Habano Festival returns with more than 2 thousand participants

The Festival of Cigaran event dedicated to what is considered the best premium tobacco in the world, returns to the Cuban capital this Monday with more than 2,000 participants.

The event, organized by the Habanos SA corporation, will celebrate its 23rd edition until next Saturday, after two years of absence due to the pandemic. On this occasion it has professionals, amateurs and experts from 110 countries, while the number of exhibitors amounts to 260.

Precisely this Monday, the trade fair was inaugurated at the Havana Convention Center, a moment that was attended by President Miguel Díaz-Canel and other island authorities, as well as the company’s top managers.

With some 70 stands, the fair exhibits different products and proposals related to the universe of Cuban tobacco, and will host technical and commercial exchanges between companies and other entities participating in the event.

Previously, in the morning hours, the traditional press conference was held by the organizers, in which details about the event program were offered and it was reported that Habanos SA —a joint venture between companies from Cuba and Spain— registered income for $545 million in 2022.

This figure is less than 568 million achieved in 2021although it represents an increase of 2% in terms of net sales at a constant exchange rate, according to José María López Inchaurbe, Vice President of Development of the corporation.

According to what was reported, Europe consolidated itself as the main market for Habanos, with 54% of sales, while by country the five main markets last year were Spain, France, Germany, China and Switzerland.

Based on what was shown by the sales figures, López Inchaurbe assured that premium cigars “have emerged strengthened from the pandemic” and he was satisfied with the “growing demand” for Habanos in the world.

“The great news is that the demand continues to grow,” said the manager, although he recognized challenges in aspects such as supplies and logistics, derived from the global economic context and also from the particular situation in Cuba and the US sanctions on the island.

Also this Monday the Welcome Night is scheduled, which will take place at Club Habana and will be dedicated to the Montecristo brand —and, in particular, to its Open line—, one of the three that will star in this edition of the festival, together with Bolívar and Partagas.

These two brands will also have their gala nights: Bolívar, on Wednesday, in the El Laguito Protocol Room; and Partagás, on Friday, at the Pabexpo fairgrounds. This last gala will serve as the closing of the event and in it the traditional auction of humidors will be held, the proceeds of which go to the Cuban public health system.

Trade fair as part of the XXIII Habano Festival, at the Palacio de las Convenciones in Havana. Photo: Ernesto Mastrascusa / EFE.

As part of the festival, various activities will take place throughout this week, including conferences and master classes, new launches —both of the honored brands and others from the Habanos SA catalogue—, exclusive sales and the long-awaited Habanos contest. World Challenge.

In addition, there will be pairings between tobaccos and drinks such as Cuban rum and Japanese sake, cigar tastings, artistic presentations and visits to plantations in the Vuelta Abajo region, this Tuesday, and to the Partagás and La Corona tobacco factories, on Thursday .

Habanos SA is the world’s leading company in the exclusive commercialization of premium cigars, even without having access to the United States market, due to the Washington embargo/blockade on Cuba. The company is present in more than 160 countries and has more than 4,700 specialized points of sale.

The company markets 27 premium brands made entirely by hand and protected by the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), including Cohiba, Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta, Partagás, Hoyo de Monterrey and H. Upmann, recognized worldwide for their quality.

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