The Cayman Islands tourism industry, understandably the hardest hit industry of the economy during the COVID-19 crisis response, is preparing for a robust rebound when borders reopen by developing industry standards for sanitation.
Through in-depth research and analysis of global/regional standards, detailed review of the guidance and best practices from leading public health agencies in the world, and continuous collaboration with the lead Cayman Islands medical team, the Honourable Minister of Tourism, Moses Kirkconnell has expressed confidence in the important area of health and hygiene for the industry’s re-opening. “The Cayman Islands economy thrives on tourism, an industry that contributes significantly to the annual GDP. Our visitation reached a significant milestone in 2019, welcoming over 500,000 stayover visitors, which means almost every sector of the community benefitted from tourism — airlines had increased bookings, hotels were full, attractions and restaurants were busier than ever. It is with all sectors in mind that I have placed immense priority on the development of sanitation protocols adapted for our destination to provide the best possible tourism experience. Our goal is to work with our partners for each touchpoint of a guest’s experience to ensure a hygienic encounter once they are in the Cayman Islands. This will create a safe environment for the hundreds of people in our industry and for our guests, giving confidence that when someone books a Cayman Islands vacation in the post COVID-19 world, they will be met with the high standards and top quality vacation they expect from the Cayman Islands.”
Led by the Department of Tourism’s product team, several specific sectors have been the focus of the new sanitation standards being proposed for the resumption of tourism to the country.
• Guest Houses/Apartments
• Public transport
• Tour Operators
“The key to success is collaboration and I commend our dynamic industry for their continuous support in the development of these new standards,” shared Director of Tourism, Mrs. Rosa Harris. “Throughout the weeks following the border closure, we have collaborated with stakeholders to understand the specific needs of their individual sectors regarding hygiene, reviewing the best practices of other countries who have already begun to resume global travel. Through focus groups, industry specific calls, and ongoing consultations, it is clear that we are all pursuing the same objectives and will present a united front as leaders in travel who put the guest experience and safety expectations first when interacting with our tourism sector. I look forward to the continued partnerships with our tourism stakeholders as we develop these new standards of hygiene excellence in travel.”
Topping Virtuoso’s list of ‘winter destinations for wanderlusters’, the Cayman Islands has remained a top destination on the minds of travelers who, despite current vacations having been cancelled due to COVID-19, are planning ahead for a tropical holiday escape. This is just one example that reinforces the new protocols for the tourism industry must be in place when tourism resumes.