A committee involving financial industry and tourism officials has been established to help ensure a glitch-free transition when the clocks go forward in the Cayman Islands for the first time in March.
The clocks went back an hour in the U.S. Nov. 1, ending daylight saving time for the year. When they go forward again in the spring, Cayman will follow suit.
The change means the time in the islands will be in sync with Eastern zone time in the United States, or the same as New York and Miami, for example, year round.
The move is designed in part to make life simpler for businesses, but the extra hour of daylight is also expected to make a difference to tourists and residents.
Commerce Minister Wayne Panton said a committee has been established to work out any logistical issues ahead of the switch.
The policy decision to make the transition in March 2016 was taken earlier this year, but has not been widely publicized.
Mr. Panton said, “This committee is about preparation for implementation so that there is a smooth transition and it doesn’t take anybody by surprise.
“I’m sure everyone is familiar with the concept of daylight saving time, but there are some practical issues to sort out.”
Airline schedules, which typically change with the time zone to accommodate the switch in the U.S., will no longer need to make such contingency plans, he said.
Wil Pineau, CEO of the Chamber of Commerce and a member of the committee, said there are some logistical issues to be worked out.
“There are adjustments that need to be made to certain banking systems, and the cruise lines and airlines will need to be notified to organize their schedules accordingly.”
Barry Bodden, president of the Chamber, said it makes sense for Cayman to move to daylight saving time.
“There are some advantages to the financial services industry of being on the same time zone as New York. Even though it is only an hour, it makes a difference,” he said.
He acknowledged that not everyone is in favor, but said the Chamber membership supported the move and was pleased it was being implemented as early as next year.
“I think if our financial industry and our tourism industry are saying there are advantages to being in sync with the U.S., those are the two main pillars of the economy.
“There are advantages to doing it and I don’t see too many negatives,” he said. “Anything that is going to improve our business climate is a good thing.”