The tourism industry in the Cayman Islands has been among the sectors hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic due to the closure of borders. However, the Cayman Islands Ministry of Tourism (MOT) and Department of Tourism (CIDOT) have initiated a strategic development collaboration with tourism partners across all tourism sub-sectors to outline a joint initiative to prepare and activate the industry to reopen.
“Our dynamic tourism industry has been a pillar of the economy for the Cayman Islands since the 1960s—a source of pride for the country but also a significant area of Caymanian employment opportunities and a springboard for entrepreneurship for many Caymanian families. Prior to the pandemic, we were on a steady streak of ever-increasing success with year-over-year record breaking arrival statistics for both cruise and stayover tourism, which came to a halt in March 2020 as our government implemented the measures necessary to keep our country safe,” shared Hon. Deputy Premier and Minister of Tourism, Hon. Moses Kirkconnell. “It is our ultimate goal to continue government’s approach of putting the safety of our people first when the country reopens so this collaboration with our public and private tourism stakeholders will play a major role in accomplishing our future success story.”
To maximize the success of the initiative, six meetings are being facilitated by Ms. Tara Tvedt, strategic planner from the Cayman-based company SquarePeg Ltd. These action planning sessions have established an understanding of the ultimate goals of all stakeholders involved and identified a consensus and core agreement to ultimately develop a detailed tourism operational opening strategy.
President of the Cayman Islands Tourism Association and General Manager of The Ritz Carlton, Grand Cayman Mr. Marc Langevin, one of the 24 participants in this strategic development project, shared “As we are getting closer to meeting the conditional vaccination level threshold set by the Government to reopen our destination to visitors, we are appreciative to be invited by the Ministry of Tourism to work collaboratively in defining the many complex tasks associated to the reopening to Tourism. I am impressed by the level of engagement, commitment and expertise provided by the various Governmental agencies, and various organizations representative in attendance and look forward to start a new era of collaboration between private sectors and Government beyond the short-term reopening process, to rebuild and improve our Tourism successes.”
Ensuring diverse representation in this working group was a key component in creating the participant list. The 24-person group represents all areas of the public and private sectors that are critical contributors to a successful tourism reopening strategy.
• Ministry of Tourism
• Department of Tourism
• Health Services Authority
• Cayman Islands Customs and Border Control
• Cayman Airways
• Civil Aviation Authority
• Cayman Airports Authority
• Cayman Turtle Centre
• Cayman Islands Tourism Association Members, representing the following sectors:
- Land-based Attractions
At the completion of the joint meetings, the group will have established the direction and strategic approach to safely and competently reopen the tourism industry of the Cayman Islands which will be presented to Cabinet.