Cayman should embrace Dart’s impact on tourism

According to our acting Director of Tourism, current visitors said safety and the friendliness of our people are the two main reasons for choosing the Cayman Islands as their vacation destination.

Thus, in spite of the very serious nature of some crimes on our island, our visitors still feel insulated from danger and still take pride in experiencing the joyful delight of interacting with our local population; this also includes those not born here. We may therefore take delight in our present position as providers of a high quality tourism product; but we never should believe this high quality tourism experience cannot and should not be improved upon.

Like every commercial enterprise, our tourism industry must remain completive and offer value for money. The extension and improvements being offered by Dart Realty and the Dart Group of Companies must therefore be seen as a miraculous opportunity for Cayman and the developers; and not as an interruption of our traditional rights and way of life.

It is my humble opinion at this time what Caymanians need to be guard full of is the role past governments have played by not saving for a rainy day; and not educating our population to take up meaningful positions within this important pillar of our economy. And now it is only our integration at the top and middle positions on the economic ladder that will realign our social structure and give Caymanians a feeling of equality and ownership.

I once worked at the Department of Environmental Health and I know that the then director had a policy of Caymanians first, and his policy resulted in many Caymanians getting an important start in their professional life. Today, one can still see some of the positive results of his policies, because it is known that a good number of Caymanians in the lower educational bracket will follow each other into any industry where they feel they will be treated fairly. The fact that we had a Caymanian in a position of authority that could hire, promote and reward employees was just the recruiting tool we will need while expanding our tourism product by way of the Dart Group of Companies.

The Dart Group cannot wait until their properties are completed to seek out and recruit Caymanians with an ability to recruit and empower other Caymanians. Recruitment and training must begin today and money that is to be given to general educational improvements should be given to developing the Caymanian element of our tourism product. It can be done and it should be done. This time around we can and should get it right since time, money and the human resources are on our side. If this is attempted, Caymanians will not stop working when construction finishes. Caymanians will be managers as well as cooks, gardeners and the lot.

Do not say it cannot be done. Put the right people in the right places to identify and assist in training and motivating our young people and we will not only help to maintain a lack of ethnic conflict, we will also defeat crime and improve our tourists’ Caymanian experience.

It is said that money is might; well if this is so, let the might of the Dart’s empire aid the government in tackling and resolving a historical injustice to our Caymanian society.

Frank McField

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