After going for an early swim at the Public Beach recently, I can’t decide whether I’m more appalled or ashamed by what I saw.
First, there was the usual weekend party garbage littering the beach and cabanas. Even though the Public Beach garbage cans are very obvious, it seems to be too much effort to dispose of underwear, bottle caps, plastic trash and other garbage properly.
I have gotten used to cleaning up others’ trash because it makes me sick. Even worse is the number of dog owners who obviously brought their pets to play without also carrying cleanup bags.
This is an ongoing problem.
This is no way to treat one of the few remaining natural treasures Caymanians can freely enjoy
Just as the first Carnival cruise ship visitors were arriving to enjoy a Cayman beach resembling what is presented in our CaymanKind advertising campaign, poorly dressed workmen were hustling to clutter the beach with dozens of decrepit lounge chairs, and then trying to peddle them for CI$8. Unlike our professional appearing taxi drivers, these “beach attendants” were rude and their appearance so unkempt they have no business dealing with tourists. While for some time, there has been a lounge chair concession at the beach on cruise ship days, this one was new; and a disgrace.
Those chairs were discoloured, filthy and many were falling apart. They belonged on the barge taking scrap metal to Tampa. Of all the “entrepreneurial” efforts I’ve seen at the Public Beach in the last year, this is by far the worst. This kind of cheap Third World hucksterism reflects very poorly on our image as an “upscale destination.”
Who is behind this and do they even have a trades and business license and permission to operate there? Is anyone policing these for-profit activities there? While on this subject, the owners of the inflatables that were set up some months ago at the Public Beach left behind ropes with metal clips, sandbags and other debris in shallow water that remain dangerous for anyone wading in.
With the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame and Pirates Week activities kicking off this week, we have many high profile visitors in Cayman. What will those visitors think if they experience what I did on Seven Mile Beach? There are also two Tourism Awareness events scheduled for this week, hosted by the Premier. Members of our tourism industry have the responsibility to get out and see what’s going on and make sure the product presented in our overseas advertisements reflects reality.
I devoted more than 50 years to Cayman’s diving and Watersports industry and seeing shabby treatment of visitors saddens and worries me. I hope we are not simply letting a foreign ad agency delude us into “believing our own press releases” instead of knowing exactly what our visitors experience and the image of Cayman they will take home.