HAVANA, Cuba (ACN) -- International sales of Cuban cigars in 2013 accounted for revenues of $447 million, eight percent higher than expected, industry executives highlighted during the opening of the 16th International Havana Cigar Festival.
Ana Lopez, director of operational marketing of the Habanos SA company, asserted that, despite the impact of the global crisis and the anti-tobacco measures that increasingly being adopted in some countries, such as Greece and Spain, sales were regarded as favourable, with reports of increases in the new emerging markets.
She explained that the company distributes its products to 80 percent of possible countries, since US smokers of what is considered the best cigar in the world cannot sample it due to the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by Washington on Cuba for over half a century now.
On the first day of festival, there was a welcome concert in refurbished facilities of the Club Havana, in the municipality of Playa, in which the popular orchestra of Juan Formell and Los Van Van -- recently awarded the Latin Grammy for Musical Excellence -- performed.
Attending the meeting are entrepreneurs, collectors, sommeliers, tasters, executives, artists, producers, officials and diplomats, who will take part in seminars, tasting and combinations with rum and wine.
Currently, Habanos has 27 totally hand-made brands, which are distributed in over 150 countries.