels International and Riu Palace, as part of its strategy to offer a first-class product. Ocho Rios, Montego Bay, Negril and Kingston have been especially favored by these developments. • New Air Connections in the Caribbean Southwest to Fly to the Caribbean More Flights from Europe to La Romana La Romana Casa de Campo International Airport will receive, starting next April, four of the daily flights Air Europa currently operates from the Madrdid-Barajas Airport to Punta Cana, and which it will move to that La Romana terminal. Meanwhile, Air France will start operating flights for the first time to La Romana, while it continues flying to Santo Domingo and Punta Cana, where it will add a new flight in the summer. 12ttc Avianca Has Plans to Resume Bogotá-London Route Avianca has plans to resume starting July its operations on the Bogotá-London direct route. The preliminary itinerary comprises the regular operation of four weekly flights between the two capitals, leaving from Bogotá El Dorado International Airport on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, returning from London’s Heathrow on Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The U.S. Southwest Airlines will operate new routes connecting the Caribbean destinations of Aruba, Montego Bay and Nassau with the U.S. cities of Baltimore, Washington and Orlando. After its first incursions in the Caribbean, Southwest will continue flying to other international destinations in Mexico and the Dominican Republic. Copa to Increase Frequencies to Brazil Copa Airlines will increase its frequencies from Panama to the cities of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo between June and July, coinciding with the World Football Cup.

Travel Trade Caribbean • Year XIV • No. 227 • March 2014 mexican caribbean Mexican Caribbean Ready for 2014 Tourist Street Market Mexico’s 2014 Tourist Street Market will take place in Quintana Roo with a program that will be carried out between next May 3 and 11. Although the Tourist Street Market will specifically be held from May 6 to 9, a program of activities from May 3 to 11 has been designed for travel agents, airlines and tour operators in destinations like Bacalar, Cancun, Chetumal, Cozumel, Holbox, Isla Mujeres, Mahahual, Puerto Morelos, the Riviera Maya and Tulum. According to the newspaper Excelsior, the event will be inaugurated by President Enrique Peña Nieto. The local authorities predict that the 2014 edition will break all the previous records. The Cozumel Convention Center will be inaugurated in the framework of the activities. • Mexico Received Close to 12 Million Tourists by Air in 2013 The arrival of international visitors to Mexico by air registered a 9% growth in 2013 with respect to 2012, when it reached 11,774,000 foreign visitors, according to figures provided by the Integral System of Migration Operations (SIOM), of the National Migration Institute, the Secretariat of Tourism (SECTUR) reported. The United States continues being the most important market in terms of air arrivals, with almost 6.5 million visitors (+9%). Meanwhile, arrivals from Canada saw a 1.8% increase as compared to 2012. Visits from Colombia increased 60.4%; Russia, 39.9%; Peru, 39%; China, 26.6%; Korea, 24.4%; Sweden, 17.1%; United Kingdom, 14%; and Japan, 13.5%. • ttc13

events Travel Trade Caribbean • Year XIV • No. 227 • March 2014 CHTA to Organize Hospitality and Tourism Conference T he Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA) will organize its first hospitality and tourism conference since 2007, under the banner of the Caribbean Hospitality Industry Education Forum (CHIEF). CHIEF will provide a crucial opportunity for hoteliers, CHTA Executives, hospitality product and service providers as well as industry experts to network, brainstorm and learn how to be a successful part of the future in the Caribbean tourism industry. According to Richard Doumeng, president of CHTA, “the time is right to have a forum that brings together hoteliers and our allied members. It will be an educational and sales setting with a strong focus on the use of technology to improve revenue, yield and efficiency.” CHIEF will consist of an education forum and a trade show. Subjects to be covered will include an overview of trends in technology, marketing and operations. Speakers from both within the Caribbean as well as those from other areas of the world will share best practices on running more efficient cost saving operations and new marketing trends that work in today’s competitive global marketplace. A new trade show component will enable the growing allied interests to provide a one-stop venue for hoteliers to see the latest products, gadgets, green technology tools and services that have become available. The CHTA represents all the hotel industry facets with more than 600 member hotels and more than 300 allied members. • 14ttc

