Government is monitoring the potential impacts of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union on the Cayman Islands’ tourism industry, Deputy Premier Moses Kirkconnell said Monday.
Almost one in 10 visitors to the islands comes from the U.K. or continental Europe, which along with Canada is considered a secondary source market for the industry.
Economic troubles in Canada have already resulted in a dip in arrivals from that country, and the possibility of a recession in the U.K. would likely lead to a similar decrease in tourism.
Mr. Kirkconnell said it is still too early to say what the repercussions of Brexit will be.
“The impact on the Cayman Islands tourism industry is unpredictable and, considering the anticipated length of time for the United Kingdom to successfully exit the European Union, the impact will not be immediate to the Cayman Islands.
“The ministry and Department of Tourism are closely monitoring the situation and when there are clear indicators of potential impact to our tourism industry, we will ensure that strategies are appropriately designed to support this evolving situation.”
He said the decision in the U.K. requires a two-year notice period before Britain actually leaves the European Union, and he predicted that the initial impact on the value of the pound and the global stock market would stabilize.
He added, “The people of the United Kingdom have made a decision through a democratic process to exit the European Union.
“As we witness this historical event, the Cayman Islands acknowledges the connection through sovereignty and business relations that underpin the Cayman Islands’ stability and tourism performance.”