Travel Trade Caribbean - World Travel Market 2013. News


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Travel Trade Caribbean
WTM World Travel Market Edition. News.
Current International Tourism.
Tourism in the Caribbean and the United Kingdom.
Cuba at WTM 2013.
Cuba and the Caribbean:
Emerging Destinations for Luxury Tourism.

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Travel Trade Caribbean - World Travel Market 2013. News

  1. 1. # 224 International Tourism Publication founded in 1996 Year XIII • No. 224 • November 2013 Europe Edition • isnn 1724-5370 Current International Tourism “Tourism represents 9% of the world’s Gross Domestic Product, one out of every 12 jobs, 1.2 billion dollars’ worth of exports that mean 6% of inter- national trade and, what’s most important, 8% of the exports of the countries with emerging economies,” Carlos Vogeler, regional director for the Americas of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), affirmed in his lecture Actualidad turística internacional (Current International Tourism). 2 Tourism in the Caribbean and the United Kingdom The Caribbean is the region that most depends on the international travel and tourism industry. On the islands, those activities contribute 14% of the Gross Domestic Product, one out of every eight jobs and a sixth of the income for the export of goods and services. On a world level, six Caribbean countries classify among the 10 most dependent on this sector. 8 Cuba at WTM 2013 STAND CA 140 A large representation of Cuban entities and their commercial partners will be present, as usual, at WTM 2013 at stand CA140. Their main prospects are presenting the new products of the Cuba Destination as well as promoting the cultural, incentive and quality of life programs; events, golf tournaments and scuba diving. 19 10 British Travel Less to the Caribbean The Dominican Republic Has It All Luis Emilio Rodríguez, president of the Hotel and Tourism Association of the Dominican Republic (ASONAHORES), heads the most powerful organization of the country’s private tourist sector –a federation that gathers all the regional hotel associations as well as the organizations representing airports, ports, sports marinas, tourist real estate companies, restaurants, etc. For more than 50 years (since 1962), ASONAHORES has been collaborating very actively with the Ministry of Tourism in the successful policies that makes the Dominican Republic (DR) the principal Caribbean destination. 4 14 Varadero Consolidates as Cuba’s Principal Holiday Destination 18 22 Cuba and the Caribbean: Emerging Destinations for Luxury Tourism Growth Predicted for British Market in Mexican Caribbean
  2. 2. tourism Current International Tourism 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 Marketing Director Jesús Rodríguez Marketing Italy Paola Germano Editorial Staff for Italy Norma Campugnano Enrico Bassignana An analysis of how the world tourist activity is passing Germany and the United States –followed developing marked the central idea of the lecture by the United Kingdom, Russia (which is growing by Carlos Vogeler, given in Varadero during FitCuba enormously), France, Canada, Japan and Austra2013. When referring to 2012 he said: “it closed with lia. Three countries in the region of the Americas a 4% increase in arrivals –1.037 billion– as well as in are among other important issuing markets: Brazil, income –1.075 trillion dollars–, data that do not inMexico and Argentina. clude domestic tourists or visitors who do not stay UNWTO studies about tourism in 2030 indithe night in the destination.” cate a notable potential for development. The mature destinations as well as the emerging ones The advanced economies attracted around will need to adapt their conditions in relation to: 64% and the emerging one close to 36%, a relaNew business environment, Infrastructures, Travel tion tending to reverse by 2015, and the emerging facilitation, Marketing strategies and Human reones surpass the advanced in terms of the world sources. quota of the market. The increase continues, though at a lower perThe sector’s recovery in the last three years, in centage. The average increase for 2010-2030 will be the midst of the economic crisis, “confirms that from 43 million international arrivals a year to have tourism has an enormous capacity to withstand adverse situations,” he said. 1.8 billion in 2030, “which we would The Americas attracted 163 milhave to multiply by five to add doTourism has lion arrivals and US$ 213 billion in inmestic tourists.” As part of that prostopped being come, 15.7% and 20% of the world jection, the Caribbean, which will the privilege of a total, respectively, which is why “the reach 30 million international visitors few to become the equation is favorable.” Arrivals inin 2030, will grow by 2%, below the right of all.” creased by 4% in line with the world world average. mean, and incomes 6.9%, three points higher than Air transportation will continue extending its the global average. market quota but at a slower pace. According to In the region, the Caribbean has grown only the International Civil Aviation Organization, annu4.4% in terms of arrivals (21 million) and 2.5% in inal aircraft operations will increase from 30 million come ($24.6 billion), an especially worrying situato 60 million in 2030. tion, the regional director for the Americas of the The key factors that determine the evolution of the tourist industry are the world economy, techUNWTO noted. In contrast, the indicators for 2012 nology, demographic changes and consumption show that the Caribbean is well positioned in the patterns, and sustainable development; and the hotel sector, above the mean for the Americas: a three great challenges: air interconnection, the 66.5% occupancy rate, an average daily rate (ADR) pressure of taxes on travel and travel facilitation. of 176 US$ and a RevPar (Income per available Vogeler concluded his master lecture with the room) of 117 US$. phrase “Tourism has stopped being the privilege Among the principal world issuing markets Voof a few to become the right of all.” • geler highlighted China’s climb to first place, sur- ttc2 Editorial Staff for Cuba Josefina Pichardo Francisco Forteza Editorial Staff for Dominican Republic Francesco Pandolfo Marketing Dominican Republic Flavia Anelli Graphic Design Italy Mauro Melis Graphic Design Cuba Andro Liuben Pérez Diz Webmaster Hairo Rodríguez Jesus Jr. Rodríguez Website Narmys Cándano Collaboration Ana Cecilia Herrera Dagmara Blanco Ernesto L. Rodríguez Magdalena García María E. Leyva Silvia I. Alfonso Print Micrograf S.r.l. 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.
