Marc Langevin, Ritz-Carlton general manager, has been named the new president of the Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA).

In a brief statement Friday evening, the local tourism body announced the new executive committee following the election of its board of directors at its annual general meeting last week.

Langevin, who has been vocal on the need for Cayman to reopen borders to allow the tourism industry to get back on its feet, said the new executive will work with government on welcoming back visitors.

“The new board have many priorities ahead of us and we are eager to assist the government with a safe reopening strategy for visitors to return,” he said in the CITA statement.

At the AGM last week, Langevin and other CITA members urged the government to implement pre-arrival COVID-19 tests for incoming travellers, as they said those tests are being used in competing destination markets in the region, such as Bermuda, Barbados, US Virgin Islands, and Aruba, among others.

“There is a consensus in the region that there is one good process – to do a test before people travel, so at least before they travel, you know if they have COVID or not. Pretty much all these destinations have adopted that,” he said in his presentation at that meeting.

Theresa Leacock-Broderick, past president of CITA, said the recent AGM was successful given the attendance and the discussions that were had.

“The number of members attending this year’s general meeting indicates the industry’s solidarity on the issues impacting their businesses and livelihoods of their employees,” she said.

The Tourism Forum part of the meeting, Leacock-Broderick continued, “was a very candid and constructive exchange between the CITA members and Cayman Islands government senior leaders.  The deputy premier, minister for tourism and the minister for commerce openly addressed our members’ questions on the government’s dealings with the COVID-19 global pandemic. They also listened and gained greater perspective. The forum was invaluable and is representative of CITA’s advocacy role.”

It was at that forum Kirkconnell told representatives of the tourism industry that Cayman could have access to COVID-19 vaccines next month, which may enable the islands to reopen borders early next year.

He said, based on comments made by UK Health Minister Matt Hancock on the development of a vaccine, that it appeared “we are to get our vaccine in December,” and Cayman “should be opening” in the first quarter of next year.

The new CITA executive council includes: President Marc Langevin (Hotel), Vice President Michael Tibbetts (Hotel), Secretary Natalie Porter (Land Based Attractions), and Treasurer – Markus Mueri (Restaurants/Nightclubs.)

CITA team

Allied:

Josh Pawlik (Jacques Scott)

Walker Romanica (Cayman Spirits Company)

Hotel:

Marc Langevin (The Ritz Carlton) (2-year term)

Michael Tibbetts (Cayman Brac / Little Cayman Beach Resorts)

Transport:

Gary Todd (Budget Grand Cayman) (2-year term)

Restaurant:

Ron Hargrave (Tukka)

Markus Mueri (Deckers) (2-year term)

Condominium / Villa:

Juliet Cumber-Forget (Cayman Villas) (2-year term)

Margret Mendes (South Bay Beach Club)

Watersports:

Ash McKnight (GoPro Cayman)

Tony Land (Divetech)

Land Based Attractions:

Natalie Porter (Cayman Turtle Centre)

Sister Islands:

Mick Maher (Sister Islands Tourism Association)

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