Today’s Editorial June 06: Perception is everything

The Cayman Islands will take centre stage in October and November when the big wigs of the cruise industry gather here for a conference.

What they experience while here will help determine whether Cayman continues to be a premier cruise destination.

Our treatment of the 100 cruise executives from the 12-member Florida Caribbean Cruise Association can make or break us.

Those attending a small business workshop that focused on doing business with cruise ships last week revealed some interesting information.

Firstly, Cayman is behind Mexico and the Bahamas as the most popular Caribbean destination.

We should be ahead of both.

Cayman outperforms other Caribbean destinations because we are perceived as being a safe, hassle free country.

You won’t find our children on the streets and beaches begging visitors for money or trying to sell them cheap trinkets.

We’re also famous for our water sports, snorkelling, diving, shopping and sophistication.

We knew that and are proud that others outside the Cayman Islands realize it too.

But we’re lagging in other areas.

The business seminar revealed that other Caribbean destinations are considered to be more fun than Cayman.

Other destinations have lots more things to do than we offer, including nightlife and romance.

We aren’t considered easy to get to and some don’t think we offer value for money.

The seminar also revealed that we don’t offer as interesting a culture as other destinations and a slight was made at our restaurants.

Cayman is fun; at least most of us who live and play here think so.

There are lots of things to do in the Cayman Islands; you just have to look around. And we think the restaurants and clubs would argue that the nightlife around here is pretty good.

As for romance, it’s what you make it. We think we’ve got a very interesting culture and as for restaurants, we’d put ours up against any in the world.

We can argue the point all we want, but perception is what sells.

We’ve got between now and 30 October to alter those perceptions and convince the big wigs that Cayman is the best cruise ship destination in the Caribbean.

A lot of good suggestions came out of the business seminar.

Let’s hope those with the power to make the changes were paying attention.

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