I wish to write on a few issues that I think are pertinent to where we, as a people and a country, find ourselves in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic:
• Help to the needy among us – In this self-audit of which I now write, why not have a ‘re-think’ of how best to address the accepted low level of poverty and marginalisation that does indeed exist within our midst here in my Cayman community. Yes, they must be addressed at a national level.
• Selective clientele – We are in an enviable place that we should ONLY INVITE those high-end cruise ships to call on our shores who can guarantee us that they themselves have a robust and credible coronavirus-testing programme and procedures onboard their sailing ships.
• Quality and not quantity – I strongly believe that we must be, and we can be, selective in which cruise ships we invite to call on our shores. We need to stress and emphasise quality over quantity.
• Doing away with favouritism and tour monopolies – The existing retail, water-sports and on-island tour monopolies MUST be a thing of the past. Going forward, once retailers and tour operators are in good standing with their relevant governmental authorities and are paid-up members of the Chamber of Commerce and their Better Business Bureau, then their businesses must get equal promotion onboard cruise ships.
• ‘Caymanian-isation’ of our visitors’ experience – Let us put a premium on our own local tourist attractions, and market and utilise ALL local attractions. Let us seek to have more Caymanian tour-guide businesses and drivers. Yes, as we reset the clock and realign our priorities, let us too have a mission to ‘re-brand’ our tourism product and its many underlying ancillary services.
• Who are we going to rebuild/reset the country and its assets for? – Moving forward will the Caymanian public and its qualified/experienced professionals be properly utilised and recognised? They will need to be, as we are vital stakeholders in the way forward.
Let us be prepared to move forward with zeal and confidence. Let us win together!