By Aurelio Pedroso (Progreso Weekly)
HAVANA TIMES – In spite of the intense global campaign against smoking, cigars continue to be a characteristic symbol of a type of person, and even of a certain social standing. As a result, sales are growing: US $531 million in 2019
And Cuba, a country with the best land for tobacco leaves to grow on, just celebrated the 22nd edition of the International Cigar Festival in tough economic times which, it seems, doesn’t seem to have had much of an impact on the agricultural or industrial process (there are nearly 100 steps in this process before someone is able to light a cigar and bring it to their lips), except for not being able to access the significant market in the US.
However, this doesn’t seem to matter much (despite the benefits legal imports to the US would bring), because growth indicators have gone up everywhere else in the world where Cuban cigar bands are sold to satisfy even the most exquisite tastes of smokers at 4096 retail points.
Spanish-Cuban board members were very happy and optimistic at the press conference that kicked off a real smoking party from February 24-28. The Cuban organizer constantly repeated that the 2200 attendees were in for one surprise after another, when going over the activities featured on the Habanos Festival program. And he wasn’t exaggerating, nor did he have to say anything else.
Meanwhile, the Spanish executives also appeared satisfied and not very worried, at least in public. With regard to the Chinese market, which is growing, he said that they were closely following the Coronavirus outbreak. China is the second largest consumer after Spain. Followed by France, Germany and Cuba.
Considered to be the most important in the world by experts, the festival involves different activities which include the presentation of new cigar bands, visits to plantations and factories, the trade fair, an auction of humifors, seminaries, a competition for sommelieres, the third edition of the Habanos Word Challenge, and many more, including the launch of Montecristo perfume and the excellent book “El bello habano”, by writer Reinaldo Gonzalez.
Corporacion Habanos SA is currently selling a total of 27 brands where the well-known Cohiba, Montecristo (the highest valued), Romeo y Julieta, Hoyo de Monterrey, Bolivar and H. Upmann, among others, all stand out and have the unique feature of being handmade. For further information, please visit the event’s official site:
Four nights when this capital became enshrouded in aromatic smoke and for anyone who can put a fine cigar to their mouth. After all, this is an ancestral tradition.