The Excelencias Group Delivers the 2014 Excelencias Awards at Fitur
The 2014 Excelencias Awards were presented on January 28, within the framework of the International Tourism Fair (FITUR 2015) in Spain. This time around, 32 projects and personalities in different categories, all of them with significant contributions and achievements in the travel, cultural and gastronomic sectors, were recognized.
The ceremony was attended by Excelencias Group President Jose Carlos de Santiago, Rafael Anson, President of the Royal Gastronomy Academy of Spain, and Dr. Alfonso Marin Caffarena, Secretary General of the Royal Gastronomy Academy of Iberia-America, who also combined hand in the Excelencias Gourmet Awards.
The Excelencias Awards were created in 2005 by the Excelencias Group in an effort to foster excellence in different fields, all of them related to tourism and culture. Since then, the awards have become a benchmark for those who are involved in this major sector and get their jobs done with higher goals in mind.
In addition to the Excelencias Awards, over the past three years the Excelencias Gourmet and the Silvia Zorzanello in Memoriam Award are also presented, the latter in tribute to Silvia Zorzanello’s lifetime achievements in Brazil. Furthermore, this year’s edition will also present for a second time in a row the Ramon Alvarez Award to recognize his many achievements and contributions to the travel and tourism industry.
This award is presented to an institution or personality committed to MICE travel and tourism. The “Spirit of Excellence” Special Award recognized those projects that are instrumental in showcasing tourism’s ideal spirit in line with society.
The 2014 edition winners are:
2014 EXCELENCIAS TURISTICAS AWARDS
PANAMA: TOURISM AUTHORITY OF PANAMA (ATP)
FOR “VIVE PANAMA” PROJECT
Vive Panama is a great invitation issued by the Tourism Authority of Panama for national and foreign people to enjoy and celebrate the Month of Homeland, in an effort to turn this event into quality tourism product, reactivate local tourism and getting people identified with the history and culture of the country, all these elements accompanied by the shopping incentive.
THE AWARD WAS PICKED UP BY JESUS SIERRA VICTORIA. PANAMA’S MINISTER OF TOURISM
ECUADOR. TO FERROCARRILES DEL ECUADOR PUBLIC COMPANY
FOR TREN CRUCERO PROJECT.
Tren Crucero product operates the Quito-Duran route, or vice versa, throughout the Ecuadorian mountain range and coast, so it’s one of the most interesting and exotic train tours in the world, fosters the rebirth of communities and revitalizes local economies included in the route. That’s the case of ranches with lodging system.
THE AWARD WAS PICKED UP BY JORGE EDUARDO CARRERA. GENERAL MANAGER FEEP
FOR ADVENTURE TOURISM DESTINATION AUSTRAL PROJECT.
Chile has always been especially interested in preserving natural sceneries. Global trends set that the State is not the only guarantor of territories. Both citizens and private entities take care of parks, lagoons, islands and ecosystems, by making their best to develop nature reserves that support the sustainable growth of adventure tourism. So, Chile has created a tour operator specialized in tourism products by benefiting and taking care of the country’s natural treasures.
THE AWARD WAS PICKED UP BY JAVIERA MONTES. UNDERSECRETARY OF TOURISM
PUERTO RICO´S HOTEL & TOURISM ASSOCIATION
FOR SABOREA PUERTO RICO PROJECT, AS A WEALTH GENERATOR AND ITS COMPONENT OF SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY TO THE ISLANDND.
Saborea is an initiative that economically benefits the Island, by annually generating over 3 million dollars for public funds. Likewise, Saborea Puerto Rico features a significant component of social responsibility and help to develop tourism. The collected money goes to PRHTA´s Educational Fund, which targets programs to benefit tourism in Puerto Rico.
THE AWARD WAS PICKED UP BY CLARISA JIMENEZ. PRESIDENT
CUBA, MINISTRY OF TOURISM AND PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT OF SANTIAGO DE CUBA
FOR THE ALL-EMBRACING SUPPORT TO THE 500 ANIVERSARIO DE LA FUNDACION DE
LA VILLA DE SANTIAGO DE CUBA PROJECT
On its way to celebrate the 500th anniversary of its foundation, Santiago de Cuba has planned a group of actions that will help it welcome July 25, 2015 with the rehabilitation and beautification of the historic core and the most significant tourism and cultural sites in the territory, such as the bay and Morro Castle, the scenery around El Cobre, ancient coffee settlements, the construction of new hotels like Imperial and Punta Gorda, as well as the improvement and enhancement of the extra-hotel product, among other actions.
