Mr. Mervyn Conolly deserves the collective kudos of residents and property owners in the Eastern Districts.
He told those at the recent Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism that there are some concerns with the whole Go East project, which lures tourists away from busy and overcrowded Seven Mile Beach to the tranquil east.
And he’s right.
There are some concerns with the Go East initiative.
We all agree – especially those in the Eastern Districts – that our visitors need a quality trip when they come to the Cayman Islands.
Those of us who live in the Eastern Districts enjoy visiting with and telling visitors about our culture and our heritage.
We take pride in the fact that the Eastern Districts have retained a certain sense of tranquillity.
And we know that for tourism to remain a sustainable industry on our shores, the Eastern Districts have to take part.
But what the residents and property owners of the Eastern Districts don’t want is over- and thoughtless development.
While the eco-friendly lodge is welcomed in East End, bigger, sprawling developments are not.
Sustainable tourism in the Cayman Islands is about much more than just making a buck.
There are a few things sustainable tourism should do including:
• Meet the needs and wants of the host community in terms of improved living standards and quality of life
• Satisfy the demands of tourists and the tourism industry, and continue to attract them in order to meet the first aim
• Safeguard the environmental resource base for tourism, encompassing natural, built and cultural components.
We sincerely hope that Government is listening to what the Eastern District committee members are saying.
Most of the people in the Eastern Districts live there because they are areas where residents and visitors get a true feel of real Caymanian life.
The desire of those in the Eastern Districts is to maintain social harmony, protect the environment and preserve the culture, charm, tranquillity and uniqueness of their communities.
Destroying the uniqueness of the Eastern Districts for the sake of tourism would be wrong.
Government is to be commended for inviting Mr. Conolly to speak at the tourism conference.
Mr. Conolly, thank you for saying what’s on the minds of so many in the Eastern Districts.