  3. 3. interview The Dominican Republic Has It All Interview with Luis Emilio Rodríguez, President of the Dominican Hoteliers. Rodríguez is also the most distinguished manager of La Romana-Bayahibe tourist destination, where, among others, he heads the international airport and cruise port –owned by the Central Romana Corporation group, the largest Dominican sugar producer. He has presided over the Association of La Romana-Bayahibe Hotels for four years, until his appointment a year ago to the current position of national president. He is answering the questions put to him by TTC in this edition dedicated to London’s WTM. DR the first tourist destination in the Caribbean. Which are the three pillars of its market leadership? “The Dominican Republic Has It All.” This is not just the slogan that the Ministry of Tourism uses in its promotion campaigns but also a reality of our country: from that history Santo Domingo has in its Colonial Zone to the beaches of Punta Cana; from the amazing show of the humpback whales in Samaná to the majesty of Puerto Plata seen from the cable railway; from the adrenaline set free when rafting in Jarabacoa to the interior peace given by a beautiful sunset by the sea in Bayahibe. What other destination in the Caribbean has such diversity? The second pillar of our market leadership can be individualized in the climate of safety and trust that has always favored foreign investment in the country. For more than 30 years the Dominican government has supported numerous foreign company expansion programs. Hotel chains, airlines, tour operators, among others, have been attracted by its climate of political and socioeconomic stability, as well as by the high profitability of investments in tourism. These capital flows have greatly benefited our nation, generating jobs, encouraging other productive sectors and contributing for a general dynamism that has turned tourism into the country’s principal economic driving force. The third pillar – not less important – is the efficient work of promotion headed by our Ministry of Tourism in the international markets. Dominican tourism’s marketing and promotion objectives were focused on Western Europe, the United States and Canada while they maintained their economic hegemony. Today, the economic reality has been affected by the effects of the banking and real estate crisis and, while promotion in those areas continues, it is also pointing to other emerging markets: Eastern Europe (Russia, Poland, etc.), Latin America (Brazil, Argentina, etc.); and the promotion has even started in Asian markets like China and Japan. ttc4 Luis Emilio Rodríguez, President of the Dominican Hoteliers. Our incomparable natural conditions and our history, the trust the country has known how to generate to attract and maintain foreign investment and promotion are the three fundamental pillars on which the DR’s market leadership is based in the Caribbean. Tourism’s role in the Dominican economy and principal development trends: public and private investment, up to what point? The periodic reports by the Dominican Central Bank are clear: tourism is the driving force of the country’s economy and the principal source for generating hard currency. With four million foreign visitors each year, tourism has a major impact on the Dominican economy. It generates direct and indirect jobs; let’s just think of the large number of professionals and workers involved in the construction and operation of a hotel. It is also an important source of direct and indirect taxes for the State. Moreover, tourism creates a wide range of indirect businesses that benefit other productive sectors, like hydrocarbons or agriculture (tourism’s consumption of agricultural products in the DR exceeds the amount the country exports); as well as mining and energy, which have in tourism one of their most important sources of income. If, lastly, we think of tourism encouraging a wide range of complementary services – like ports and airports, excursions, bars and restaurants, com- mercial establishments and entertainment centers, among others – we will have a complete vision of the extraordinary contribution that industry represents for the Dominican economy. This is why governments have boosted public investment in tourism infrastructures. Today the finishing touches are being given to an efficient system of modern tourist highways that connect all our destinations. The completion in a few days of the Tourist Boulevard of the East, a series of thruways connecting Santo Domingo to La Romana and Punta Cana, is of special importance. These three destinations concentrate 85% of our foreign tourists, who now have the possibility of going from Punta Cana (on the country’s eastern tip) to Santo Domingo in less than two hours. The public and private sectors in the DR are making an effort to work in a coordinated and complementary way. The public sector sees to the development of the connection and basic services infrastructures of the different tourist areas, as well as maintaining a legislation that guarantees the protection of tourist investments; without forgetting the very important mission of the State in providing safety for all the tourists visiting us. The private sector generates the investments and, together with the public sector, promotes the country’s different tourist destinations in the international markets. European and British investment in Dominican tourism. According to studies by our Central Bank, European investment represents a high percentage of the total foreign tourist investment in the country, which gives us an idea of the importance that Europe has represented for the development of Dominican tourism. The major Spanish hotel groups (Occidental, Barceló, Riu, Meliá, Iberostar, Catalonia, Bahía Príncipe, etc.) have been established in the country for more than 30 years and all of them maintain, in different levels, their local operations. This is a clear symptom that their operations have been and will continue being profitable. In the case of British investment in the country, it is worth to mention that its largest tour operators (FirstChoice, Thomson, etc.) and airlines (British Airways, Thomson Airways, etc.) have been and are still present in the Dominican market. The same goes for the cruise sector. Thomson Cruises has been operating in the DR for several years, having successfully used the terminal of La
