The Department of Tourism attended over 100 consumer and trade shows in the first quarter of 2006, in three international markets – the result of a focussed effort to significantly increase visitor arrivals to the destination.
Highlights of the major shows are listed below in this press release issued by DoT.
The year kicked off with Tourism Minister Charles Clifford leading a delegation of public and private sector representatives to Caribbean Marketplace in San Juan, Puerto Rico for two days of pre-scheduled business appointments with airline and wholesaler partners. The Cayman delegation included representatives from the Department of Tourism, Cayman Airways, Westin Casuarina Resort, Courtyard by Marriott, Tropicana Tours and The Reef Resort.
In Rosemount, Illinois, just outside of Chicago, the DoT joined forces with Cayman Airways, Boatswain’s Beach and the Divi Tiara Beach Resort to promote adventure tourism in the Cayman Islands at the Adventures in Travel Expo. This show is part of the world’s largest series of events for adventure, active travel, eco, nature, cultural and outdoor tourism with over 10,000 attendees – both trade professionals and enthusiastic consumers – on hand to learn about exciting new vacation opportunities.
In Toronto, Cayman’s new and improved ‘luxury’ product was showcased at the Cruise & Luxury Travel Expo, where the recently opened Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, the newly refurbished Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort, the Hyatt Regency Beach Suites, and an array of condominiums and attractions were highlighted.
The Cayman Islands saw significant activity in Europe, with BOOT, a consumer dive show in Dusseldorf, Germany, which attracts divers from continental Europe; and the Dublin Holiday Show in Ireland. A consumer and trade event, the Dublin Holiday Show supported the DoT’s goal of achieving maximum awareness for the Cayman Islands in the Irish market, and it came at a time – mere months before the maturity date of the national Government’s five-year savings scheme – when consumers could be ‘shown’ what to do with their savings!
The third annual NY Times Travel Show saw the Cayman Islands joining over 500 exhibitors and sponsors – consisting of tourism boards, travel companies, spas, accommodations and cruise lines – reaching 25,000 avid travellers and travel professionals through integrated promotional programmes.
Taking advantage of the Canadian winters, the DoT attended the Outdoor Adventure Show (Scuba World) in Toronto, showcasing the Cayman Islands as a premier destination for scuba diving, snorkelling, soft adventure and nature tourism, with a strong emphasis on the diversity of adventure to be found on all three islands. And estimated 29,0000 people attended.
Other show highlights in February included London’s leading consumer travel show, Destinations.
ITB Berlin, held in Germany, saw the Cayman Islands represented at its own stand within the Caribbean Tourism Organisation pavilion of this leading European travel industry business-to-business (B2B) event. Immediately following ITB, the BIWI Pow Wow travel industry B2B event was held in London, providing an extremely cost effective forum for approximately 80 buyers to meet with UK-based Caribbean service providers on a one to one basis. DoT Europe is currently working with CTO Europe to encourage BIWI to develop similar events in both Central and Southern Europe, the release points out.
DoT Europe also joined forces with the leading Italian dive tour operator Aquatours to exhibit at the EUDI consumer dive show in Genoa, Italy, the largest and most popular dive event in Italy.
‘The Department of Tourism’s sales team is on the ground in three international locations showcasing the Cayman Islands to the travel trade and consumers on a daily basis,’ commented Ms Pilar Bush, Director of Tourism. ‘It would take too long to list every show they attended in the first quarter of 2006 – but suffice to say that we analyse our show schedule rigorously ensuring that the shows we attend will provide the highest possible return on investment.’