Hon. Kenneth Bryan, Minister for Tourism had his first opportunity to gain deeper insight into the inner workings of the Department of Tourism (CIDOT) at a Ministerial briefing held with the Departments leadership team on Wednesday 12 May.
The briefing included presentations highlighting the various subject areas and functions under the Department’s remit, and delved into the analytics and research which influences the CIDOT’s strategies for attracting visitors the Cayman Island.
Following a brief welcome by Director of Tourism, Rosa Harris, the full-day meeting quickly got underway, providing the Minister with a comprehensive organisational overview. The topics covered included the CIDOT’s information systems and technology, tourism product development, finance and administration, public relations, national promotions and events among others.
“As the new Minister for Tourism, I am keen to understand as much as possible about the global and regional environment Cayman is operating in and how our tourism product can rise to the top of that fiercely competitive space, said Minister Bryan.
Stressing the importance of encouraging more Caymanians to join the Tourism industry, Minister Bryan outlined the PACT Government’s workforce expectations stating “My colleagues in Cabinet and I are committed to ensuring that Caymanians are given the opportunity to fill the roles vacated by expatriate workers who have returned home due to the pandemic. Our people are our greatest asset and increasing the number of Caymanians in the tourism and hospitality industry would provide a more authentic Caymanian experience which visitors want and expect while vacationing in these Islands,” he said.
In addition to presentations, the onboarding session included an informative synopsis of the thought processes and marketing tactics which underpin the CIDOT’s campaigns, and provided the Minister with opportunities to impart his vision and guidance during candid discussions on each subject area.
Tom Ludington, General Manager of the CIDOT’s New York office provided an insightful snapshot of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on travel in the USA, along with the short to medium term outlook regarding travel trends and sentiments in Cayman’s core market region. Similar presentations covering the situational outlook in the UK and Canada were also delivered by the respective Country Managers of those regions.
“The calibre of work that I am seeing is very impressive and shows me that the Department of Tourism has a solid understanding of the nuances of Cayman’s tourism product, as well as the expectations of our core markets,” said Minister Bryan.
"I am excited to lead such a diverse and creative team that clearly has the experience and expertise to spearhead the Cayman Islands marketing and promotions initiatives. I look forward to contributing to the ideas and strategies that will be developed to entice travellers to our shores in the future, the Minister continued.
As the marketing arm of the Ministry of Tourism, the CIDOT is primarily responsible for developing innovative promotions which resonate with potential travellers in our core markets. The Dream in Cayman campaign which launched in 2019 prior to the COVID pandemic, is one such example which successfully pushed the boundaries of destination advertising by presenting some of the islands most iconic locations with a high-fashion twist.
“Although our borders are currently closed to visitors, there is still a need to ensure that we are proactively prepared to take full advantage of the opportunities ahead, and we are at a crucial point in that strategic planning process. I am confident that visitors will be amazed by our level of preparedness when it is safe to open our borders and Cayman’s tourism product is reintroduced to the world, the Minister stated.
During the wrap up of the day’s events, Minister Bryan thanked Mrs. Rosa Harris and the CIDOT senior leadership team for their hard work and dedication to the Cayman Islands and reaffirmed his desire to develop a collaborative and productive working relationship with each of them and their respective staff members.