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MIN. BRYAN’S PLAN TO ‘CAYMANISE’ THE TOURISM INDUSTRY

Cayman Conversation 24 May, 2023 1 Comments Follow News

MIN. BRYAN’S PLAN TO ‘CAYMANISE’ THE TOURISM INDUSTRY

By Staff Writer

Hon. Minister for Tourism and Ports, Kenneth Bryan is pushing ahead with a policy agenda he says is focused on further anchoring tourism as a pillar of the Cayman economy.

Speaking on the Caymanian Times radio show and podcast, Cayman Conversations, Mr Bryan introduced the new catchphrase ‘Caymanisation’ of the industry which he said has a heavy emphasis on jobs, training and promoting Cayman products to tourists.

Building on the success of the sectors ‘bounce back’ after the slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns, Min. Bryan maintained his optimistic outlook for further growth.

“We continue to try to grow and improve tourism so that we can continue to make good revenues. We did very well last year. We were projected to make I think it was 15 million. We ended up making $22 million in revenue, even without the country being open until August…Things look positive now for the first quarter of this year, we are already surpassing our projections, so that’s positive. Our goal for the next two years is to continue that growth and that attraction for Cayman but more importantly, to start to further Caymanise the tourism product.”

‘CAYMANISATION’

Elaborating on that ‘Caymanisation’ plan, the tourism minister addressed the long-standing issue of jobs and training in the sector.

“We’re going to be focusing a lot more heavily on training opportunities for Caymanians. We did a really good job last year we spent over CI$ 1 million on campaigns training them with over 600 participants learning to be bartenders, servers, boat captains(including water sports), quality training standards and a myriad of different options of training to help them deliver a product in the Cayman tourism industry.”

A training centre is also in the works in the form of a working restaurant staffed by trainees enabling them to have on-the-job experience.

This is also expected to add to the pool of skilled workers available to fill roles in new hotels coming on stream to fill meet the demand for additional room capacity.

The tourism minister also spoke of two new scholarships for pilot training for Cayman Airways, making the comment ‘We never want to be in a situation where anybody else is flying us around the world.’

Key to Min. Bryan’s tourism Caymanisation plan is supporting ‘Made-in-Cayman’ souvenirs and other products sold to visitors. He is concerned that local craft skills are being undermined by the importation and sales of products made elsewhere but branded as Cayman.

He reminded that a fund is being budgeted to assist the Cayman cottage industries to market their products directly to cruise ships and other major tourism entities.

“We want to get more into that kind of authentic offering so we want in the next two years to have a budget where the benefit is for more authentic products and it gets money more directly in the hands of the people rather than through a big business.”

AIRPORT EXPANSION

Mr Bryan also disclosed that the green light has been received from the PACT Caucus for a further major expansion of the Owen Roberts International Airport. He described it as another project to meet increasing demand from the tourist marketplace.

“I can break this here with you which is the government’s intention to support the expansion of the airport. We found the last report from the Airports Authority, presented it to Caucus and it’s just a matter of formality now to take it to Cabinet.”

As envisaged by Mr Bryan, the airport project will entail two aspects; the airport extension, and the general aviation remodelling and redevelopment which involves extending the runway to accommodate larger aircraft flying from distances.

He said this will also reduce peak-time air traffic congestion at the air airport.

Also on his calendar is the extension or relocation of the cargo at the harbour which is now going through its early stages of assessment with a Project manager expected to be appointed soon to guide the process through its initial planning processes.

CENTRAL SCRANTON PARK

Another project Mr Bryan said is particularly close to his heart and he is now pushing forward is Central Scranton Park, now increased from a half-acre to a four-acre plot.

“I’m proud of where we’ve gone with the design with that so far, and I was able to reveal the design of that at my public meeting just two weeks ago, and we’ve gotten some really good reviews on that,” he enthused.

“I’m excited about that. It was always the idea of the community in Central Scranton, and you may have heard about the Central Scranton Committee. I’m only just the facilitator to get it delivered.”

Mr Bryan also announced on Cayman Conversations the transition of the Tourism Attraction Board, which is based on a 1996 law, and reconstituting it as a Tourism Attractions Authority.

“That gives us the ability to better manage the attractions that we have in the Cayman Islands in a more organised structured way that we can deliver that product and manage those sites in a better way.”


Comments (1)

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Kattina Anglin

25 May, 2023

Mr Bryan is growing into a great leader. As long as he continues to correct the negative social issues he'll be going the right thing for the people and he'll remain in power.