There are more than economic issues at stake and although it is highly probable that cruise ship passengers have funded many government expenses, at what cost?
Look at the recent government/cruise line Boatswain Beach package!
There is nothing to prove that keeping passengers in town a couple of hours longer will entice them to make major purchases at the high end shops in GT.
Passengers do not need extra time to decide if they can afford a costly purchase.
They have paid for booze and food on the ships and will indulge in major partaking of either onboard.
The chances of land based tourists (who respect the dress code, culture etc., of the island), going into GT for meals etc while the ships are around and taxis and traffic difficult are non existent.
Years ago, travelling on a cruise ship was a luxury holiday limited to a special moneyed few. Now it is a bargain vacation.
Where the benefit is in encouraging this type of traffic is to the cultural, religious, or environmental protection of Grand Cayman, or any destination, is difficult to see.
For a country with highly educated and globally aware citizens, it is amazing that government officials can get away with such short sightedness.
Who is it better for? Those who live in and love Cayman, or those who want to see their names in lights and/or pockets get thicker?
The Cayman people should not let the owners of the cruise lines, nor their tourist ministers, who by the nature of their jobs are short sighted no matter how honest and trustworthy they might be, allow their future to be mortgaged.
What has kept Cayman special is its uniqueness. Once that is sold to the highest bidder, it can never be bought back!