I am one of many Caymanians who operate Stingray City excursions and is particularly concerned about the negative feedback that some of our tourists have been receiving about stingrays especially since the tragic death of animal lover Mr. Steve Irwin.
With Stingray City being the Islands’ biggest tourist attraction and the lifeline for so many of us it’s important that we get the message across to our visitors that the stingrays they will be swimming with and feeding are very friendly.
Of course we must always ensure that the stingrays are handled correctly and with respect to be able to enjoy this unique experience.
I hope that Government along with the Department of Tourism and the FCCA are doing all they can to reassure potential visitors to our island that embarking on this Stingray City adventure will be a safe and fulfilling experience, memories of which will last a lifetime.
I will also advise local and other companies on the Island to address this situation on their websites if they haven’t already done so to further spread the word of safety to people who might be planning to visit Stingray City in the future.
We must encourage this as much and as long as it takes to ensure that Stingray City remains a place that people want to come to and also for it to remain a top tourism attraction, bearing in mind that Cayman compared to other Caribbean destinations may not have the range of activities to offer our visitors, hence the reason why I am stressing this point.
We all need to come together to make this happen or less in a few years time Stingray City could become just a memory to our own selves and what a loss that would be not only to us as operators but to the country as a whole.
Shaun Eldridge Ebanks