After much anticipation both locally and in the global market, the Cayman islands has no formally entered the promising remote-working tourism niche market.
With the regular stay-over and cruise tourism sectors reeling from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cayman’s Global Citizens scheme is being touted as one of the leading-edge offerings in this new sub-sector of tourism.
Formally launching on the scheme on Thursday October 21st, Hon. Minister for Tourism Moses Kirkconnell said:
“Our Government has been successful in the face of the global health crisis and we’ve emerged as a safe haven in the Caribbean. Now more than ever, businesses are embracing the flexibility of digital existence, with many employees seeking a change of scenery and lifestyle.
“Remote workers can now spend up to two years living and working in the Cayman Islands – reinvigorating their nine-to-five schedules with Caymankindness and elevating their work-life balance with sun, sand, sea and safety in Cayman.”
Cayman’s Global Citizens programme is targeted at professionals with earnings between annual household salary ranges between US$100,000 for single households and $US180,000 for an applicant with a spouse/civil partner and dependent child or children.
This new sector of the tourism industry is already being heavily promoted by other regional destinations, but Cayman’s unique brand is being highlighted as giving the jurisdiction an advantage.
A government statement notes that “across the globe, major corporations have adopted flexible work policies, allowing their employees to work wherever they can be productive.”
“As thousands of corporations opt to keep their workforce at-home for the foreseeable future, eligible professionals and families can upgrade their home offices significantly, by choosing to live and work remotely in the Cayman Islands for up to two years by acquiring a Global Citizen Certificate.”
Focusing on what Cayman has to offer, it points out that, “with world-class infrastructure and first-rate amenities, the Cayman Islands is the ideal destination for digital nomads.
“Global citizens can begin their day with a stroll along Seven Mile Beach, snorkel with stingrays in the clear waters of the Caribbean during lunch and be “home for dinner” with offerings from the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean’s best locales. Not to mention, remote workers have the unique opportunity to truly immerse themselves in the wonders of island life in the Cayman Islands.”
Seen as complementing the current tourism offer, it is expected that over the longer term the Global Citizen programme will emerge as one of the key pillars of Cayman’s tourism offer and the wider economy.
In addition to the property rentals, food, transportation and other inputs into the economy, government also expects to earn directly a Global Citizen Certificate annual fee of US$1, 469 for a party of up two, fee of US$500 for each per year and a credit card processing fee of 7% if the total application fee.
The maximum ‘remote-working’ period in Cayman under the programme is two years and there is no eligibility for citizenship.
Further details are awaited including the legislation underpinning the Global Citizenship programme which has now been gazetted, expected amendments to the immigration law, and the application of the current COVID-19 arrival protocols.