  4. 4. interview La Laguna Dominicus beach, Bayahibe, Dominican Republic. Romana-Casa de Campo as a homeport for several years. The British PO Cruises line has also been visiting Isla Catalina for years with its winter cruises program in the Caribbean. Lastly, it can be mentioned that, after the merging of the FirstChoice group with TUI AG, the TUI GROUP was created, the largest tour operator in the world, which has in the DR the largest infrastructure of personnel and means in the entire Caribbean. Tourist arrivals from the United Kingdom and other European nations have gone up in the DR in 2013. Which are the new offers for these markets? British tourists have been registering a continuous and sustained growth for seven consecutive months (this September they registered a 13% increase). Together with Germany and Russia, the United Kingdom is currently the most dynamic market in Europe. In the first half of the 1990's British tourists were concentrated on the northern coast, from Puerto Plata to Río San Juan. After Punta Cana’s expansion, a great deal of this market went to that new tourist zone because of the natural conditions of its environment and because of finding alternative destinations for the numerous repeater travelers. With this reality, it would be very convenient to improve the alternative offer of services in those traditional destinations as well as seeking alternative destinations that can satisfy the demand of the British tourists. In that sense, La Romana-Bayahibe is a sure future bet. It has excellent connectivity due to its international airport, the cruise port, the Coral Thruway – which today connects La Romana to Punta Cana in just 35 minutes – and the other line of thruways – which starting next November 20 will connect La Romana to Las Américas Airport in 45 minutes and to Santo Domingo in less than an hour. ttc6 Its more than 4,000 hotel beds and its alternative services infrastructure (Casa de Campo, with Altos de Chavón, La Marina and their activities, like horseback riding, kayaking, shooting, etc.; the Cueva de Las Maravillas, the Saona and Catalina islands, among others) turns La Romana-Bayahibe destination into an excellent alternative for the future growth in British tourism. Not forgetting that La Romana has an offer of golf courses excellence that could meet the demanding expectations of British golfers. UK, the homeland of golf. The DR, the golf mecca in the Caribbean. What are the relations and the perspectives? The DR has some 26 international level golf courses that are concentrated in different tourist zones (La Romana, Punta Cana, Juan Dollo, Puerto Plata, Río San Juan and Santo Domingo). Many of them are located by the seaside and almost all of them have been designed by internationally famous architects. The promotion of our golf in the British market is undoubtedly one of the “pending tasks” of the Dominican tourist sector, which until now has focused mainly on different promotion campaigns –like “Sun and Beach,” cultural tourism in the Colonial City, the first in the Americas, and lastly ecotourism and adventure tourism. Golf tourism represents an extraordinary opportunity for Dominican tourism in all the markets, especially in the U.S. and British ones. The United Kingdom is the homeland of golf and in our country we have all the elements to be able to create perfect products for the British market. The Dominican Republic undoubtedly has the best golf courses of the Caribbean area. The installations of Playa Dorada and Río San Juan, in the north, the excellent golf courses of the zone of Juan Dollo and the extraordinary installations of the Rafting at Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic. Bávaro-Punta Cana area, in the south, are an offer they won’t find in any other Caribbean destination. The extraordinary offer for golfers in the area of La Romana and concretely in the Casa de Campo complex, with four golf courses designed by famous architect Pete Dye, among which the Teeth of the Dog is ranked among the world’ best, deserves special mention. A major challenge for our country could be the creation of a golf multi-destination, since (in addition to the possible air connectivity) the new network of thruways that link Santo Domingo, Juan Dollo, La Romana and Punta Cana today opens the possibility of creating joint programs for golfers, offering the experience of getting to know different tourist areas in the south of the country through a tour of their excellent golf courses. We are already the golf mecca of the Caribbean. We have all the elements to continue growing and attracting the attention of the British golf tourism. Which tourist attraction in the DR can’t be missed? We said that “the Dominican Republic has it all.” That is why choosing a specific attraction is a difficult task. But there is a unique beauty that distinguishes us from all the other destinations. A rare wealth of the entire nation that definitively makes tourists fall in love with it: the people – their warm and friendly personality, cordiality and joyfulness. Moreover, more and more Dominicans are receiving professional training according to international standards and oriented at competitiveness in all the tourist segments. Today the DR has excellent tourism professionals, who also stand out for their open and affable character. Undoubtedly, the friendly treatment each Dominican naturally gives to all foreigners and their increasing professionalism make up the fourth pillar of our tourism. It is the trait that every tourist always keeps in memory. •
  5. 5. tourism Tourism in the Caribbean and the United Kingdom Dr. Miguel Alejandro Figueras 2007 National Economy Prize Tourist arrivals in the Caribbean and the income coming from them maintained a high dynamics in past decades. In the last two years it has not been like this: in 1951 these island nations received 700,000 tourists, a figure that was doubled in 1969; in 1970, more than four million and, in 1990, it already amounted to almost 13 million. During those 40 years, the average growth rate of arrivals was 7.5%, higher than the mean world growth rate. The tourist flow to the Caribbean region grew 18 fold. In recent years the speed of growth considerably dropped. A total of 17 million tourists were received in 2000 and in 2012 the figure only rose to 21 million, for a modest annual growth rate of 1.8% per year, with serious consequences for the 30 million Caribbean inhabitants. The Spanish-speaking islands (mainly Cuba and the Dominican Republic) have grown at a faster rate than the others. If we add the destinations of the Mexican Caribbean (Cancún and Riviera Maya), the socalled Spanish Caribbean receives more than 50% of the tourists. Many of the English- and French-speaking islands and those linked to Holland and the United States are at a standstill or falling back; cruise ships are adding a new competition for stay tourism. Half of the visitors the Caribbean receives come from the United States; from Europe, a bit less than a fourth; and 13-14% from Canada. The Caribbean’s trips between the islands themselves to visit family members and friends and commercial activities make up the majority of the rest. Lately the European presence has decreased in the Caribbean for diverse reasons, among them: ▶▶ The emergence of closer destinations with similar climate and ttc8 beaches (Turkey, Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt), whose offers usually have lower prices than those of the Caribbean. Spending by a United Kingdom tourist in 2007 in Barbados was 1,686 pounds sterling, in Jamaica, 647 and in the Mexican Caribbean 780; in Turkey, Tunisia and Morocco the average was 420 pounds. ▶▶ A rapid development of tourism from Western Europe to countries of Eastern Europe and the new republics that previously formed part of the Yugoslav federation. ▶▶ Doubling of the price of jet fuel in the last seven years. Part of the economic effects on the tourist sector of some Caribbean destinations comes from the United Kingdom issuing market. At the start of the 21st century it contributed 5-6% of the tourist