The recent gazettal of regulations to the Traffic Law lends an extra degree of certainty to Cayman’s taxi drivers, who often are some of the first (and last) local faces that our tourists see between their arrivals and departures from airplanes or cruise ships.
The hardworking people who drive taxis, buses and vans are the country’s unofficial ambassadors and tour guides, with all the distinctions and responsibilities that role entails. That not only means carrying passengers safely from Point A to Point B, but also charging consistent fares in a transparent manner, whether that means using a standardized rate card and pencil, or a complicated electronic device.
Taxi drivers and others within the tourism sector aren’t the only ones who need to be on their best behavior. It’s troubling to hear of still more crimes being committed in the commercial George Town/Seven Mile Beach areas.
On Monday night, two masked gunmen held up a waterfront restaurant, making off with $600 and two phones — and, most egregiously, robbing a customer as well as the restaurant. The previous night, a local resident was robbed at the point of a machete while walking along West Bay Road.
The total loss caused by those types of brutish, violent crimes is far greater than the value of the items taken, or even the harm inflicted on the individual victims. They erode Cayman’s reputation as a safe destination.
We urge anyone with information who could assist in the arrest and prosecution of these criminals to contact law enforcement and, if possible, be prepared to stand witness in court. Police will never be able to excise wrongdoers from our midst unless people are willing to step forward and speak up in the cause of justice.
A feeling of relative safety is one of Cayman’s most marketable and alluring features, second perhaps only to our islands’ physical beauty – principally our sand, sun and surf, but additionally our quaint communities, especially in the outer districts.
The approaching increase in stay-over and cruise arrivals will translate to more people on our sidewalks and streets, and we should do our very best to confine our litter to the proper bins and avoid the accumulation of detritus on the roadside or off in the bush.
Going forward, let’s make a conscious effort to be extra friendly and extra patient with our visitors who, let’s face it, may be unfamiliar with our customs (Is the tip included?), our roadways (Four Way Stop?) and driving on the left. (Some may even be mud slide– or margarita-impaired, so do your best to practice a modicum of “CaymanKindness”!)
In the longer term, the future of tourism in Cayman is bright, with several new hotel projects in the pipeline, medical tourists learning about Health City Cayman Islands, and expansions to the airport and cruise port progressing.
In other words, be nice to our visitors. We invited them, they RSVP’d in the affirmative, and, if we treat them as if they were guests in our homes, they may well bring along their friends on their future visits.