Tourism industry 
heats things up

The tourism industry of the Cayman Islands is planning for the traditionally slower summer season with a variety of initiatives.

The Summer Splash promotion is intended to stimulate travel to Cayman between May and September and includes initiatives such as fifth night free in participating hotels, free watersports activities and family discounts, including a kids stay, play and eat- free scheme.

Cayman Islands Sea School will be operating again, which gives kids between the ages of five

and 11 the chance to learn about the marine environment. In recent years, this has been led by Spongebob Squarepants, but the popular cartoon character will not be on Cayman shores this time.

Cayman Airways is running offers such as companion flies free for travel between 1 May and 15 June, if bookings are received before 31 March, and then an offer for children at half price if booked before 31 July for the travel dates 1 June to 30 September.

It’s all part of the Caymankind branding which was introduced in January 2011 for the United States.

Aggressive competition

In a statement, Premier McKeeva Bush noted that historically the Cayman Islands attracted an average of 50 per cent of total annual arrivals in the winter season prior to May of each year.

In the light of what he termed increasingly aggressive competition both in the Caribbean and worldwide, a proactive approach to summer and spring promotions has been adopted, particularly to drive visitation between May and September.

“It is no secret that the Cayman Islands justifiably have a higher price point than some destinations, and in order to maintain our viability and keep visitors coming back for more, it is vital that we consistently strive to highlight on value and deliver on quality…

“With all of the issues with oil prices and the effect that it will have on airlift, we have to be even more aggressive with our value offering to ensure we keep this positive momentum and maximise the chances for local businesses.”

Mr. Bush also pointed to sports tourism as an industry that would be central to the recovery of global travel and said that the Cayman Islands intended to lead the Caribbean in the sector.

The staging of the CARIFTA games in 2009 had injected nearly half a million dollars into the economy in three days, said the premier.

“…[T]he various sectors of the local economy benefit – because all of the sportsmen and women, and the officials, and their friends and families who arrive here, have to have accommodation, and they have to eat, they have to take taxis, they visit attractions and the list goes on and on.”