National Geographic touts Cayman’s hidden charms

Rosa Harris, director of tourism

It may only be 26 miles from end to end, but Grand Cayman and its charms were significant enough for a National Geographic publication to recommend an island road trip to its readers. The Cayman Islands features in the January issue of National Geographic Traveler magazine, which has 9.6 million readers worldwide according to its website.

The coverage features a two-page spread, titled “Road Trip Grand Cayman,” featuring a multi-stop tour of the island.

Starting at the Kimpton, which it labels as a “hip hangout,” it directs visitors on a round-the-island tour taking in the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, the Blow Holes and the Wreck of the Ten Sail, Old Man Bay and Davinoff’s Concrete Sculpture Garden before finishing up at Starfish Point.

The article points visitors beyond the sun, sea and sand of the conventional Cayman holiday, highlighting the hidden gems of the island’s eastern districts.

It states, “On the other side of the island and tucked into the undeveloped interior, discover blue iguanas, hidden beaches, shipwrecks, blowholes and surprising sculpture. Despite its name, Grand Cayman, mostly unaffected by recent hurricanes, is easy to explore in a daylong road trip – leaving time to revel in more classic island life.”

For tourism officials, the impact of a National Geographic spread is huge.

National Geographic Traveler magazine’s January 2018 edition includes this double-page spread on the Cayman Islands.

The Department of Tourism runs a visiting journalists program to help fund visits to island attractions from travel writers. In this case, according to Rosa Harris, director of the Department of Tourism, the Kimpton resort’s public relations team arranged the visit and coordinated with the department over the activity schedule.

Ms. Harris said helping fund such visits was part of the department’s marketing strategy.

“Having someone visit the destination and give their firsthand experiences is of great value,” she said, “particularly in a magazine as well established and highly regarded as National Geographic.”