Implementing Daylight Saving Time in the Cayman Islands is a ‘no-brainer’ according to a lobbying group.
“We have letters of support from the Chamber of Commerce, who represent about 700 organisations, all the finance like Cayman Islands Monetary Authority back it, the Cayman Islands Tourism Association backs it,” said Kevin Doyle, who along with Noel March has been bringing the issue to the table for around two years with the backing of many local organisations.
“We didn’t have to cajole them; it is an extremely important issue. I do believe that there is majority support from local businesses in both the finance and tourism sectors for this move.”
Because Cayman does not observe Daylight Saving Time, for eight months of the year clocks are out of sync with Eastern Standard Time.
This has effects on the finance and cruise industries. If Cayman were to implement Daylight Saving Time, it would eliminate early arrivals and departures of cruise ships, some of which dock before businesses open, leading to potential loss of business.
From a business standpoint, syncing with New York would be beneficial and travel time confusion would be minimised. The idea has no implementation costs, said Mr. Doyle.
Indeed, he concluded, there are so many benefits it is simply a matter of common sense.
“When you are driving home, if it is dark at 7pm, imagine if it was getting dark at 8pm and you could have been on the beach for two hours. The business restaurants could get in the evening with outdoor dining, the kids that would be out to play, swim, walk on the beach. Hundreds of thousands of cruise ship tourists sit on the dock twiddling their thumbs because they come in early and there’s nobody to meet and greet, then they pile back early when they could be staying and having a normal lunch time.
“There’s really no negative for this, and for people to be saying, ‘don’t change the old Caymanian way,’ give me a break – say something logical. It makes perfect sense; it’s a no-brainer.”
It had already been noted that one of the reasons for developing Enterprise City was that Cayman was on Eastern Standard Time, but the truth is that for three-quarters of the year the islands default to Central Standard Time.
A letter has been sent to the Premier and government urging them to consider the proposal. A recent poll conducted by the Caymanian Compass observed that of the 612 people who responded, nearly 36 per cent supported switching to Daylight Saving Time. while 37.8 per cent were definitely against it.