Cayman’s iconic Seven Mile Beach has been voted in the top 10 beaches worldwide by an influential travel site.
TripAdvisor’s ninth annual Travellers’ Choice Awards are based on how highly its millions of reviewers rate hotels and beaches.
Seven Mile Beach was rated the seventh best worldwide under the system and the website particularly praised its ‘gorgeous clear waters and coral sands.’ It also mentioned Royal Palms, Seven Mile Shops, Cemetery Reef and Cayman Turtle Farm plus, slightly incongruously, Stingray City. Top-voted hotel on the strip was Caribbean Club.
This year, travellers voted Providenciales, Turks and Caicos the best beach worldwide, Boracay, Philippines second and Palm/Eagle Beach, Aruba third.
Trina Christian, executive director of the Cayman Islands Tourism Association, said that the accolade meant a lot to the tourism industry.
“Given the current times with such a competitive market, people do look to the likes of TripAdvisor as a very credible resource. Being recognised by the users of the site is fantastic because it brings great exposure to the region.
“TripAdvisor is very trusted and has grown tremendously over recent years to be used as a resource for searching for vacation spots. We and Department of Tourism have encouraged our members to use that forum as best we can to field comments and answer questions [directly with possible visitors],” she explained.
Because the awards are based on actual customer interaction and drawn from an aggregate of real comments and ratings from previous visitors, the awards are considered to have a definite weight within the industry.
“To see the benefits of being voted one of the world’s best beaches is a great achievement for us. We know that Seven Mile Beach is a wonderful place, but to have people voting for it as one of the world’s best is fantastic and certainly more influential than us just telling people it’s the best,” concluded Ms. Christian.
Turtle Nest Inn at Bodden Town was voted into the top three of Bargain Hotels in the Caribbean/Mexico region. The establishment had been named as top in the same category during 2010.
Alain Beiner, owner of Turtle Nest, expressed delight at the award on behalf of all staff.
“As the original builders, owners, and on-site managers of Turtle Nest Inn, it’s of course always extremely satisfying that our constant efforts are recognised by our guests, many, many of whom return year after year as Inn regulars.
“Together with our dedicated staff, we do our best to offer guests very personalized service, a laid-back ambience… in an intimate and authentic island setting, away from the tourist crowds,” said Mr. Beiner.