People who get vaccinated are being offered a chance to win US$10,000, as well as 280 other prizes worth a total of US$15,000, as part of an initiative by the Cayman Islands Tourism Association and the charity R3 Cayman Foundation to encourage residents to get their COVID-19 jabs.
CITA announced the prizes at a meeting of its members at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman on Thursday afternoon.
This prize draw is separate from the government’s ‘Vaccination Challenge’ version, which is also offering a wide variety of prizes for people who get their first vaccinations by 9 June.
CITA president Marc Langevin said it was vital that Cayman reaches its target of vaccinating 70% or more of its population, so that the borders can reopen safely to tourists, and the tourism sector had a part to play in that by encouraging its employees to get inoculated as soon as possible.
Langevin said CITA has been asking its members to provide weekly updates on how many of their staff have been vaccinated, and that “right now, as an industry, we are at 75%”. He added that certain sectors within the industry had higher percentages than that, like restaurants, which are showing a 90% vaccination rate.
He told the meeting attendees, “It is your leadership that is creating those numbers. You have been leading by example.”
In a statement, the R3 Cayman Foundation said, “As part of our recovery mandate, we want to help our local tourism industry to recover from the tremendous job losses that have been caused by the pandemic so that those affected can regain employment and thereby provide for themselves and for their families.
“Assisting the jurisdiction to achieve a high vaccination rate by fully utilising the available vaccines resources is one way to achieve this, whilst at the same time protecting our community as far as possible from COVID-19.”
The R3 Cayman Foundation was set up in May last year to manage a private sector-led fund, seeded by a $1 million grant from Dart, to support readiness, relief and recovery efforts in Cayman in the event of a natural or man-made emergency or disaster, including, but not exclusive to, COVID-19.
After the local vaccination rate started to slow down, the Cayman Islands government earlier this month launched a ramped-up drive in a bid to ensure that all the remaining vaccines on island, which are set to expire at the end of June, will be used up by then.
As of Thursday, 27 May, 66% of Cayman’s estimated population of 65,000 had received at least one dose of a vaccine. Premier Wayne Panton has indicated that vaccinating 70% of the population is “doable”.
Check back later on the Cayman Compass for further stories on the CITA meeting.