arrivals to the Caribbean; currently it only contributes 3%. More than half of those islands were British colonies; some are still colonies or have a similar status, but the majority has gained independence. The United Kingdom has the greatest number of low-budget airlines in Europe; it classifies as the third European country prone to vacationing outside its borders. Internationally, in 2012 it ranked fourth in terms of tourist spending abroad among the 50 major issuing markets. Mid last decade, 60 million tourists from this European country traveled abroad and spent 60 billion dollars during their holidays. It received 30 million visitors from other countries and these tourists spent 31 billion dollars. For each dollar the UK received for tourist activities, British tourists spent two abroad. The world economic crisis has led to a decrease in the United Kingdom’s GDP. In 2012 its GDP was 2% less than 2007, at current prices. At constant prices, the decrease has been even greater. Industrial production stands at 90% of the level achieved five years ago; the unemployment rate is 8%, almost double what it was in 2006. The deficit in its Current Account Balance has remained at -50 billion dollars each year of the last triennium and the Fiscal Deficit/GDP ratio is -7%, but it reached -14% in 2009. The pound sterling was devalued 20% as com-
  6. 6. tourism pared to the dollar between 2007 and 2012. Due to that crisis, British tourism to the region has been seriously affected. Between 2008 and 2012, tourists from the United Kingdom to Barbados, its third destination in the region, decreased from 184,000 to 96,000 visitors. The small islands located in the Eastern Caribbean have been greatly affected. In Saint Lucia arrivals decreased 20% and its income for tourist services much more starting 2008. In Cuba and the Dominican Republic, the first and second destination for British tourists and visitors, according to their own statistics, the reduction has represented a quarter of a million persons. According to statistics by the UK government, between 2008 and 2012 the issuing of Travel Trade Caribbean • Year XIII • No. 224 • November 2013 tourists to the Caribbean decreased by 200,000, that is, by 20%. While global numbers do not coincide in those different publications, the tendency observed is the same: a much lower contribution of the United Kingdom to tourist arrivals in the Caribbean islands. The 2012 London Olympic Games were a temporary factor that reduced the emission, since many decided to stay in their country to attend or see on TV that major sports event. Together with the economic crisis came the consequences of the increases in the Air Passenger Duty (APD), which all passengers have to pay when leaving British airports. This tax was introduced in 1994, with a rate of five pounds for UK and European Union destinations and 10 pounds for others, but since 1995 it has undergone successive modifications and increases. A differentiating system of rates by bands was included that, in the case of the Caribbean, has been denounced as unfair and arbitrary, since it is alleged that it places the region in a disadvantageous position as compared to other destinations. According to a study by Price Waterhouse consultancy, the UK’s APD is the highest tax of this type in the world, by a considerable margin. A family of four persons traveling from a British airport to the United States must pay 407 dollars; for the Caribbean the APD would be almost 600. The opinion of the Caribbean Tourism Organization is that the APD takes away from the area some 90,000 British tourists per year. Several governments in the region have requested the elimination of at least the discriminatory nature of the tax. The APD has affected the community of Caribbean immigrants living in the United Kingdom, who have played a useful role in the development of the British economy and today see how their expenses to travel to their countries of origin have increased. Statistics specify that this community’s demands cannot be ignored, because while the United Kingdom is the largest issuing market for Barbados, it is also important for the Barbadians and other people from the Caribbean who live in the European country to visit their relatives on the islands. • ttc9
  7. 7. travel British Travel Less to the Caribbean Frank Martin For centuries the beautiful English-speaking islands of the Caribbean Sea have been considered as “very British,” not just by their common historians but also by the high affluence of tourists from the United Kingdom. British films, ever since the James Bond agent 007 series to the Benny Hill comedies, have never left out images of the white sandy beaches, customs, pleasant landscapes, some of them paradisiacal, nor the boisterous music of the islanders. However, something is happening. The bad news is that for that part of the Caribbean that resolves a great many of its economic problems with international tourism, a significant low in leisure trips by citizens of the former British Empire has been occurring in recent years, especially those who were born on these Caribbean islands. According to figures published in London by the National Office of Statistics, a government entity, the number of visits by those born in the Caribbean to meet with “friends and family”, called “VFR travelers,” registered a 26.7% drop from 165,000 in 2011 to only 121,000 in 2012. As a consequence, the income these persons contribute to the Caribbean decreased during the same period by 28.8%, from 89 million pounds sterling to 66 million. Jamaica, the Caribbean market that perhaps is most favored by those tourists, saw its income in that sense descend from 31 pounds sterling to only 22 pounds per day, comparing one year to the other. ttc10 Neither is there good news when the analysis brings together all the categories of British who usually spend their holidays in the Caribbean. The amount of subsidies by Her Majesty decreased 12% between 2011 and 2012, and in real figures, from 866,000 two years ago to 760,000 a year ago. Thus the British went down on the list of good tourism issuers to the Caribbean, below not just U.S. travelers but also Canadians and Europeans in general, according to the reports by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the East Caribbean Central Bank and other sources. According to an article on the Internet by British specialist David Jessop, executive director of the London-based Caribbean Council, the number of UK citizens’ night stays in Caribbean countries registered a 4.7% drop and their spending went down even more, by 8.3%, always in the same period of time analyzed. In concrete figures, the profits fell from 699 million pounds sterling, because of these reasons, in 2011, to 641 million in 2012. The average spending witnessed a daily drop of 1.9%, from 57.70 pounds to 56.60 last year. The general figures for tourism toward the Caribbean from all destinations indicate that in 2012 the region received close to 25 million tourists that year, for a 5.4% increase as compared to 2011, according to a report by the Caribbean Tourism Organization. When announcing the figures, Beverly Nicholson-Doty, director of the entity, told the press that the statistics are a reason “for optimism.” However, she warned that some Caribbean states are showing difficulties in recovering from the effects of the global crisis, “especially those that strongly depend on the British market.” In such a context, she criticized the sadly wellknown Air Passenger Duty, a tax on flights to all countries in the world applied by London and that is especially affecting the Caribbean tourist industry. According to experts, the unfortunate tax is to blame. The reason for this is that average British citizens always liked to exchange their rainy and cold cities for the tropical islands with mean temperatures of 24 to 25 degrees centigrade at least once a year, where, except during the hurricane season, they have nothing to fear from nature. The image of drinking ice-cold cocktails made with fruit juice and liquor while resting on a long chair in the middle of the white sand and facing a blue sea that attracts, is still a powerful dream that many in the European country want to make come true every summer. For example, Cuba has the largest amount of reservations made by the British to vacation next year in the Caribbean region, according to the online British travel agency Loveholidays, cited by the magazine Caribbean News Digital. Jonny Marsh, the specialized portal’s executive, said that that Caribbean country has 70% of all the reservations made to the region for 2014. But the pocket factor, ever more worrying with the Air Passenger Duty, continues being, more than dissuasive, a nightmare. •
  8. 8. airlines British Airways Expands Services to the Caribbean Air Europa Inaugurates New Madrid-La Romana, Dominican Republic, Route The Spanish Air Europa airline (of the Globalia group) announced it will inaugurate a new route between Madrid and La Romana International Airport in the Dominican Republic next December 16, which will remain until March 31, 2014. The flights will be once a week, every Monday, with an Airbus 330-200, leaving Madrid at 4:00 p.m. and from La Romana at 10:00 p.m. With these new routes Air Europa is consolidating itself as the principal Spanish airline flying to the Dominican Republic, since it also has seven flights per week to Punta Cana and 14 weekly flights to Santo Domingo. LAN to Link Bogotá and Aruba Starting December 1, 2013, LAN will operate on the Bogotá-Aruba route with two weekly frequencies, Wednesday and Sunday, in nighttime schedules and using Airbus A320 aircraft with capacity for 174 passengers. British Airways will increase the frequencies to Saint Lucia, Punta Cana, Antigua and Kingston, expanding to seven, three, six and four, respectively, the weekly links to those Caribbean destinations. With the addition of an extra Boeing 777 to its fleet in London’s Gatwick, the operation will start next summer. Sunrise Airways to Fly to Cuba The new Haitian Sunrise Airways has received Cuba’s permission to operate regular charter flights between Port-au-Prince and the eastern city of Holguín, a service that will start in the autumn of 2013 and will involve a second destination outside Haiti’s borders. New Costa Rica-El Salvador-New Jersey Flight Avianca announced a new flight from Costa Rica to Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, the United States, through the El Salvador connection center. It will start operating on November 8, four times a week: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Panama Modernizes Its Airport Network Gran Jaguar Temple. Guatemala is one of the Central American countries receiving the most travelers. Panama has dedicated 200 million dollars to modernize and restructure its airport infrastructure. The works are being carried out in at least a dozen runways and airfields in the country, according to the Civil Aeronautics Authority (AAC). The Enrique Malek, Colón and Río Hato airports –located close to important tourist development projects– will be modernized with investments of 58.3, 27.4 and 17.3 million dollars, respectively. The three airports have been designed for the landing of Boeing 757-200 aircraft with capacity for 228 passengers and will be able to assimilate 500 passengers simultaneously, entering as well as leaving. Moreover, 22 million dollars have been assigned for the construction of a new Air Traffic Control Center in order to guarantee safe navigation. The project, that also includes the Tocumen International Airport, which caters to around eight million passengers a year, seeks to improve connectivity and give a boost to arrivals in the country. ttc12 Central America Predicts More Than 6% Growth in Tourism During 2013 Central America should receive 9.9 million international tourists, 6.1% more than in 2012, a study by the Secretariat of Tourist Integration of Central America (SITCA) predicted. According to the forecasts, Costa Rica and Guatemala would be the countries receiving the most travelers, with more than two million each; the average spending by visitor would reach 1,016.63 dollars as compared to 1,016.18 in 2012; Panama would be the country generating the most hard currency, while Nicaragua would be the opposite. During the period from 2000 to 2012, tourism in Central America grew 122.8% when it went from 4.23 to 9.39 million international tourists, with an average annual increase of 7%, according to data provided by SITCA. The regional market has historically been its principal issuer, with 40% of the total, while the North American market represented 35-40% and Europe and South America 10% each.
  9. 9. destinations Varadero Consolidates as Cuba’s Principal Holiday Destination Marina Gaviota Varadero, in Punta Hicacos. Once “Varadero has a clear strategy that will make it concluded, it will be one of the most complete and boutique hotel and a commercial complex. The conpossible to consolidate it as the country’s princibest tourist ports in the Caribbean. struction of the Aquatic Park will begin in 2014. pal holiday destination,” Cuban Minister of Tourism The principal investments being carried out inManuel Marrero said. A detailed study has been carried out to facilitate its reorclude the remodeling of the Marina Gaviota Varadero, in Punta Hicacos, which ganization and development, and based on its results the installations that are once concluded will be one of the most complete and best tourist ports in the not compatible with the tourist development are being extracted, and there is Caribbean. Varadero has another international marina, the Dársena, which will even the possibility of the demolition of those that in their time were built on also be renovated like the Chapelín nautical base. the beach dunes. Important construction works are being undertaken in the underground With 50 hotels (around 40% of Cuba’s hotel plant), more than 3,000 rooms electrical system to perfect the destination’s infrastructure, and the Sur Thruwill be added to their current 20,395 rooms with the investments, in different way is about to be finished. stages, of new hotels –Las Conchas, Cayo Buba, Internacional and Mediterrá­ Since 2008, Varadero has been receiving more than a million foreign tourists neo– and the expansion of the Paradisus Varadero. a year, which represents 44% of the visitors to the country. Canadians are the The diversification of the non-hotel offer is a