Issues

Issues is a new section in the Cayman Compass, where we examine significant topics impacting both the Cayman Islands and the region over several weeks. If you have ideas, or concerns you believe we should be delving into, please contact us.

Which way now for cruise tourism?

Covid-19 has decimated the cruise industry, killed off the controversial pier project and fundamentally shifted the key questions about the future of this sector of our tourism market. What type of industry will emerge from the shadow of the pandemic and does Cayman want to be a part of it?

25 days of negative COVID-19 results

Cayman has marked 25 consecutive days without a positive COVID-19 result, as of Friday, 7 Aug. Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Lee reported that the latest 191 PCR tests were all negative.

US advises to ‘reconsider travel’ to Cayman

Cayman has not had anyone test positive for COVID-19 in 24 days (as of 6 Aug.) and currently has no active coronavirus cases.

Sinkhole appears on South Sound Road

A sinkhole has opened up on South Sound Road, in the vicinity of the Rugby Club grounds.
Commuters were stuck in jams for more than three hours between West Bay and George Town

Traffic gridlock as historic blaze closes highway

Traffic ground to a standstill Monday morning as the landfill fire caused the closure of a large section of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway.

The Great Rush Hour Race

Four commuters, four different modes of transport, two routes, one race. Car vs. bike, kayak vs. bus. To conclude our month-long series investigating causes of, and potential solutions to, the island’s traffic troubles, we wanted to challenge the assumption that the car is still the best way to travel in Cayman. So we put it to the test in a rush-hour race.

Charting a course: Women in modern maritime industries

Times are changing Not satisfied with a background role, women in today’s maritime industry are stepping forward and upward. Their impact - in shore-based and seagoing roles including female seafarers, captains of mega-ships, CEOs of shipping companies, and maritime lawyers, to name but a few - is thankfully becoming increasingly hard to ignore.

How Cayman developed a seafaring identity

To those Caymanians who are dismayed by the possibility of a dying heritage, recognise, without apology, that you are already emotionally attached to your ancestors, and so you do not need to live as they did to safeguard your past – your past has already been lived and thus felt on your behalf.

Cayman maintains shipbuilding tradition with a twist

Off island, Cayman maintains a strong reputation in the shipbuilding business. In particular, Cayman has risen as a recognised and reliable jurisdiction for managing yacht construction, overseeing 43% of new builds in the superyacht business

Year in Review: The summer of sargassum

An occasional menace in summers past, sargassum swamped Cayman’s beaches in such volumes this year, the problem became impossible to ignore.

Under the weed, life abounds

The large floating mats of algae provide shelter for juvenile fish, eels and sea turtles. Flying fish lay their eggs amid this tangled mass. A vast cast of eclectic critters, like the thumbnail-sized sargassum frog fish, live their entire lives within the weed.

For sea turtles and sargassum, the relationship is complicated

At sea, sargassum provides vital shelter for a variety of species. Young turtle hatchlings even hitch rides on these floating mats, as they venture into the open ocean. But when the algae comes ashore in significant quantities, this beneficial relationship is betrayed.
Climate analyst Rueanna Haynes says small islands are fighting for their survival in climate change negotiations.

Small islands can ‘lead by example’ in climate fight

Low-lying islands like Grand Cayman could become uninhabitable within the next century without “transformative change” in the global approach to climate change. That’s the verdict of Rueanna Haynes, a climate analyst and guest speaker at the RF Cayman Economic Outlook conference.
Cayman has built back stronger after Hurricane Ivan but climate change could make us more vulnerable to severe storms.

Hurricanes and climate change: What the science says

One of the primary concerns for Cayman Islands residents when it comes to climate change, is what impact the phenomenon will have on hurricanes.
Tourism planners in Antigua are exploring more eco-friendly, low impact options for visitors.

Caribbean tourism industry contends with climate change

Across the Caribbean region, tourism stakeholders are grappling with the reality of climate change and the threat it poses to the region’s hospitality sector. From Antigua to Dominica, officials are working on plans to protect their islands and their economies.

Calico’s owner: ‘We should have built piers years ago’

Handel Whittaker is one of the most recognisable faces on Seven Mile Beach. After nearly two decades as the proprietor of Calico Jack’s and...

Langevin: ‘Do we want quality or quantity?’

As the manager of the Cayman Islands’ most luxurious resort, Marc Langevin has a vested interest in the future of the island’s tourism product. Amid an ongoing debate about tourism growth, the general manager of The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman is keen to see the island retain its reputation as a safe, high-quality destination.
Tourists on Seven Mile Beach

How much tourism is too much for a small island?

Cayman's tourism industry is thriving. But amid the debate over if and how to develop the island's port facilities, some are wondering, if the growth in visitors is sustainable and what the impact of rising visitation might mean for the island over the coming decades.
The George Town landfill, also known as Mount Trashmore

Half a century of Mount Trashmore

What started as an informal dump site in the 1960s has now become a protagonist in day-to-day life in Cayman. The Compass compiled a short history of waste management in Grand Cayman to explain how the island got to this point.

Post-Dorian Bahamas reexamines climate-resilient tourism

Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis describes Hurricane Dorian as a watershed moment for the Commonwealth nation. There is The Bahamas that existed before September 2019, and the nation now, fully aware of its vulnerability to climate change as a developing island state.

Kirkconnell: Caribbean tourism ‘stronger together’

During the Caribbean Travel Marketplace in Nassau, Bahamas, the Cayman Compass caught up with Minister of Tourism Moses Kirkconnell to discuss climate-resilient tourism in the Caribbean region, cruise tourism and the benefits of regional collaboration.

This week