Once again the Marriott is showing what a responsible and good corporate neighbour it can be.
Classes have been under way at the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort to teach Caymanian culture and heritage to the hotel’s employees.
How refreshing it is to know that future visiting guests of the Marriott will be greeted by people who know about the country in which they live and work.
One of the constant lamentations is that tourists to our country – especially in Grand Cayman and especially cruise ship passengers – never have an encounter with a native Caymanian the whole time they are here.
It is discouraging to think about a visitor asking someone in the service industry for directions only to be greeted with a shrug because that person being asked doesn’t have a clue about the environment where they work and live.
The training being undertaken at the Marriott is essential, not only to the employees receiving it, but for the country as well.
And more of it should be happening from retailers on the waterfront to bars throughout the country.
People who come here to work and earn money in the service industry should be required to have knowledge about the Cayman Islands and they should be able to logically impart that knowledge.
The service industry is more than just the Marriott; it involves every wait person, bar tender, taxi driver, cashier, hotel and condominium cleaner and others who have constant contact with people visiting the Cayman Islands.
Those attending the lessons at the Marriott were treated to tasty Cayman fare, such as corned beef and cabbage, green bananas, Caribbean grouper, turtle stew and oxtail.
But Cayman’s heritage and culture are about more than just the food we grew up with.
It’s also about the ways we kept ourselves entertained in days gone by. Classmates learned the old way of making kites and gigs and got a lesson on wompers.
Marriott saw the need to ensure Cayman’s culture and heritage are incorporated in its resort product.
The Marriott’s last training session for its staff was eight years ago. That’s much too long.
We commend the Marriott for helping keep our culture and heritage alive through its employees.
We hope that other resorts and others in the service industry will follow suit.