High-level representatives of the cruise industry visited Cayman for a special luncheon on Monday.
The Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association’s annual platinum delegates cruise brings together representatives of cruise lines, governments, tour operators and other cruise-related businesses. It’s both a networking event and an opportunity to talk about current destination offerings, said cruise association president Michele M. Paige.
“This is a prestigious group, our platinum members, who are from all over the Caribbean [and various sectors]. They have one thing in common; they all look at the cruise industry as a very important economic generator for their goals. We go on a cruise every January and this year the ship has come to Cayman Islands”.
“The predominate reason for this group to be together is to work with the cruise industry and each other. Coming to Cayman Islands was just a vehicle as the ship was coming here; we are here to learn and show our partnership,” she said.
This year, Cayman has been showcased to tourism partners which also presents an opportunity for the government to be involved in discussions, added Ms Paige.
Premier Bush welcomed delegates and said that the planned new cruise berthing facility would not only assist Cayman in developing the product but entice cruise companies to spend more time at the destination, such as remaining in dock at night, rather than just a few short hours.
“We recognise that it is in our long term interests to retain and develop our own special character to differentiate ourselves from the competition and build our appeal not only on our unique environment but also on the quality of our facilities and services and the guest experience.
“My destination needs to understand that [cruise visitors] are not here to be harassed… no
one comes to be pushed around, they are visitors and they want to enjoy themselves. It is our duty and of our benefit to ensure that happens with a smile on our face,” he said.
At the event delegates were treated to a buffet of local food, music by Rhythm Posse, dance from Kri Performing Arts School and representatives of the Cayman Craft Market were on hand to demonstrate everything from silver thatch weaving to underwater photography.
Each delegate received a goody bag of various items which included documentation about the destination, a miniature bottle of Tortuga Rum, Tortuga rum cake and copies of Cayman Free Press tourism and entertainments magazines What’s Hot and Key to Cayman.