short-term priority, to which projleaders in stays in the famous beach resort, around 45% of the total, followed ects like that of Carbonera, 15 km from Varadero, contributes. It includes an 18-hole by Cuban clients, and tourists from Germany, United Kingdom, Russia, France golf course, a real estate project consisting of 750 apartments, 200 residences, a and Argentina. • Jamaica and Cuba, Among the Preference of Britons for 2014 Jamaica is the cheapest destination for travelers with a tight budget. A study for the British tourist mart carried out by the online Loveholidays travel agency of the United Kingdom on the destinations displaying the largest sales in the Caribbean revealed that Jamaica is the fastest growing destination, with a yearon-year increase of 50% in reservations. The results show that the majority of the reservations for vacations in Jamaica are within the all- ttc14 inclusive modality. This destination also appears as the cheapest for travelers with a tight budget, according to a recent report by the British Post Office. Meanwhile, Cuba is the most popular destination for 2014, with 70% of all the sales for the Caribbean, according to According to Jonny Marsh, an executive of the specialized portal, until now this country was off the radar of the area’s principal current. However, at present, the all-inclusive offers in five-star hotels are able to position it among the principal attractions of the travel market in the European nation. Marsh also highlighted that Cuba has 70% of the total of reservations made for the region for 2014, and that it offers an excellent value for money for the British because of its quality products. •
  10. 10. products Gran Caribe Consolidates its Brand and New Product Lines Gran Caribe Product Lines ▶▶ CLASSIC: Represented by four-star city hotels. Elegant and traditional, jewels of a singular and varied architecture that combines the eclectic and modern styles of the 1950s. ▶▶ CLUB PREMIUM: Includes fourstar, All-Inclusive hotels located on beaches or keys, a standardized offer that favors a good attention to clients and a fair value for money. ▶▶ HOLA CLUB: Three-star hotels that have the beach as their natural resource par excellence, in natural environments. They offer a somewhat informal service, according to that type of facility, without diminishing the elegance and quality that identify Gran Caribe. ▶▶ ENCANTO: Refined and elegant, the Hoteles E combine personalized attention with a vast range of complementary services. They stand out for the Cuban touch in the decoration and harmony between the old and contemporary intentions, without depriving guests of comfort and access to technologies. • © Karel Miragaya - 123RF Stock Photo Gran Caribe is a tourist business group continuously upgrading itself, based on efficiency and economic and operational efficacy. According to its Development Strategy, whose principal goal is positioning it in the different markets with offers that stand out for excellent value for money, the Gran Caribe Hotel Group has set its objective on consolidating the Brand and its new Product Lines to differentiate them from the competition by promoting the human and historic-cultural values and guaranteeing its guests’ satisfaction. The marketing policy would intensify, based on a clever marketing philosophy oriented at clients, the innovation of the product and the improvement of services. Gran Caribe covers a wide range of offers, from those associated to local heritage to those on the beach front line or on virgin keys, in close contact with nature. Financial analyst James Smith told the daily The Nassau Guardian that the U.S. government’s partial shutdown could have troubling repercussions for the tourism industry in the Bahamas and in many other Caribbean islands. ttc16 © Paola Giannoni - 123RF Stock Photo. If U.S. Government “Shuts Down”, Bahamas Will Be Affected “The northeast coast of the United States, the area where government workers were immediately affected by the shutdown, accounts for around 86 percent of the Bahamas’ tourism market” and this will affect the archipelago, Smith commented. “That situation could cause some contraction in our economy,” which depends on tourism, mainly by U.S. visitors, he added. The move meant that more than 800,000 U.S. government workers were sent home from work temporarily. •
  11. 11. technology Cuba and the Caribbean: Emerging Destinations for Luxury Tourism Dr. José Enrique Salgado Professor of the University of Havana and Marketing Director of Amadeus Cuba The Caribbean has a potential market of more than 200 million persons and a Gross Domestic Product of over half a trillion dollars. If the tourist companies adopt the adequate strategy to make known the variety of attractions in these countries and are able to position them as vanguard destinations, we could see an important evolution that would bring benefits and development to the sector. Mainly due to its cultural wealth and paradisiacal beaches, the Caribbean has an important tourist potential. In addition to the traditional activities, we are presently seeing an interesting opportunity that could favor significantly the sector’s growth: luxury tourism, boosted by those seeking to live unique and exclusive experiences in exotic destinations. The region’s countries have multiple exotic locations and can obtain positive results if they take advantage of the resources without exploiting them excessively. One of the focused countries is Cuba, since it has rapidly positioned itself as an emerging destination for luxury tourism. Its attractions especially include its people’s hospitality and joie de vivre, always friendly with tourists. And to complement the experience, the country has marvelous beaches, five-star hotels, diverse options to enjoy art, culture and partying, as well as being a very safe place. As a greater number of potential travelers are attracted, the tourist companies need to have the tools to help them offer their clients a wide range of options. Expecting this, we at Amadeus have developed through the years diverse solutions for different actors of the tourist sector, like travel agencies, tour operators, airlines, hotel chains, among others. Amadeus is the technological supplier of reference for the travel industry with a world presence, in- ttc18 The cycle of Amadeus suppliers is completed with the commercial agreement signed with Havanatur S.A. cluding the Caribbean. Amadeus started betting especially on Cuba more than 20 years ago and has supported diverse tourist companies and been able to streamline their processes and increase operations. An example of this is its flagship airline Cubana de Aviación which since 1993 has been working with Amadeus’ Global Distribution System (GDS) and other technological solutions. Moreover, the majority of the foreign airlines flying to and from Cuba like Air France, AirEuropa, Avianca-Taca, also distribute their contents through Amadeus. Multiple hotel chains operating in Cuba also distribute the details of the capacities in their hotels via Amadeus, be it directly or through agreements with reservation stations and online travel agencies. In addition to the international Meliá and Accor, the Cuban Gran Caribe, Cubanacán and