CI preps for cruise conference

With the support of the Cayman Islands’ community there is the opportunity to make the forthcoming Florida Caribbean Cruise Conference an exceptional event.

This is according to Minister for Tourism Charles Clifford, who was guest speaker during the Chamber of Commerce Luncheon, Wednesday, at the Wharf Restaurant.

There are 1,000 delegates expected to attend the conference, which is to be hosted in Grand Cayman from 31 October to 3 November this year.

Mr. Clifford noted that it could be the single largest conference ever hosted in the Cayman Islands.

There are a number of direct and indirect benefits that can come from it, which will touch, at some point in time almost every person living and working in Cayman, he said.

Some of these include:

The creation of networking opportunities between cruise industry executives and suppliers;

Encouraging new Caymanian businesses to enter the cruise industry;

Providing potential businesses with knowledge, through a series of workshops already held, where cruise executives shared insider tips for getting contracts with cruise lines;

Showcasing how well the Cayman Islands has recovered after Hurricane Ivan;

Providing local businesses with the opportunities to hear the latest trends and best practices in the cruise industry.

Economic benefits include:

Direct financial impact from the conference (every dollar spent by the 1,000 delegates has to be considered);

New contracts for Cayman Islands-based businesses;

Potential long term increase in cruise ship business and overnight visitors;

Ability to showcase the stay-over product to a diverse volume of international people, including high ranking cruise executives and officials from foreign governments;

The ability to expose potential investors to the Cayman Islands’ business environment.

Mr. Clifford said the conference will provide an incredible one-time opportunity to involve citizens from all walks of life as ambassadors to the Cayman Islands.

Employers can help do this by providing their staff to work some of their time as part of the volunteer army.

Other ways that people can get involved include:

Provide transportation to and from events; Assist with fuel for transport; Provide island tours; Provide breakfast lunch and dinner for events; Sponsor key events.

The private sector has stepped on board to help in the planning and execution of the event, Mr. Clifford announced. The Chamber of Commerce is a key member of the event planning committee, as is the Cayman Islands Tourism Association, which has volunteered a full time staff member to assist.

‘Tourism and Commerce sectors stand united with Government to ensure that it is a success,’ he said.

The vision for the FCCA Conference, developed by the organisation committee with the help of Chamber of Commerce, CITA and government representatives ‘to deliver a flawlessly executed . . . annual conference . . . that leaves a lasting positive impression to all stakeholders’.

Mr. Clifford mentioned Heather Bodden, Chairperson of National Beautification Committee for the important work they are doing.

He also thanked the organising committee, which is comprised of individuals from both the public and private sector.

President of the Chamber of Commerce, Morgan DaCosta said the Chamber pledges to support the work of the Ministry and DoT, Cayman Islands Tourism Association, Cayman Islands Investment Bureau and the Cayman Islands Beautification Committee as they work together to prepare for the FCCA conference in October.

‘It’s a unique opportunity for the Cayman Islands to leave a lasting impression in the hearts and minds of thousands of visitors and investors,’ he said.

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