THE AWARD WAS PICKED UP BY MANUEL MARRERO. CUBA´S MINISTER OF TOURISM
FOR SINGULARLY SHOWING HOW THE ISTHMUS OF PANAMA CHANGED THE BIODIVERSITY OF OUR PLANET.
The Biomuseum has become an icon of great tourism relevance in Panama. It was designed by prestigious architect Frank Gehry; actually it was his first work in Latin America. The Biomuseum combines art with the world of science and technology, by explaining how the Isthmus of Panama came out of the sea, joined two continents, split a huge ocean into two and changed the biodiversity of the planet forever.
THE AWARD WAS PICKED UP BY VICTOR CUCALON. EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE BIOMUSEUM
TORREMOLINOS CITY HALL
FOR SUCCESSFULLY MANAGING THE TOURISM DE-STATIONALIZATION AT THE DESTINATION.
The de-stationalization has been successful by means of campaigns targeting both the national and the utmost European outbound markets in an effort to consolidate the segmentation and specialization strategy that was implemented three years ago; as well as the virtues of Torremolinos and Costa del Sol.
THE AWARD WAS PICKED UP BY MARÍA JOSÉ JIMÉNEZ VELASCO CONCEJALA DE TOURISM DEL AYUNTAMIENTO DE TORREMOLINOS
TOURISM OF GALICIA
FOR TAPAS POR GALICIA PROJECT AS A PROMOTER OF URBAN TOURISM URBANO.
“De tapas por Galicia” entails the combination of the gastronomic contests and competitions that have been held over the past years at the seven cities of Galicia under a unique denomination that, without affecting the individual personality of each local event, has generated a regional product with international scope.
From the tourism point of view, it aims at promoting urban tourism and its gastronomy, thus fostering national tourism in a time of the year when the demand is low.
THE AWARD WAS PICKED UP BY NAVA CASTRO DOMINGUEZ. DIRECTOR OF TOURISM, AUTONOMOUS GOVERNMENT OF GALICIA
FOR QWANTIQ PROJECT, BUSINESS SOLUTIONS FOR TRAVEL AND LEISURE INDUSTRIES.
Qwantiq project has been manly aimed at the creation of a technological solution that gives the sector the opportunity to take a big step and energize the marketing and spreading of travel and leisure offers. The products are: Qwantiq Ocio, a solution for marketing, spreading and online selling leisure tickets and Qwantiq Travel, a solution to create a tour operator specialized in tourism leisure products.
THE AWARD WAS PICKED UP BY TOMAS GIMENEZ RUEDA. GENERAL MANAGER
TERMATALIA, INTERNATIONAL THERMAL TOURISM SHOW
FOR BEING THE ONLY WORLD-CLASS SPECIALIZED EVENT THAT REPRESENTS A THERMAL BRIDGE BETWEEN EUROPE AND LATIN AMERICA
Termatalia stands out as a meeting point between the European spa tradition and the huge potential of Latin America; it is the international business center for Health Tourism and the Thermal Industry, with the presence of the most remarkable professionals and thermal destinations on Earth.
THE AWARD WAS PICKED UP BY ALEJANDRO RUBIN CARBALLO. DIRECTOR OF TERMATALIA
EUROAL INTERNATIONAL TOURISM SHOW
AS THE FIRST EUROPEAN VENUE OF UNWTO´S 3RD INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON TOURISM DE-STATIONALIZATION.
THE AWARD WAS PICKED UP BY LUIS CALLEJON. CHAIRMAN OF THE ORGANIZING COMMITTEE OF EUROAL
FOR THE CONSOLIDATION OF FITUR LGBT AND THE ACHIEVEMENTS IN ITS 5TH ANNIVERSARY.
FITUR (LGBT) was born 5 years ago to shed light on the potential and amazing reality of the first world outbound market in terms of turnover: the (LGBT) segment. In 5 years, FITUR (LGBT) has been supported by three State administrations and counts on world-benchmark companies. With an annual growth of 10.3 per cent according to the World Travel & Tourism Council and the WTO (UNWTO), since its creation back in 2011 FITUR (LGBT) has grown 1,300 per cent in the number of companies, destinations, attendees and exhibitors.
THE AWARD WAS PICKED UP BY ANA LARRAÑAGA
FOR AIR FRANCE- KLM’S BET ON LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN
Since their foundation in 1933 and 1919 respectively, both Air France and KLM included Latin American and Caribbean cities among their first destinations. Despite of the world economic situation and the readjustment implemented in some European markets, AIR FRANCE- KLM has kept its eyes on Latin America and the Caribbean over the past years, where the Group presently stands as the leader with 26 destinations operated from Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Amsterdam-Schiphol with its own planes.
