The development of more sustainable tourism
in the Cayman Islands "will be the bedrock and cornerstone" of the
destination's National Tourism Management Policy for the next five
years, according to Charles Clifford, minister of tourism.
addressed delegates at Grand Cayman's seventh annual Tourism
Conference last month, outlined several marketing strategies that
would shift the emphasis from a purely economics-based approach to
tourism to one that addresses and includes social and environmental
"The goal to
increase visitor arrivals remains," Clifford said. "There are
airline seats to fill and the need to put heads in beds. Cruise
arrivals will continue to be an important element of the Cayman
Islands product mix, but they will not be allowed to increase
unchecked or to continue growing to the detriment of the
Clifford said that
the government will launch a project called "The Cayman Islands
Project for the Tourism Sector" in December, a joint program of the
private and public sectors that will update the Cayman Islands
environmental legislation "to ensure we comply with treaty
obligations and international agreements to which we are
August arrivals up 7.8%
that air arrivals through August tracked at 7.8% higher than the
same month last year, totaling 209,462 visitors.
For the year
through August, air arrivals were up 8.6% over 2006 at the same
time. The goal for air arrivals in 2007 is 300,000.
Increases in the
key markets over the past year have been: the U.S., 6.1%; Europe,
17.3%; and Canada, 11.9%.
the visitor increases as "significant, particularly when we
consider the struggles that many of our Caribbean neighbors are
having with arrivals, and when we consider the economic issues
which many Americans face in the housing crisis."
visitor source markets to Europe and Canada has been part of the
government's tourism strategy.
reported that cruise arrivals in August were down 30% from August
2006, due to Hurricane Dean. Overall, cruise arrivals for the year
to date are down 2.3%, totaling 1.3
million cruise passengers.
Plans to negotiate
additional berthing facilities in Grand Cayman are in the works,
according to Clifford.
reported that the government committed funds of more than $1.5
million aimed at scholarships in tourism-related projects and
programs aimed at fostering interest in tourism.
These include the
Tourism Apprenticeship Training launched in August and the National
Service Excellence Initiative, which was begun in May.
initiatives include the Summer Splash program, which features a
number of off-season packages and incentives for family
The Cayman Islands
hosted the National Football League's Quarterback Challenge for the
first time, but the NFL canceled the airing of the event on ESPN
because one of the participants, Michael Vick, was charged with
staging dog fights. The Cayman Islands still has two years left in
its deal with the NFL.
A romance and
destination-wedding initiative promoted the Cayman Islands on
various bridal Web sites, wedding shows and TV shows.
and activities will become available in Grand Cayman's eastern
districts of Bodden Town, East End and North Side as part of a
strategy to attract more cruise visitors to those parts of the
contact reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].