news Travel Trade Caribbean • Year XIV • No. 227 • March 2014 More Hotel Rooms Under Construction in the Americas Visa Exemption between Bahamas and China WTO Recognizes Dominican President Conviasa Expands Through Caribbean The pace of construction of hotel rooms has increased in the different sub regions of the Americas. A recent report published by STR refers to the case of the Mexico-Caribbean area, which in January 2014 had 160 hotels with 26,557 rooms being developed, with 30% more rooms and 15.4% more under construction with respect to a year before. By hotel segments, in Mexico-Caribbean the higher category showed the greatest increase in terms of rooms, with +114.5% with respect to January 2013, up to 3,366. It was followed by the midscale segment (+84%, with 1,949 rooms) and the upper midscale (+50.9%, 4,918). The luxury sector showed a year-on-year decline of 6% in the number of rooms, up to 6,520 rooms. In the figure of units under construction, the upper midscale segment registered last January a growth of 114.1% as compared to January 2013, reaching the 2,124 rooms, with which it was at the head among all the categories. Meanwhile, the upper upscale segment appeared with +64% and 946 rooms, and the upscale with +32.4% and 1,909 rooms. In comparison, the midscale segment showed a year-on-year decline of 42.1% in the number of rooms under construction, with 449. • The mutual visa exemption agreement between Bahamas and China, signed in December 2013, is already in force and allows reciprocal visits by citizens from both countries without the need for travel visas for up to 30 days. In a communiqué, the government of Bahamas explained that “although this agreement allows for traveling without the need of visas, visitors have to comply with a series of requirements to enter when being processed by the immigration authorities.” Travelers must present a passport with valid visas for transit states, and a round-trip airfare; those with intentions of remaining more than a month in Bahamas will need a visa. • Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina was personally given by the secretary general of the World Tourism Organization (WTO), Taleb Rifai, the “Open Letter of Recognition for Tourism,” a special distinction that recognizes the country’s tourist leadership in the Caribbean region and the contributions of the current Dominican government to that industry. Rifai, who is making an official visit to the country for the first time, during the ceremony to hand over the Letter assessed the contributions of the government of President Danilo Medina to turn the Dominican Republic into a unique and outstanding destination of the region. The Letter is also known as “Golden Book” of the campaign World Tourism Leaders, whose aim is to position that sector as an effective driving force for economic growth and development, placing it among the priorities of the world and regional agenda. The handing over of the recognition took place during the inauguration of the WTO international seminar “Management of Tourist Destinations of Cultural Heritage.” • The Venezuelan Consortium of Aeronautic Industries and Air Services (Conviasa) state airline has plans to open routes to Caribbean countries like Suriname, Dominican Republic and other islands in the region. The company’s president, Luis Graterol Caraballo, said that the initiative forms part of the 20142018 expansion plans and explained that together with the Ministry of Maritime and Air Transportation the technical and commercial feasibility for the opening of additional routes to the Petrocaribe member nations is being analyzed, after seven new Embraer 190s and two Airbus 330-200s are incorporated this year. Conviasa plans to open in the first quarter of 2014 nine national and seven international routes to reach a total of 50 destinations. In 2013, the company transported more than 1.5 million persons and this year expects to carry some 2.7 million passengers. • 16ttc Mr. Danilo Medina, President of the Dominican Republic. ▶

events Travel Trade Caribbean • Year XIV • No. 227 • March 2014 DATE 2014, March 26-28 Curacao Heads Cruise Tourism Growth in Caribbean Punta Cana will be hosting the event this year. The 15th Dominican Annual Tourism Exchange (DATE 2014), the most important international fair of the Dominican tourist sector, will take place March 26-28, 2014 at the Convention Center of the Paradisus Palma Real Hotel in Punta Cana. DATE is an annual event organized by the Association of Hotels and Tourism of the Dominican Republic (ASONAHORES) and sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism. Hundreds of international tour operators and travel agencies (mainly from the United States, Canada, Europe and South America) will participate to define their business deals with the hotels and other providers of tourist services in the Dominican Republic. The fair has an advanced system of pre-es- 18ttc tablished meetings created for carrying out commercial negotiations. Different media, the local and international press come together to cover the three days of contracting that take place at DATE and the social activities held in the framework of this event, which will have the presence of high-ranking figures of the tourist sector. According to ASONAHORES, the 2013 edition of DATE registered 15% more business meetings than the previous year (more than 4,000 meetings). It was attended by 120 companies with 209 delegates from the buying tourist companies as well as 130 exhibitors with 462 representatives. • The largest year-on-year increase in the number of cruise passengers in the Caribbean region in 2013 was achieved by Curacao, according to the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO). The so-called Dutch Caribbean island received 610,186 passengers in 2013, representing a 41.4% growth with respect to 2012, followed by Aruba, which was the second destination in terms of growth, with +25.4%. Curacao’s record increase takes place in a year in which, according to CTO figures, the cruise sector had mixed performances in the region, with several countries that registered two-digit increases and 10 that registered negative growth. In general, the Caribbean saw an increase of 2.7% in cruise passenger arrivals with respect to 2012, with some 21.9 million passenger visits to the region’s ports, which continues being the world leader in that industry. •

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