THE AWARD WAS PICKED UP BY BRUNO GEORGELIN. GENERAL MANAGER FOR SPAIN AND PORTUGAL.
PALLADIUM HOTEL GROUP
FOR TOURISM AS A SUSTAINABILITY PROMOTER PROJECT
The right expression of tourism can be an important sustainability promoter. Nowadays, the hotel industry is not only about giving customers high-quality services, but it also targets collaborators, communities, the society and all in all the planet. The quality, sustainability and social responsibility management systems are key strategic factors to preserve tourism companies at the destinations.
THE AWARD WAS PICKED UP BY MR. JUANJO CALVO. DIRECTOR OF EUROPE EXPLOITATION AND PRODUCT
PUERTO VALLARTA. JALISCO
TO CVB CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU OF PUERTO VALLARTA
FOR "RE-ENGINEERING TOURISM ACTION PLAN" PROJECT
Trends and competitive factors constantly change in the Travel Industry, so tourism destinations are to face this reality con original, flexible and influential business plans and strategies. Puerto Vallarta, as one of Mexico’s most important destinations, tries to make the most its brand and tourism products by keeping them in continuous evolution.
The project includes the business plan developed by CVB in 2014 by means of a time and movement tabulator to assess the results. This exercise involves the 3 governmental levels, private initiatives and 8 pillars described as chapters, in which new markets grow stronger and opinion leaders are connected to the marketing exercise and infrastructure of the destination.
THE AWARD WAS PICKED UP BY ENRIQUE RAMOS FLORES. SECRETARY OF TOURISM, JALISCO STATE. MASTER MIGUEL GONZÁLEZ GONZÁLEZ, DIRECTOR OF PROMOTION, JALISCO STATE
FOR ITS WEALTH AS A MULTICULTURAL DESTINATION WITH EXPRESSIONS THAT PRESENTLY REPRESENT WORLD CULTURAL HERITAGE.
Oaxaca is internationally recognized for its cultural, gastronomic and artisanal richness. In 1987, UNESCO declared the Historic Core of Oaxaca City and the archaeological site of Monte Alban as World Cultural Heritage.
It also holds majestic fiestas like Guelaguetza, described as the most important Latin American celebration that showcases cultural expression of the only state that features over 16 indigenous ethnic groups, 8 regions and the largest number of municipalities: 570.
THE AWARD WAS PICKED UP BY JOSE ZORRILLA DE SAN MARTIN DIEGO. SECRETARY OF TOURISM.
2014 EXCELENCIAS TURÍSTICAS MENTION
HUATULCO FOR “OBTAINING PLATINUM QUALITY GRANTED BY EARTHCHECK INTERNATIONAL CERTIFICATION, SO IT’S THE FIRST AMERICAN DESTINATION TO GET THIS MENTION” THE AWARD WAS PICKED UP BY JOSE ZORRILLA DE SAN MARTIN DIEGO. SECRETARIO OF TOURISM.
RIVIERA NAYARIT. NAYARIT STATE.
FOR RIVIERA NAYARIT’S SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY PROJECT
As part of the sustainability works carried out at the destination, 5 projects are presently being developed with special focus on the environmental preservation and the participation of the society in the appropriation of the space that, with co-responsibility, belongs to the people and is of their interest. The programs are: Protection of Marietas Islands and Sighting of Hunchback Whales; EarthCheck Nuevo Vallarta (Program of measuring and re-engineering factors that have a significant impact in the environment and community development); Blue Flag (Highly-recognized international certification for beaches and marinas that fulfill the highest quality standards); Certification of beaches and Community work to clean public beaches.
THE AWARD WAS PICKED UP BY LIC. ROBERTO SANDOVAL CASTAÑEDA. GOVERNOR OF NAYARIT STATE OR SECRETARY OF TOURISM, CATALINA RUIZ
2014 GOURMET AWARDS
IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts.
FOR IBEROSTARCHEF ON TOUR PROJECT
Iberostarchef on Tour is an exclusive program designed by IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts to bring Spain’s high cuisine closer to the company’s customers around the world. The program includes 30 exclusive dinners in which 16 of the finest Michelin-starred Spanish chefs will be cooking, throughout 12 months, for guests in a group IBEROSTAR hotels in Mexico (Riviera Maya), Dominican Republic (Punta Cana), Cuba (Havana) and Spain (Mallorca and Canarias).
