Businesses, tourism lobby for DST

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.

Business standpoint

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.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. The only no-brainer about DST was that it was ever introduced in the first place. There is no statistical evidence that it ever saved a single dime since the USA has had 24 hour factory and service working for over 100 years. It was a fad in the USA ,which had already determined that DST was a failure, pushed through by a couple of senators with nothing better to do, and who are again now trying to double the number of hours of the adjustment for absolutely no reason.

    Yes, it is a problem that the Cayman Islands is adjacent to the USA and that therefore its tourism product is affected by this madness from the USA and so I can understand the proponents here for a similar bill.

    But do I have to like it? No – I do not! I do not have to like the extended morning night it creates, which makes everyone edgy for the period after the shift. I do not like the extra awareness required to prevent an increase in road traffic accidents in that same morning period during the first part of the shift. I do not have to like the immediacy (albeit temporary) of the reaction to change in my body clock and habits.

    And the cutesy bit about playing on the beach longer? Give me a break! The kids are all inside on Facebook or playing computer games!

    We probably should do it – but the sole, only sensible reason to put forward is the fact that we are next to Big Brother and unfortunately it affects our tourism and business product. Any other rationale is pure nonsense.

    Here is a Wiki link that fully discusses this subject – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daylight_saving_time – and immediately reinforces the fact that there is no good reason for DST except for its value here to the tourism and business product.

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  2. Ridiculous idea! People in the States don’t even like it and many are trying to change back. And we definitely don’t need another hour of sunlight here in the hottest months of the year! Please let us not rearrange our lives once again to suit the cruise ship passengers!

    I for one like the early mornings on the beach and enjoy the sunsets at a reasonable time. Nights here are lovely as well – don’t change a thing!

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  3. The only time one drives home in the dark at 7pm is in the winter anyway. Silly point.
    And what about extra air conditioning costs if the sun doesn’t go down until after 8?
    And the tourists love dining under the stars so that is not a good point either.
    It seems to me this is just for the cruise ships and the businesses surrounding them.
    It’s about time we started thinking of the rest of us!

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