The Cayman Islands was featured destination of the week on an influential London radio travel show.

Presenter and travel expert Simon Calder interviewed Caymanian Dready artist Shane Aquart for his show which was broadcast on Sunday, 13 February. The interview was largely about Cayman and couples as it was so close to Valentine’s Day.

“We talked about what made cayman an interesting and different place to visit; [he was a] very nice man, easy to talk to, affable interested and interesting,” said Mr. Aquart.

Sponsorship campaign

According to Shomari Scott, acting director of the Department of Tourism, the radio campaign was part of a sponsorship campaign of the Calder show, which runs for 13 weeks.

“Simon is the best known travel industry spokesman in the UK and regularly appears on BBC Breakfast’s hot seat as well as being the travel editor of the Independent newspaper.”

Mr. Scott added that Cayman was also sponsoring a show on Jazz FM and that an advertising campaign was taking place in the UK with more than 90 full-page adverts in weekend newspaper magazines and monthly titles.

Don McDougall, UK Country Manager for the DoT, added that visiting journalist schemes had added to recent Cayman-friendly press coverage. Journalists had been on-island for the sinking of the Kittiwake and the Cayman Cookout, both of which had generated features and social media presence for Cayman.


  1. Sadly, this kind of campaign is unlikely to attract people in the UK to consider the Cayman Islands as a holiday destination. Paying Simon Calder to prattle away on radio and buying those 90 full-page ads is probably a complete waste of money because that isnt the way people in the UK shop for holidays.

    Cost is now a very significant factor. BA return fares to Grand Cayman in June, a popular pre-school holidays vacation time, are just over 700 (roughly CI900) and it is not much cheaper to fly via the USA using Virgin/CAL or AA.

    If you add to that local accommodation costs at around 100 a night minimum, a one-week holiday for two people starts to get pretty expensive before you even factor in eating, drinking and activities.

    In fact the basic cost for one-week is more than the price of two weeks all-inclusive at many competing locations and you can book the latter all in one go, on-line or at a local travel agent.

    If DoT are serious about promoting Cayman tourism they need to get the big package tour operators on board and that means getting local hotels geared up for the all-inclusive market because that is where the money is right now. To do this Grand Cayman needs to encourage either the development of more mid-range hotels or a shift of emphasis in the existing properties. Possibly the re-vamped Courtyard Marriott could be an ideal launch pad into the all-inclusive market.

    And, from personal experience, I can say that giving journalists jollies or freebies and employing them to promote the islands may look good on paper but in the long-term there are better ways to spend the money. Sooner or later those same pundits can, based on what they saw, make critical value for money comparisons with other resorts and undermine the whole exercise.

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