Travel agency closes after 42 years

After 42 years, Cayman Tours and
Travel has closed its doors and its pioneering operator has called it quits.

Owner
Katherine Coxe said adeclining
airline economy and Cayman’s high cost of living has made it tough for the
business to survive.

After devoting her whole life to
the travel industry, Mrs. Coxe said
she was burnt out, tired and it was time for her to move on.

“When we first opened in 1968, business
in Cayman was good, today it is tougher. People do not take trips like they
used to and the economy is bad. I tried to keep the business open as long as I
could, but this is the worst I have seen it in Cayman and rather than go on, I
decided to call it a day,” she said.

Mrs. Cox is pulling up roots and
moving to England
to reside.

Effective immediately, Travel Pros is
handling all of the company’s accounts.

Opened by Mrs. Coxe and her late
husband Hugh, Cayman Tours and Travel was the Island’s
first travel agency.

“We saw the need for a travel agency in Cayman those days as Cayman started
to get on stage as a thriving financial centre,” she said.

Her husband came with a wealth of
expertise in the travel industry as his
family was heavily involved in the airline business.

Mr. Coxe established British Caribbean
Airways in Jamaica, but
because things were not doing so well, he returned to Cayman with his wife and
established Cayman Tours and Travel at the Village in George Town. There it remained until closing.

In 198, because of a blossoming
economy, a second branch of Cayman Tours and Travel was opened in Cayman Brac,
which was also a success.

In later years, Mrs. Coxe sold the
company to Jenna Bodden who later renamed it Brac International Travel.

After Mr. Coxe passed away in 1979,
Mrs. Coxe took full responsibility of the business.

“It was hard being a mother, father
and career woman at the same time but I held on,” she said.

Over the years she watched as
Cayman expanded into a thriving community with flourishing businesses. “Today
it is remarkable to see the change in Cayman from when we first started,” she
said.

“In those times the economy was
good, business was growing and people were doing more travelling
abroad to promote these Islands, not like it is today,” she said.

In 2007 Mrs. Coxe opened another branch
in West Bay, but closed just after three months because the cost to get it open
and the revenue it was generating was not profitable.

That opening was after the business
was hit by a setback – an employee theft, which she said the business never
recovered from.

“I saw the decline coming from 2007
and the business just got worse. The downturn came and the agency never recovered,”
said Mrs. Coxe.

To all the patrons she has had over
the years, Mrs. Cox said, “It was a pleasure serving the Cayman community. To
all my valuable customers, thank you.”

LOCALCaymanTourscoxSTORY

Katherine Cox, owner of Cayman Tours and Travel.
Photo: Jewel Levy

1 COMMENT

  1. What a great pity.Many happy memories of great service from CT&T in the 80s…friendly staff,good humour and a few drinks there on a Friday afternoon as well!

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