‘As for stay-over tourism, Cuba has a long way to go to approach the kind of tourism product Cayman has. Cuba does not have the level of restaurant or service quality that Cayman does,’
Having recently visited Cuba and with experience of regularly visited the Caymans for over 17 years (living there for two years) I cannot agree with this comment.
In Cuba we ate in restaurants attached to our hotel that provided a quality of food and service you simply cannot find in Grand Cayman, even in so-called ‘high-end’ resorts.
My experience of Cuba is that the quality of food, the price and the service is all infinitely superior to anything Grand Cayman can offer. In addition the whole vacation experience had a character the Caymans has lost in recent years.
Add to that the beaches, watersports facilities, Cuba’s history, ease of access from Europe or Canada and the low cost (US$1,000 for two weeks all inclusive including flights from the UK!) of vacationing there, Cuba has Cayman on the proverbial ropes.
Bearing in mind that both American and Continental already have daily flights from Miami to Havana, it is also unlikely that CAL will pick up any business from the easing of US policy. In fact the opposite may be true, as US citizens who were previously forced to transit through Cayman to bypass travel restrictions find they can fly direct to Cuba from the USA.
As for cruise ships, we were told that Havana harbour alone was ready to accommodate up to seven at a time, and all in sheltered waters. In addition there are a number of other locations that are already being assessed as potential cruise ship moorings. On that basis, by the time George Town’s cruise dock is completed there will be very little business for it to handle.