The relationship between the Cayman Islands and the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association can be likened to a marriage.
And as in all marriages and relationships, sometimes you need to step back and take stock of where your relationship needs work and where it is headed.
That’s basically what the three day 13th annual FCCA Conference and Trade Show is about.
High powered cruise industry executives will be in the Cayman Islands to see first-hand what we have to offer their clients.
Behind the scenes meetings will take place between those executives and members of Government.
It will be behind closed doors that the most frank discussions will take place.
And it will be here that the give and take that must be done to make any relationship survive will take place.
Marriage is about compromise. So is the relationship between the Cayman Islands and the FCCA.
While there will be many things FCCA members may want from Cayman, we are confident our government leaders won’t give away the horse with the barn.
FCCA President Michele Paige calls our country a new Cayman. She’s right.
We have lots more to offer since before Hurricane Ivan. The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman has opened its doors; the long awaited Royal Watler Cruise Terminal is up and running; and Boatswain’s Beach is Cayman’s latest attraction and home to the Turtle Farm.
There is a fine balance between maintaining Cayman’s heritage and culture and meeting the needs of the corporations that decide whether cruise ships will continue to bring millions of visitors – and their money – to our shores.
It is not a job we envy and we’re glad there are leaders in our Government who tackle the job daily.
This conference is oh so important to the Cayman Islands.
Our country’s future in the way of cruise tourism will be discussed and possibly shaped over the next three days.
Cruise executives will take the total of their experiences while in the Cayman Islands back to their high-rise offices and lean on their memories of our country when deciding whether to continue to send their ships and clients to us.
Tourism is the second largest money maker in the Cayman Islands.
Cruise tourism brings close to 2 million visitors to our shores each year. Those people leave behind $186 million that goes into Government coffers, retailers’ tills, restaurants’ cash registers and tour operators’ pockets.
It’s an important industry and one that Cayman needs.