Habanos Festival Successfully Concluded in Havana, Cuba
2012 Habanos Festival, Havana, Cuba
The 2012 Habanos Festival concluded in Havana after several sessions of exhibition, business and trade. Many foreign participants said they will travel to Cuba next year again to form part of the island's most important cigar event.
After several days of sessions that included a trade exhibition, presentations, seminars, contests, tasting events, a gala dinner, which brought together 1,500 participants from 70 countries, the 2012 Habanos Festival concluded in Havana, focusing on two of Cuba's most prestigious brands, Cohiba and Romeo y Julieta.
Foreign cigar entrepreneurs, dealers, producers, collectors, sommeliers and tasters decided to travel to Cuba to form part this year of an unprecedented cigar event described by many as one of the world's most famous cigar fairs.
World famous celebrities also participated, including U.S. actor James Belushi, former NBA Travis Best and Dale Davis, British musicians Jack Bruce and Phil Manzanera and the Spanish chef Sergio Torres, among others.
This year's festival offered participants an interesting and varied programme that included trips to Cuba tobacco farms and cigar factories, workshops and contests, cigar tasting, master lectures on cigar rolling and a trade fair.
Habanos S.A, the distributor of all of Cuba's cigars since 1994 and joint venture managed by state-owned Cubatabaco and the Spanish corporation Altadis, belonging to British group Imperial Tobacco Group PLC, hosted the event and invited visitors to taste the new cigar brands that this Cuban company will be launching to the market during 2012.
Foreign participants also had the personalised assistance from the event's incoming travel agency, Havanatur S.A., one of largest Cuban travel agencies in charge of sending foreign tourists to the island to the most fascinating and hottest destinations for their Cuba holidays.
Visitors were accommodated in famous and emblematic Havana hotels, ranging from 4 to 5 stars, including Parque Central Hotel, Saratoga Hotel, Hotel Nacional, Melia Cohiba Hotel, Melia Habana Hotel, Occidental Miramar Hotel and Palco Hotel.
The Habanos Festival ended with an auction that collected nearly one million dollars (£ 635,930) in cigars and humidors for the health system in the Caribbean island. The auction included famous cigar brands such as H. Upman, Hoyos de Monterrey, Romeo y Julieta, Partagas, Montecristo and Cohiba.
During the closing ceremony the Habano of the Year Awards were given to active participants, including British Jemma Freeman in the field of Business, Cuban roller Jose Castelar in Communications and Cuban Armando Rodriguez in Production.
The 2012 cigar was a meeting among friends and lovers of famous Cuban cigars from different regions of the world, who wished to travel to Cuba to exchange, show and discuss the excellent quality of this genuine and coveted Cuban product.