Online poll: Green tourism could boost Brac economy

Respondents to the latest online Caymanian Compass poll say they think eco-tourism is key to developing Cayman Brac’s economy. 

Promoting the island as a destination for ecological tourism was the choice of 153 of the 334 people who participated, which equates to 45.8 percent of the total. 

Building a cruise ship port was the preferred option of 56 people, or 16.7 percent; outsourcing more government and administrative work from Grand Cayman drew 48 votes (14.4 percent); putting on more direct flights was the view of 45 people, or 13.5 percent. 

The remaining 32 voters, or 9.6 percent, selected the “other” option. 

The eco-tourism fans had a few comments to share. 

“I’m visiting the Brac now,” explained one person. “And the potential for B&B/small-scale ‘nature’ tourism is tremendous. Avoid the eco. Be honest. Brac’s charms will sell themselves if not over-sold.” 

Another person had a historical angle. “Ask the environmental department what happened in Mega Bay Pond since Ivan,” that person advised. “Why have all the birds left the pond?” 

Another participant said that the eco-tourism option was best for financial reasons. 

“Outsourcing won’t work because it has a higher cost of living than Grand Cayman,” pointed out the respondent. “The whole purpose of outsourcing is to reduce costs.” 

Participants who chose “other” had a lot to say. 

“Move all farms and agriculture to Cayman Brac instead of Grand Cayman as I am tired of seeing cows and bulls tied up on short ropes on random pieces of property,” began one person. “Then start chicken farming and open an abattoir, and sell the meat on all three islands instead of importing the majority of the meat from the U.S. There is no point in putting on more direct flights as there is nothing there for tourists to do.” 

Moving some industries to the Brac was also the viewpoint of another person. 

“Make it become a housing and industrial support location for Little Cayman’s tourism, and use ferries to run back and forth between the two islands. Close the airport on Little Cayman,” the respondent wrote. 

Another commenter said, “We do need more direct flights to the Brac, so hard to get here and makes for a very long wasted day. We also need to promote the Sister Islands more. Eco-tourism, fishing, etc. … make our airport up-to-date, having to pick up cases and recheck in Grand Cayman is a pain in the butt … then we could have direct flights out of here also.  

“It just seems to me that we make it so hard to get to the Brac. We also need to have trade schools here, put apprentice programs in place, expand our college programs. Look into the idea of a coupon outsource redemption center … big business in the U.S. Big companies pay good money to handle their refund programs.” 

Another person who selected “Other” spoke about the cruise industry. 

“Building a cruise ship port is a good idea as long as it can be done without damaging the environment,” the respondent wrote. “How about lowering the cost of flights over there so it would allow locals to go more often and also allow tourist visiting Grand Cayman to pop over during their stay here? 

“In the U.K., it’s so cheap to hope over to France.” 

Next week’s poll question 

  1. Should civil servants be allowed to have a second job on the side? 
  2. Yes, but only if they do it outside of their regular work hours or if it doesn’t conflict with their government duties. 
  3. Maybe. It should be decided on a case-by-case basis. 
  4. No, in no circumstances should this be allowed. 
  5. Higher level civil servants shouldn’t be allowed to, they don’t need the money. 
  6. Other (explain) 

To participate, visit caycompass.com. 

Online-Poll-May-2-S
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