The perception of Cayman as a clean and safe place is crucial to the tourism product but more can still be done.
Jane van der Bol of the Cayman Islands Tourism Association said that Cayman had received numerous accolades for having some of the best beaches in the world, so it was extremely disappointing to a tourist arriving on a beach in Cayman to see it littered with debris.
“Much of the debris comes in from our oceans, which we share with the rest of planet, and this is a tough situation to address with ease but Cayman is focusing on beach cleanups done within our community particularly in our tourist areas,” said the executive director.
“Ideally Parks and Recreation could do with more funding to clean the beaches and if need be, be aided by private sector businesses. The investment in keeping our shores clean has long term gains that reflect well on Cayman’s reputation,” she noted.
A perennial issue, and one that doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon, is that of the landfill, which is a very visible sight to every single cruise visitor, she added.
“With the landfill being the highest elevation on Grand Cayman it is hard to miss the landfill sitting squarely in our nation’s capital George Town and home to our port authority. It is an unattractive site and visibly seen from visiting cruise ships and tourists. We aren’t, however, the only island or country for that matter that struggles with the high costs of recycling and the challenge of surmounting waste in a consumer society. “It is a reality that our world needs to share the burden and work together to address the surmounting waste issue worldwide. There is a broader picture that can be taken in by our visitors a demand for less packaging a demand for sustainable practices a more conscientious consumer.”
On that note, she mused, for many of Cayman’s tourists it is unusual for them not to see recycling bins separating plastics, papers and compost materials as the US and Canada have strong recycling programmes, said Mrs. van der Bol.
“While the Cayman Islands are slowly working on implementing recycling on all three Islands, small improvements are being made. Some companies are taking a stance on garbage such as Dart and the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. “The implementation of Waste to Energy processing could be an affordable solution to the problem but would need to be researched and implemented,” she said.