HAVANA, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- Cuba's 21st edition of Habanos Festival on cigars concluded Friday in Havana with an auction of cigar humidors which raised some 1.7 million U.S. dollars.
The proceeds of the auction will be donated to the health system of the Caribbean island nation. Many of the cigar boxes on auction, which are also works of art, had a great amount of Premium cigars inside them.
Some 2,200 participants from 70 countries attended the gala dinner and auction to close the five-day event.
Emblematic brands like Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta, Hoyo de Monterrey and Cohiba had new lines unveiled during the gala dinner.
This year's highlight was Trinidad, one of the most exclusive brands. It had a limited edition humidor auctioned, and also on Friday, a unique Swiss-made Zenith watch designed for it -- "Zenith for Trinidad" was unveiled.
"We developed quite a few initiatives during this festival and we have received a very positive feedback from participants, and the quality of the event was raised by introducing exclusive and luxury products to our portfolio," said Jose Maria Lopez, vice president of development of Habanos S.A., a Cuban-Spanish company that sells world-famous cigars.
He also said the use of social media has helped extend the cigar festival beyond its traditional boundaries, enabling people all over the world to experience it.
"Among our strategic objectives are to globalize Premium cigar culture" and for our consumers to know that one cigar is a handmade involving a lot of labor, he added.
As part of the festival agenda, participants visited the best tobacco plantations in the western regions of Vuelta Abajo and Pinar del Rio, as well as old cigar factories.
The annual Habanos Festival is an international event on Premium cigars. Habanos S.A., which commercializes the world-famous Cuban cigars, saw its international sales increased by 7 percent in 2018, totaling about 537 million dollars.
Currently the main consumers of Cuban cigars are in Spain and China, and China is considered as a top emerging market.