avenTOURa – Milestones of success 1995-2020
avenTOURa was founded in 1995 by Gerd Deininger. The first self-organized trips led to Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia, where from the beginning the meeting and the participation of the local population were of high importance in programming. With the inclusion of Cuba as a travel destination in 1997, the first stone for DMC avenTOURa was laid. In addition to the handling of the own travels, avenTOURa has been distinguished as an incoming agency for many international partners. Over the years, the company has received several prestigious tourism awards for its innovative and sustainable travel programs.
1995: How it all started
In May, avenTOURa is founded as GbR by Gerd Deininger and Rolf Pfeifer. The first avenTOURa group trip took place a little later in Ecuador.
1997: First avenTOURa representative office in Cuba
In this year, avenTOURa receives the first significant prize. At the world’s largest tourism fair in Berlin, the ITB, the company received the Green Palm award (special prize of the “Golden Palm of GeoSaison”) for its travel concept and its commitment to international understanding.
The inclusion of Cuba as a travel destination is a crucial milestone. An announcement on GeoSaison about Cuba produced a real boom on the island: the first group trip “Cuba Real” was launched in November 1997. The travel group was personally received by Gerd Deininger at the airport with a live band. In December, Gerd Deininger hired the practicing doctor Jorge Tejero as a local representative. Until today he remains the manager of the DMC agency in Havana.
1998: Under the slogan «Cuba Real»
Under the slogan «Cuba Real», avenTOURa is quickly becoming one of the most requested specialists for Cuba in Germany. In July, the company’s headquarter moved from Gerd Deininger’s apartment to the first office in the center of the city of Freiburg.
1999: avenTOURa gets an office in Havana
The group travel « Cuba Real » receives the Golden Palm of GeoSaison. At the same time, our own DMC is founded in Havana. The first office is located in the Prado in the House of the Scientist with 2 employees.
2004: our office in Havana moves
The avenTOURa office in Havana moves to the prestigious Bacardi Building, located in the center of the city. Now having more employees.
2005: Baila en Cuba
Golden palm for the trip «Cuba for the Family». The dance festival “Baila in Cuba” is held for the first time in Havana in cooperation with avenTOURa and endirecto GmbH.
2007: Foundation of association
The non-profit organization «avenTOURa Climate protection and financing of projects» is founded, where we support local projects. In addition, avenTOURa joins the Latin American Working Group (ARGE).
For the first time, the Havana office has more than 10 permanent employees.
2009: Tour guide training
On the Cuban travel fair FitCuba Gerd Deininger – in the name of avenTOURa – receives the award as “best German tour operator for Cuba” from the Cuban tourism minister Manuel Marrero Cruz. In May, the first seminar of tour guides is held by the Study Group for Development and Tourism in Havana. In September 2011, an advanced training follows. Since then there are additional annual trainings of our tour guides.
2012: Project supports
avenTOURa publishes the CD “Malecón Buena Vista – The new rhythm of Cuba” in cooperation with the MAGENTA office. The production of the CD promotes young Cuban musicians and the Muraleando initiative in Havana.
2015: We celebrate the 20th anniversary!
We celebrate our twentieth anniversary and we are still on the road to success. The team already has more than 15 employees in Havana.
2016: Our own E-Bikes
Outside of Cuba everybody already spoke about electric bicycles, and it was time to import our first own E-Bikes. Since 2017, we have been successfully offering group trips with electric bicycles. Like for all our bike trips the bus trailer is available for longer distances.
2018: Thoughts of sustainability
avenTOURa has been certified by TourCert as «Sustainable tour operator» for the third time in a row and the office in Havana has been examined for the first time.
2019: 500 years of Havana
While Havana celebrates its 500th anniversary, avenTOURa prepares for its 25th anniversary in 2020. We have launched special trips this year on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of our capital and in honor of Alexander von Humboldt’s 250th birthday.
2020: Challange Corona Virus
The first Corona cases ocurred in the middle of March. When the regular flight traffic was shut down avenTOURa immediately decided to charter an airplane. With this flight our last customers were able to leave Cuba on 27th of March and the remaining seats were filled with “stranded” tourists from other agencies and from the German Foreign Office. The time without tourism we use to update and improve our travel products.