CITE to showcase Cayman’s progress

In what will be a wonderful showcase for Grand Cayman post-Ivan, international top selling wholesalers and media will view the island as part of this year’s Cayman Islands Tourism Exchange (CITE).

According to information from the Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA), the CITE is the only face-to-face forum held in Cayman, providing an excellent platform for wholesalers to learn about new products and developments or to reacquaint themselves with the whole spectrum of tourism offerings on the three islands. It will be held from Wednesday, 13 April through Saturday, 16 April.

‘We expect about 30 wholesale delegates and we have 30 local suppliers signed up. We are also expecting some international media,’ explained the CITA’s Najah Lewis-Brown.

Some of these wholesalers include such high profile travel names as Expedia and Travelocity.

Although the CITE is an annual event, this year it will be extra special as it will focus on the re-birth of Grand Cayman following Hurricane Ivan which struck nearly seven months ago.

‘Obviously, because of Hurricane Ivan, this year is different and it gives the opportunity to show off the island and how it has bounced back. The perceptions of these wholesalers filter down to the consumers at large,’ said Ms Najah Lewis-Brown.

An important aspect of the CITE this year is the island re-acquaintance trip, where wholesalers will be given the opportunity to tour Grand Cayman and see first hand the progress that has been made in rebuilding.

‘We will have a fun, adventure type trip laid on for them which will take them from West Bay to East End and around to Rum Point so they’ll get a good feel for the whole island,’ said Ms Lewis-Brown.

Another goal of the CITE is to provide the opportunity for wholesalers to resume and improve relationships forged with on-island partners.

Other highlights of the CITE include a welcome reception by Governor Bruce Dinwiddy, a welcoming address by CITA President Mark Bastis, a Cayman Islands update from both the Ministry of Tourism and the Department of Tourism, presentations by the Cayman Islands Tourism Association and the Sister Islands Tourism Association, along with pre-arranged meeting sessions.

The venue for Thursday 14 April is the Courtyard Marriott and on Friday 15 April, the Hyatt Regency Hotel.