Islazul chains also have had a direct relationship with Amadeus since 2008, as well as Habaguanex and Hotel Palco, which distribute their contents through reservation stations and travel agencies. The cycle of Amadeus suppliers is completed with a commercial agreement signed in 2011 with the Havanatur S.A. International Group of Tour Operators and Travel Agencies. Ever since then, Amadeus provides all the agencies and 56 Havanatur outlets in Cuba with equipment and access to GDS. Thus, all of Havanatur’s agents can have access to the Amadeus Selling Platform (ASP), the application for outlets in travel agencies most used throughout the world. On the other hand, Cubatur has 15 outlets that started operating with ASP. That tool contributes to increasing the sales of travel professionals through a single point of access to all the tariffs and to the offer of a wider range of products. The solution facilitates the work of the agents thanks to its optimized business processes and personalized services that allow them to easily navigate through the available op- tions and sell services that are additional to the basic tariff. For Amadeus, the operation in Cuba is very important. It currently supports industry by providing solutions that enable the expansion of tourism through tools for the distribution of its services on a world level. We estimate that as a result of the collaboration with Amadeus, the Cuban travel agencies will achieve an average of more than 3,000 reservations a month in the last three months of 2013 through the GDS, increasing by fourfold what was achieved in 2012. Our principal objective is to create and provide tools that contribute to the growth of tourism through the constant investment in research and development. Amadeus’ investment in that sphere surpassed two billion euros between 2004 and 2011. This year we will continue making efforts to keep being the leader of technological solutions geared at forging the future of travel on a world level. •
  12. 12. events Travel Trade Caribbean • Year XIII • No. 224 • November 2013 DATE 2014, the Dominican Tourist Sector’s Most Important Fair The Caribbean island’s delegation is headed by the Ministry of Tourism and the Office in Charge of Tourism of the Cuban embassy in the United Kingdom, in addition to comprising the following Cuban entities: the Cubanacán, Gaviota Tourism groups and the Gran Caribe and Islazul hotel groups; the San Cristóbal, Cubatur and Gaviota Tours travel agencies, the Habaguanex company, Havanatur and Palco Group. The Meliá, Occidental, Roc-Hotels, Barceló, Superclubs and Sandals international hotel chains will be joining the delegation. Cuba’s objectives with its participation include making new contacts with important tour operators and other tourism professionals, as well as establishing marketing contract actions. The British market continues being one of the island’s principal issuers, ranking second despite the reduction displayed. In the JanuaryAugust total, the latest official available figures –of the National Office of Statistics and Information– at the close of this edition, 102,097 British visitors had arrived in Cuba (5.1% of the total). Last year the island received 153,737 tourists from the United Kingdom. • Photo: Cuba at WTM 2013 STAND CA 140 The 15th edition of the Dominican Annual Tourism Exchange (DATE 2014), the Dominican tourist sector’s most important fair, will take place March 26-28 at the Convention Center of the Paradisus Palma Real, in Punta Cana. Structured by pre-arranged dates, for two days international buyers will meet with the country’s principal suppliers. This edition is of special interest for tour operators and meeting organizers seeking exciting product alternatives in the country and in the Caribbean sphere. Created to provide a professional atmosphere of business exchanges between tour operators, travel agents and suppliers of the tourist product, since its debut in 2000 DATE –organized by the Association of Hotels and Tourism (ASONAHORES) of the Dominican Republic in association with the Ministry of Tourism– has been able to establish itself as an official event of the sector. The Paradisus Palma Real’s Convention Center should open in December 2013. It comprises an area of 18,000 m2 of multifunctional and flexible space, with ceilings that are up to 29-feet high. • ttc19
  13. 13. tourism Gaviota on the Year of its 25th Anniversary After 25 years of operations, the Gaviota Tourism Group has “more than 50 hotels in exploitation, with almost 22,000 rooms [around 30% of Cuba’s accommodation capacities]; a large team made up by 19,000 workers and an organization that works like clockwork to guarantee a complete tourist operation,” its promotion director, Lisbet Betancourt, affirmed in a recent presentation used as the foundation for this feature article. An active investment projection and the expansion of high-standard hotel products and associated services have placed the Group at an annual growth rate of more than 12% in accommodation capacity and tourists seen to. The Group concentrates its hotel offer from one tip of the island to the other, in the Guanahacabibes Peninsula, Havana, Varadero, Topes de Collantes, the Villa Clara keys, Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo (Ciego de Avila), the northern coast of Holguín and Pinares de Mayarí, in that same province; Santiago de Cuba and Baracoa. Prestigious international chains like Meliá, Iberostar, Blau, H10, Riu, Blue Diamond, Hotusa, Pestana, among others, participate in the management of its hotels, the Group’s backbone, managing a bit over 80% of the capacities. The Group’s integral offer is enhanced by the Transgaviota transportation services and the Gaviota Tours travel agency, with representations in the country’s principal international airports and tourist destinations like Havana, Varadero, Villa Clara’s keys, Cayo Coco, Holguín and Baracoa. Hotel Playa Cayo Santa María. Villa Clara is one of the scenarios with the greatest growth. Gaviota’s marinas, located in the Guanahacabibes Peninsula, Varadero, the Villa Clara keys, Cayo Coco and Holguín, are equipped with vessels for the modalities of game fishing, scuba diving and life on board. Part of the nautical offer is centered in the aquariums-dolphinariums of Varadero, the Villa Clara keys and Holguín. Especially standing out among them is the Marina Gaviota Varadero, “set to become one of the most pleasant and complete tourist ports of all the Caribbean in just a few months’ time.” Some of Gaviota’s immediate novelties and plans that deserve special mention are the ex- pansion of capacities in the María La Gorda International Scuba Diving Center; three new hotels in Varadero, one of them in Cayo Buba, which will be connected to terra firma by a causeway that will lengthen the Hicacos Peninsula; and three highstandard accommodations in the Historic Center of Havana. One of the scenarios with the greatest growth for the Group spreads from Villa Clara to Camagüey: more than 45,000 new rooms with complementary installations like golf courses and marinas. Meanwhile, there are plans for close to 8,000 new rooms between Holguín and Baracoa. • Prestigious international chains participate in the management of its hotels. Direct Flights from Russia to Varadero The Pegas Turistik tour operator, which will work during the next Cuban peak winter season with vacationers from Russia, has inaugurated a direct flight to Varadero, the country’s principal beach resort. With a bimonthly frequency and having started on October 25, that European company will use Boeing 777s seating 364 passengers of the Orenair airline, the Cubanacán travel agency reported. ttc20
