Following a very successful Cayman Islands Tourism Exchange last week, news is already filtering out to the world that Grand Cayman is rebounding fast as a top tourism destination.
An article which appeared on Travel Weekly’s website proclaims that Grand Cayman is back as a destination, despite the lack of room availability. Travel Weekly newspaper has a circulation of 44,425.
The article was written by travel journalist Gay Nagle Myers, who visited Grand Cayman last week and saw the island first hand during the Exchange.
She points out that tourism is fighting back strong.
‘George Town is teeming with cruise passengers several days each week; traffic on the main West Bay Road is congested; Seven Mile Beach is lined with sunburned bodies; foliage is coming back and greening up the island; arrival flights from US gateways are full; and tourism officials are working hard to regain the confidence of their travel partners’.
She begins her article stating, ‘Although only 39 per cent – approximately 1,200 guest rooms – of the total room inventory of more than 3,700 hotel rooms on Grand Cayman is back on line, the destination itself is back in message.’
The travel journalist goes on to say that this is the message that was given to wholesalers at the Exchange last week by local tourism officials, government representatives and hoteliers.
The journalist is frank in her depiction of Grand Cayman. ‘It’s been several months since Hurricane Ivan delivered its devastating blows to this island, and the damage inflicted is still apparent in parts of Grand Cayman where downed and uprooted trees and tarp-covered roofs are still in evidence.’
She goes on to give quotes from Mark Bastis, President of the Cayman Islands Tourism Association and Minister McKeeva Bush, that Cayman is committed to remaining a top travel destination.
‘Not only is Grand Cayman repairing, renovating, rebuilding and reopening but new attractions and properties also are opening or have reopened,’ she said.
She listed these as the $46 million Boatswain’s Beach, The Black Pearl Skate and Surf Park, the Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman and Mandarin Oriental.
She added that the Marriott Resort would re-open in June following a $15 million renovation while Sunshine Suites will re-open in May.
The Exchange, organised by the Cayman Islands Tourism Association is the only face-to-face forum held in Cayman, providing an platform for wholesalers to learn about new products and developments, or to re-acquaint themselves with the whole spectrum of tourism offerings on the three islands.