Private aircraft tourists wooed

The private aviation market is
being targeted by the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism.

Representatives of the department
are at the EAA AirVenture Oskosh fly-in convention, considered one of the
world’s foremost aviation events. It spans all aspects of aviation and attracts
top government officials, corporate leaders and hundreds of thousands of
aviation enthusiasts every year. Acting Director of Tourism Shomari Scott
highlighted the importance of the event.

“In essence, the department views
this event as an opportunity to reach an important target demographic of more
than 10,000 private airplane enthusiasts and/or owners and provides us with an
opportunity to showcase the Cayman Islands to an anticipated 800,000 attendees,”
he said.

The annual convention, he said, is
held in the Midwest of the United States, the location of an important visitor
demographic.

Partnering

The department is partnering with
private pilots’ guide and Caribbean flying experts Caribbean Flying Adventures,
Mr. Scott said.

“[We] will sponsor one-third of the
cost of the booth. Caribbean Flying Adventures has visited the Cayman Islands
on several occasions with pilots who fly in, and collaborating with them on
this year’s event has provided the Department of Tourism with a cost-effective
way to be present at the convention and to reach the aviation market.

“The aviation sector is an
important market to the Cayman Islands tourism industry as this sector typically
has more disposable income and also has the propensity to fly and dive. These
characteristics sit well with our overall brand demographic, and we therefore
see our participation in this event as being a significant outreach to this market
at this time,” he said.

Jim Parker of Caribbean Flying
Adventures said it was the first time in more than 10 years that Cayman would
be represented at the event, which runs from 26 July to 1 August.

“The Cayman Islands will be
inviting private pilots to bring their tourism dollars to what can be said is
the most complete international flying adventures for American and Canadian
private aircraft owners. It’s close, there is the added adventure of flying
over Cuba, it’s international with its own currency and a nice little British
accent. It has everything – great beaches, restaurants, friendly people and
world-class snorkelling and diving,” said Mr. Parker.

Opportunity

The conference is seen as an
opportunity to showcase the islands and to provide information to an important
sector of the market in order to potentially influence their future travel
decisions, said Mr. Scott.

“The Department of Tourism’s
participation will also include sponsoring a trip giveaway that includes
accommodation and a visit to a local attraction. Through this promotion it is
our intention to capture relevant information in order to build and maintain a
database of potential customers.

“We will use this opportunity to
promote the very best features of the Cayman Islands for those who wish to
visit, whether by commercial flights or to fly in their own private aircraft.
One of promotional tools we will use is an aviation flier that will be distributed
to pilots. Cayman’s first-class accommodations, incomparable dive adventures
and easy access to the island from major US gateways will be highlighted,” he
said.

BUZPrivateaircraftSTORY

A private plane comes in to land at Owen Roberts International Airport.
Photo: Joe Shooman
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