Tourism council disbanded

The Ministerial Council for Tourism and Development, set up in November to address critical industry issues, has been disbanded.

“This was developed as an entity to work closely with Cline Glidden as the newly appointed tourism councillor,” Cayman Islands Premier McKeeva Bush told the Compass.

“[And] to provide him with assistance relating to areas of tourism policy, for example, as he familiarised himself with his subject area. After three years, Mr. Glidden is conversant with tourism related matters and functions as the tourism councillor without the need for supportive positions on a Ministerial Council.

“He has the full support of the Department and Ministry of Tourism along with the Premier’s Office and the Cayman Islands Tourism Association. Mr. Glidden continues to provide input and assistance on certain projects for which I as Minister of Tourism need extra human resources to accomplish,” said Mr. Bush.

Private sector clarity

However, according to Mr. Bush this does not affect the Tourism Advisory Council, a private sector body which was mandated to advise the Ministerial Council and provide “a direct, representative and consultative link to the broader tourism industry private sector”.

“The Tourism Advisory Council was instituted to provide objective assistance with the development of tourism related policies, as well as to provide a channel through which the private sector’s perspective could be incorporated,” Mr. Bush said. “This council was appointed as outlined within the Tourism Law and operates as according to this law.

“The Tourism Advisory Council members were duly appointed and their tenure will roll over until the Ministry believes that change is needed,” the premier said. “I am of the opinion that the current members will remain on the council through the 2012 year and understand that we may need to appoint one or two positions that are vacant.”

For clarity, Mr. Bush said the Tourism Advisory Council continued “to focus on medium to long-term initiatives,” while the Cayman Islands Tourism Association – an independent body which represents more than 200 tourism businesses – works with the Department of Tourism on specific short-term projects.

These include destination promotions and events which were principally geared toward boosting current and future near-term arrivals, he said.

The Tourism Advisory Council was chaired by Karie Bergstrom, who was contacted for this article but had not responded by press time.

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