The Department of Tourism has replaced the two companies it contracts with to market the island to tourists in the U.S.
The decision comes at a time when tourism arrival figures are at an all-time high and a month after one of the companies, Missy Farren & Associates, helped the DoT win an award in New York for public relations and marketing.
Despite that accolade, the contract with the company – which has a long association with Cayman and has been credited with helping establish the island’s reputation for fine dining – will not be renewed.
New York-based creative firm Chowder, which was behind the Caymankind multimedia campaign, is also being replaced.
The department says it conducted a rigorous competitive tender process for the contracts, considered crucial to pulling in tourists from the core U.S. market.
After reviewing proposals from more than 20 agencies, the DoT chose New Jersey-based Coyne PR to replace Missy Farren & Associates, and Florida-based Bright RedTBWA to replace Chowder.
“While the long-term partnership with our agencies has been extraordinarily positive, it is imperative that the department ensures due process is followed in order for the government to receive positive return on investment and value for its marketing services,” said Director of Tourism Rosa Harris.
Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell said he was grateful to the two agencies for the work they had done over the years.
“The Cayman Islands tourism industry has attained the highest number of visitors in recorded history, and we would like to recognize our agencies that have assisted to raise awareness of the destination in the United States.”
Mr. Kirkconnell collected several awards alongside Missy Farren & Associates at the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International gala in New York in February. The DoT and its agency were lauded for securing a 10-page feature in National Geographic Traveler magazine.
Newly hired firm Coyne PR has worked with the Walt Disney Company, Daytona International Speedway, and other high-profile clients in hospitality, sports, travel and tourism, according to a DoT statement.