THE AWARD WAS PICKED UP BY JOSE ANTONIO GONZALEZ. VICE-PRESIDENT
2015 COME JALISCO INTERNATIONAL TASTES FESTIVAL
This will be the first time that Guadalajara, the capital of Jalisco, the cradle of Mexico’s most international symbols, hosts COME (Jalisco International Tastes Festival). This event, which is going to put on the table the essence of Jalisco’s flavors and aromas, will shed light on the gastronomy of the state and the country, joining the public sector, entrepreneurial chambers and private initiatives.
THE AWARD WAS PICKED UP BY JUAN JOSE TAMAYO. PRESIDENT-FOUNDER
UNIVERSITY CENTER OF GASTRONOMY AND CULINARY MANAGEMENT (GASMA)
FOR ITS PROJECT OF UNIVERSITY EDUCATION, RESEARCH AND INNOVATION TARGETING THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE GASTRONOMIC AND CULINARY SECTOR OF THE MEDITERRANEAN ARCH.
GASMA is the first private educational institution of the Valencian Community that takes studies related to Gastronomy and Culinary Business Management closer to university classrooms. The complementarity of both disciplines is the differential bet of GASMA. With the academic support of the CEU-Cardenal Herrera University, the project features marked international vocation and target the creation of a gastronomic ecosystem that transcends the physical space of the classroom.
THE AWARD WAS PICKED UP BY CRISTINA PAMIES AND ENRICO CANELLA
FOR ITS PROJECT TO PROMOTE SPANISH CUISINE IN THE UNITED KINGDOM
Ibérica has become one of the finest representations of Spanish cuisine abroad, as it offers the very-best elements of the gastronomy, wine and culture in its restaurants, headed by 3-Michelin-star Chef Nacho Manzano.
THE AWARD WAS PICKED UP BY HONORIO FERNANDEZ. DIRECTOR OF IBERICA RESTAURANTS AND GENERAL MANAGER OF STREERXO
PROJECT: PANAMA GASTRONÓMICA & COPA PANAMA GASTRONÓMICA
Panama Gastronómica is the number-1 show in Panama’s gastronomic industry and one of the largest events in the region. It has opened an important door to foster Panamanian gastronomy and each edition contributes to position the Country Brand, now in terms of gastronomy. As part of the process to train new generations of chefs and as an incentive to work harder and be better every day, VISIT PANAMA Cup is held for young students of institutes and cuisine schools from Latin America.
THE AWARD WAS PICKED UP BY ELENA HERNÁNDEZ PRESIDENT OF PANAMA GASTRONÓMICA
JULIO VALLES ROJO
FOR HIS WORK AS THE FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT OF CASTILLA Y LEON’S ACADEMY OF GASTRONOMY AND FOOD IN APRIL 2013, WHICH HE REPRESENTS IN SPAINS’S ROYAL GASTRONOMY ACADEMY.
An outstanding researcher of the history of gastronomy from different centuries, author of books, collaborator with numerous means, lecturer, consultant of important organizations, creator of Pinchos de Medina del Campo, he is one of the highest connoisseurs and promoters of Castilla y León’s gastronomy.
THE AWARD WAS PICKED UP BY JULIO VALLES
SOMMELIER OF EXCELLENCE. MANUELA ROMERALO
Director and Sommelier of Vuelve Carolina (Quique Dacosta).
World Champion of Habanosommelier in Cuba in 2006, she received the National Gastronomy Award to the Best Sommelier 2009, Best Sommelier of the Year granted by Gourmetour Guide 2008/09 and International Gastronomy Award to the Best Sommelier 2010 given by the International Gastronomy Academy.
THE AWARD WAS PICKED UP BY MANUELA ROMERALO
CONFECTIONER OF EXCELLENCE. MIGUEL SIERRA
For his unique creativity, the development of absolutely personal projects that show respect for his origins, with innovation, inspired by different environments. Miguel Sierra has left his mark in every element, taking the name of Asturias and Spain to every corner of the planet.
THE AWARD WAS PICKED UP BY MIGUEL SIERRA
CHEF OF EXCELLENCE: ESTANIS CARENZO
For developing innovating concepts that put together influences from different continents, thus creating a well-balanced fusion with perfect tastes, textures and aromas.
Estanis Carenzo has dazzled the most prestigious chefs and all the people that have had the privilege of tasting his creations.
THE AWARD WAS PICKED UP BY ENTANIS CARENZO
GOURMET FIGURE OF EXCELLENCE: BEGOÑA RODRIGO
Begoña is mostly known because she won the famous TOP CHEF contest, but that’s not the most important thing. This award is given for the remarkable work in her restaurant throughout the years, her future project and for keeping the essence of being a chef.