  14. 14. caribbean Travel Trade Caribbean • Year XIII • No. 224 • November 2013 St. Kitts Classifies on Several World and Regional Rankings © 123RF Stock Photo. Caribbean Diving Centers… a Peculiar Way of Getting to Know Cuba Basseterre.- Whatever St. Kitts is doing as a tourist destination, it should keep on doing it since the island occupies the first positions on several world and regional rankings. The island is number two among the 10 Best Caribbean Duty-free Shopping Destinations, according to an international survey by the United States company Business Research and Economic Advisors (BREA). Placed on the fourth position in 2009, St. Kitts improved its ranking in the overall visit, meeting expectations, taxi/local transportation, historic sites and museums and tour satisfaction categories. St. Kitts has also been ranked at number two in a list of the 16 Best Caribbean Vacations and number four among the 12 Best Islands in the World by US News World Report. The Top 10 Winter Sun Holiday Destinations by, the Top 12 Spots that Should Be On Your List for 2012 by Caribbean Travel + Life magazine, the Editor’s Picks for 2012-2013: Best of the Caribbean by Caribbean Travel Leisure, the 10 Caribbean Islands You Shouldn’t Miss –The Best of the Caribbean in 2012 by are some of the rankings naming St. Kitts. • Foreign Investment Grows in Latin America The Havana-based Caribbean Diving Centers travel agency is ready to officiate as the receptive of other agencies that, not being established in Cuba, send clients to the island, who could thus receive a more personalized and painstaking direct treatment by the Caribbean agency…, as their representative. Since it is registered in the Chamber of Commerce of Cuba it is authorized to establish contractual relations with any Cuban travel agency, whose varied wide range of products are included in its offers. It can issue air tickets thanks to the direct contracts signed with airlines like Blue Panorama, AirEuropa, Air France and Cayman Airways –the latter makes viable the design of multidestination programs in the Caribbean, especially the Cayman Islands. It also arranges contracts directly with hotels like the Memories of the Blue Diamond chain and the Melías. Caribbean Diving Centers also directly organizes tailor-made packages for individual tourists or groups, ranging from low-cost offers to deluxe options. Meanwhile, it is developing its own products, which is the case of the nature tourism programs. Its wide-ranging portfolio covers, at very attractive prices: Different modalities of specialized tourism, Accommodations, Thematic excursions, Car rentals, Multidestination, Transportation, Tourist packages and Airfares, national and international. It is promoting the sale of packages to Cuba’s group of keys in Italy, Latin America, Korea, Russia and Turkey. The Caribbean Diving Centers is favored by the privileged location of its office in Havana, in the Miramar Trade Center, a center of commercial activities in the heart of one of the most luxurious residential districts of the capital. There, the clients who go receive immediate and personalized attention. • Contact 5ta Avenida entre 76 y 78 Miramar, La Habana Miramar Trade Center Edificio Santiago, Planta Baja Tel.: (+537) 204 3330, ext. 101 Email: Foreign direct investment to Latin America registered a moderate growth during the first half of 2013, as compared to the same period in 2012, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) reported. The 13 countries in the region that presented data received US$102.951 billion, 6% more than the amount registered during the first half of last year. The principal receiver was Brazil. Mexico surpassed the foreign direct investment received in the first half of 2012. The flow of foreign direct investment also showed increases in Venezuela (44%), Peru (27%), El Salvador (27%), Panama (19%), Costa Rica (15%), Uruguay (8%) and Colombia (5%). ttc21
  15. 15. tourism Considered one of the principal tourist offers of the region of Sancti Spíritus, Islazul Hotel Group’s Villa San José del Lago represents a stimulating and refreshing rest under the cover of Caribbean nature. Located in the town of Mayajigua, Yaguajay municipality, San José del Lago is favored by its mineral-medicinal thermal waters that have proven curative properties and make it possible to offer treatments to visitors suffering from chronic osteomyarticulary, dermatological and nervous system diseases – with or without systemic repercussion -, especially effective in cases of psoriasis. The area’s natural resources are an indispensable component in that therapy. San José del Lago, Leisure and Quality of Life offer of exquisite Cuban and international cuisine dishes, a thermal pool and treatments with traditional medicine. Several tours of historic or landscape interest can be made from the Villa to the Caguanes National Park –especially its Department of Archaeology–, the Jobo Rosado Protected Area or the Camilo Cienfuegos National Museum, just to cite some example. Contact The Villa’s 74 rooms have AC, private bathroom, hot and cold water, telephone and satellite TV, as well as the personalized and specialized services provided by competent Cuban professionals, the Ave. Antonio Guiteras km 1 ½, Mayajigua, Yaguajay, Sancti Spíritus Tel.: (53-41) 54 6108 Growth Predicted for British Market in Mexican Caribbean Everything points to the Riviera Maya registering an increase of visitors in its different tourist destinations and accommodations due to the arrival of European tourism, mainly from the United Kingdom (in addition to Russia), according to ttc22 Darío Flota, director of the Tourist Promotion Trusteeship. The United Kingdom is currently the most important European market for Mexico. Between 2010 and 2011 British tourist arrivals grew by 44.2%, while between 2011 and 2012 the increase was 15.1%. These tourists’ favorite destinations include Cancun and the Riviera Maya. In 2012, around 42,000 British visitors arrived in the Mexican Caribbean. Those tourists traveled for an average of 15 days and had an esti- mated spending of 2,700 euros per person. The Riviera Maya Tourist Barometer for July 2013 reported that out of the total of arrivals to that destination since January, 162,653 were from the United Kingdom, equivalent to 6.42% of the total. In congruence with the increase the British market has had in tourist matters, being one of the markets registering the greatest growth in the last two years, a diplomatic meeting was held between the consular authorities of the United Kingdom and executives from Quintana Roo, as part of actions to strengthen trade relations between issuer and receiver. Some of the issues dealt with included Quintana Roo’s logistics for tourists in case of hurricanes, safety, tourist promotion and investments. •