Latin America could be fruitful tourism source

Latin America could open up as a tourism source for the Cayman Islands.

At the recent Fidelity Cayman Business Outlook, Bermuda’s minister for tourism and aviation, Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, urged Caribbean nations to look to the south for potential tourists in addition to the traditional sources of the United States and, increasingly, Canada. He named Panama as a hub that would open up an entire continent and said that tourism across the region could benefit from considering airlift.

Shomari Scott, acting director of Tourism, echoed Mr. Vanderpool-Wallace’s words, telling the Compass that it was a market that remained interesting to the Cayman Islands.

“Panama is the bridge to Latin America. A lot of the Latin customers don’t necessarily want to travel through Miami [which] is a barrier for getting Latin customers. If we were able to get an agreement with Panama that would open up Latin America as one of the source markets for tourism.”

Research needed

Mr. Scott added that there would be a need for further research in order to understand the ‘psychographics’ behind the Latin American customer. Their profile may be different than that of the American, Canadian or European customer, so it is important to establish their likes and needs and to match the product Cayman could offer. The tourism professional added that there are inescapable pragmatic reasons why people look to head out on holiday.

“During a winter season, a lot of persons within our demographic, be that Latin America, United States or Europe, want to come to the Caribbean for warmth and sea.

“Historically, September and October and certain summer months haven’t done as well for tourism as we would like. Depending on the country, sometimes their winter season [coincides with Cayman’s] off-peak, so it may be that our summer, September or October works to bring them here.”

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Panama is the gateway to Latin America.
Photo: File