Kenneth Hydes is at the helm of the Cayman Islands Tourism Association and is looking forward to working with the board of directors in moving the industry forward.
“With the support of the board members, I feel there is a lot that can be achieved,” he said. “If we collectively put our knowledge, years of experience and resources at our disposal to tackle issues and capitalise on opportunities there is a lot that we can do to make a positive thing for the island.”
Mr. Hydes has experience in construction as well as services and said that changing perceptions of a role in tourism was key.
“I would like to highlight how rewarding a career in the hospitality and tourism industry can be. My role has been on the supplier side working on projects like Dolphin Discovery and the Turtle Farm, plus the current role in the promotion and broader development of programming at Camana Bay,” he said. “I would love for the broader Caymanian public to understand that the industry offers a real viable alternative career and has many different levels to get in at. Opportunities exist.” He said that infrastructure development such as the old Courtyard by Marriott, Health City Cayman Islands and Enterprise City would bring opportunities.
“This a unique opportunity for CITA, which has pushed the envelope in 2012 and become a much stronger advocate to the industry which is down to the previous board and president in their approach,” he said.
A central part of matters is being able to have continued dialogue with the public sector, he noted, particularly given the upcoming elections.
“With elections just weeks away we are going to want to put ourselves in a position so that when the new government is seated we can start working and building those relationships to move the industry forward. There is a big difference between tackling issues from an adverserial position and one of collaboration.
“We are going to get a whole lot more done by building bridges that do not yet exist and reinforce those that do.”
Mr. Hydes added that a role within the Caribbean region would be important in order that Cayman “see and be seen”.
“We are still being rated for best beaches, dive sites and others. There are lots of things like green initiatives coming into play. We are at a critical point in the industry and have some real trends to reverse, particularly with cruise berthing. We have to look at airlift requirements and work very hard to position our members to take advantage of the opportunities.
“One opportunity is reversing that perception of hospitality. The general consensus within the CITA is that we are going to work very hard to ensure that there are opportunities for those coming out of school within our industry and what we offer.”