THE AWARD WAS PICKED UP BY BEGOÑA RODRIGO
RAMON ÁLVAREZ AWARD
LIC. PABLO SISMANIAN. ARGENTINA
MICE TOURISM COORDINATOR INPROTUR – NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF TOURISM PROMOTION.
With vast experience in the event segment, he worked for 10 years at the ExportAr Foundation of Argentina and, since July 2008, he is the MICE Tourism Coordinator with Argentina’s National Institute of Tourism Promotion (INPROTUR).
Since the implementation of the Marketing Plan for MICE Tourism by INPROTUR in 2008, Argentina has strengthen its position among the 20 main countries that host events, according to the world ranking of the ICCA (International Congress & Convention Association), going from the 36th position in 2007 to the 17th, with 12 Argentinean destinations positioned in the world ranking.
THE AWARD WAS PICKED UP BY PABLO SISMANIAN. MINISTER OF TOURISM ENRIQUE MEYER
SILVIA ZORZANELLO IN MEMORIAM
LIC. ROBERTO SILVA. BRAZIL PRESIDENT OF SANCHAT TOUR.
SANCHAT TOUR is one of Brazil’s most important tourism companies, which is a member of Braztoa and Abav associate.
He works with the Caribbean and Mexican markets. Undoubtedly, this man greatly contributed to the tourism development of Brazil and supported Festuris (our first exhibitors since the first edition), and he was also a close friend of Silvia. A tour operator that celebrated 20 year of work back in July 1, 2013, with credibility in the market. An operator specialized in the Caribbean, Central America, North America and South America.
THE AWARD WAS PICKED UP BY EDUARDO BARBOSA. ACTING PRESIDENT OF BRAZTOA. BRAZILIAN ASSOCIATION OF TOUR OPERATORS.
SPIRIT OF EXCELLENCE AWARD
EL SALVADOR FOR MONSIGNOR ROMERO CITY TOUR PROJECT
Monsignor Romero City Tour gives visitors the opportunity to get in touch with the life and work of Monsignor Romero, a man of faith that spread a message of hope and lives in the heart of the Salvadorian people.
Monsignor Romero City Tour is a unique tourism product in El Salvador, due to its historic value. The tour includes the visit to 10 places, 30 minutes away from each municipality of the city. Monsignor Oscar Arnulfo Romero is a Salvadorian priest and martyr archbishop whose work was internationally known as he stood for the poor people and justice, so he was nominated to the Peace Nobel Prize.
THE AWARD WAS PICKED UP BY NAPOLEON DUARTE. MINISTER OF TOURISM, EL SALVADOR
SPECIAL CND AWARDS:
MINISTER FERNANDO OLIVERA ROCHA
SECRETARY OF TOURISM, GUANAJUATO STATE
FOR HIS PROFESSIONAL CAREER AND ACHIEVEMENTS IN THE WORLD OF TOURISM, SO HE IS A MEXICAN BENCHMARK IN THE WORLD.
Fernando Olivera has been recognized for his great results as the head of the Tourism Sector in Guanajuato, and his tourism-related career Mexico, so he has become a benchmark for many professionals and organizations.
As a public official, he has worked for the Federal Government as General Manager of FONATUR Operator; in the Secretariat of Federal Tourism, as General Development Manager of Tourism Culture and General Development Manager of Tourism Products, and finally as Undersecretary of Tourism Operation.
He was one of the main collaborators in the creation of the National Agreement for Tourism, the main guideline for Mexico’s new tourism policy. On the other hand, he has been Mexico’s Tourism Director in Spain and Portugal, for Mexico’s Tourism Promotion Council. Former chairman of different associations in Mexico and Spain, such as the Association of Foreign Tourism Offices in Spain and the Visit USA Committee, dedicated to the tourism promotion of United States in Mexico. He was also the Vice-president of AMAV (Mexican Association of Travel Agencies).
Mr. Olivera presently leads, from the Secretariat of Tourism, a work to national and internationally position Guanajuato, with the support of different actors from the tourism sector in both the public and private spheres, and the main goal is 2013-2018 Guanajuato State Tourism Program, in an effort to position it as the sixth most- visited state in the country, and strengthen Guanajuato as Mexico’s Culture Destination, by means of such projects as Guanajuato si Sabe or the Rally of tourism culture.
THE AWARD WAS PICKED UP BY MASTER FERNANDO OLIVERA ROCHA
2014 EXCELENCIAS TURÍSTICAS AWARD TO AEEPP.
For the support and defense of Spanish publishing houses and media
THE AWARD WAS PICKED UP BY MR. CARLOS ASTIZ.