Vendors at the Cayman Craft market can now show off their knowledge of things Caymanian after receiving their PRIDE training certificates.
The training was part of a “number of changes being implemented by the Tourism Attraction Board to ensure the preservation and promotion of local arts and traditions at the George Town attraction,” according to a press release.
“I find the PRIDE training to be a wonderful experience,” said Ruth Bodden, a longtime vendor at the Cayman Craft Market.
“It’s done very professionally, and it helps me with my customer service each day. I am able to refer people to certain restaurants or hotels, or if they are looking for somewhere quiet, I can refer them to East End and North Side. It’s very beneficial and I love the time we all get to spend together,” Ms. Bodden said.
Ms. Bodden, who has been making Caymanite crafts for many years, is not only an asset to the attraction, but also something of an ambassador for the Cayman Islands.
“I love working with the tourists and telling them all about my heritage and about Cayman. I make Caymanite jewelry and souvenirs, but Caymanite is getting harder and harder to find,” she said.
“It is a semi-precious stone, so I think that’s why the tourists like it so much. You can’t get it anywhere else,” she said.
Jean-Eric Smith, manager at the Cayman Craft Market, thanked the Department of Tourism for hosting the PRIDE workshop.
Patrick Thompson, director of the Cayman Tourism Attraction Board, believes quality behavioral and operational service standards are essential in the tourism industry.
“The vendors of the craft market, by virtue of participating in the PRIDE workshop, have demonstrated their commitment to delivering excellence in their segment of the industry,” he said.
“The Tourism Attraction Board is pleased that vendors have achieved this certification and believe that this is another step in ensuring that visitors to the market are exposed to the truly unique Caymankind experience.”
According to the board, the craft market is an important attraction in the Cayman Islands as it allows visitors to have a one-on-one experience with locals to learn about the islands’ heritage and traditions.
Among the many local treasures to be found at the market are a variety of Caymanite jewelry, seed beads, recycled jewelry, craft conch shells, crochet products, coconuts and paintings.