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Cayman had just 5,000 visitors in the year since COVID struck

Cayman had a total of 5,566 stay-over visitors in the year since the pandemic began - about half of what the island would see in a single week during normal times.

People need to recognise importance of tourism to Cayman

A reader writes: "There are several pillars of the Cayman Islands economy, but the tourism sector is the key financial driver for the average Caymanian".

CITA: Recruit staff now to prepare for border reopening

The local tourism industry should be recruiting staff now to prepare for the possible reopening of the borders later this year, the Cayman Islands Tourism Association advised its members this week.

American Airlines poised for Cayman return, expects Caribbean tourism boom

American Airlines is scheduling more flights to the Caribbean this summer than it did during a record-breaking 2019, and is poised to return to Cayman as soon as feasible once the borders reopen.
Aerial view of Seven Mile Beach

Cayman excluded from UK’s travel ‘green list’

Cayman has been excluded from Britain's new quarantine-free travel 'green list' despite having a vaccination rate of almost double the UK and no community transmission of COVID-19 since last year.

After 13 months closed, Westin resort plans June reopening

The Westin resort on Seven Mile Beach, which has been closed to guests since March, is preparing to reopen for staycations from June.

Government must make plan for tourists’ return

I love the Cayman Islands; I even got married on the island 10 years ago. I want to go back and stay for a...
Seven Mile Beach

Tourism leaders seek clear path to reopening

Tourism business leaders are hoping that vaccination passes for visitors can allow the Cayman Islands to welcome back tourists this summer. Marc Langevin, president of...

Airlines blast Britain’s travel restart plan, Jet2 cancels holidays until June

British travel company Jet2 said it was cancelling holidays until late June, blaming uncertainty in UK government plans for restarting international travel, which were condemned by airlines.

‘Happy Monday’: English lockdown measures ease but Johnson urges caution

England's stay-at-home lockdown order ended on Monday with people allowed to meet up outside in groups of six for the first time in nearly three months, though Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged caution due to rising coronavirus cases in Europe.

British Airways calls for vaccinated people to travel without restrictions

British Airways's new boss said vaccinated people should be allowed to travel without restriction and non-vaccinated people with a negative COVID-19 test, as he set out his ideas for a travel restart a month before the UK government finalises its plans.

CITA bosses meet with government

Cayman Islands Tourism Association President Marc Langevin says he is optimistic that lines of communication between his organisation and the government are opening up.

Gov’t mulls tourism stipend increase

Government is considering increasing its tourism stipend, Finance Minister Roy McTaggart has confirmed. 

Cayman travellers to UK required to isolate

Those travelling from the Cayman Islands to the United Kingdom will now be required to isolate as Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that the UK will be suspending its travel corridor initiative from Monday, 18 Jan.

HSA expands COVID testing in response to new restrictions

Cayman's Health Services Authority has extended its COVID-19 testing clinic hours to accommodate those now facing new travel requirements for international travel. 

Poll: Should visitors be required to show proof of vaccination?

With a possible reopening of the islands to tourists at the end of March, should proof of a COVID-19 vaccination be a requirement for visitors to the Cayman Islands?

‘We are hanging on by the skin of our teeth’

The arrival of a COVID-19 vaccine on Cayman's shores means there is finally light at the end of the tunnel for self-employed Caymanians and business owners impacted by the pandemic. But with bills mounting, many operators fear they may not survive long enough to be there when the tourists return.

Tourism industry welcomes vaccinations, pre-arrival testing

The Cayman Islands Tourism Association is urging all its members, particularly their frontline workers, to be vaccinated as the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is rolled out locally.
Empty deckchairs outside the Westin Hotel, Sunday. The tourism industry is facing massive cancellations.

Tourism industry needs local support

News from abroad has offered us a glimpse of the damage wrought to societies around the world. We may not truly appreciate the full...
Stingray sandbar

Water-sports operators concerned over grant rejections

Struggling water-sports operators say they are being turned down for financial aid as they strive to keep their businesses afloat.

Eagle Rays, Taco Cantina latest casualties of East End economic crisis

East End chef Ron Hargrave is selling two of his three restaurants in the district as the impact of COVID-19 continues to take its toll.
Closed businesses

Government extends tourism stipend until June 2021

Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell announced the extension of the $1,000 monthly stipend for displaced workers in the tourism industry until June 2021.

Marriott GM urges gov’t to rethink border strategy

John Hazard is calling it a day after five years at the helm of the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach resort, doing so with a heavy heart and some frustration fuelled by the continuing closure of Cayman’s borders.
With Cayman's tourism industry in free fall, financial services will be relied up to see Cayman through upcoming lean times

Westin lays off more than 100 staff as tourism crisis continues

The Westin resort has laid off just over half of its staff amid the continued impact of the coronavirus on tourism in the Cayman Islands.

70 apply for Global Citizen scheme

Seventy people have applied to join Cayman's Global Citizen Concierge programme, which would allow them to live and work remotely here for up to two years. As of Wednesday, one application had been approved.

Cuba reopens Havana airport ahead of tourism high season

Havana airport will open to regular commercial flights on Sunday after being closed for seven and a half months due to the coronavirus pandemic
Seven Mile Beach

Tourism industry to discuss COVID impact at AGM this week

At a time of year when the tourism industry is usually gearing up for its busiest season, this year members of the Cayman Islands Tourism Association will be meeting to discuss how they can survive and re-emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Home quarantine allowed on Sister Islands

The Cayman Islands Government has approved residents of the Sister Islands to self-quarantine at their homes on Cayman Brac or Little Cayman, from 7 Nov.

Villa-rental companies propose new bubble concept

Two of Cayman’s largest villa rental companies are in talks with government over a new vacation-bubble concept.

Cayman Villas owner: ‘There is no light at the end of the tunnel’

Cayman Villas, the 50-year-old pioneer of the vacation property rental industry in the Cayman Islands, has become the latest business to suffer the impacts of the coronavirus crisis.

Testing, testing, testing: How Bermuda restarted tourism

Bermuda has seen a slow but steadily increasing trickle of tourists return to the island since opening its borders in July. The island has no quarantine measures for visitors, instead opting for a policy of testing, social distancing and detailed contact tracing. It has worked so far, say political and industry leaders.

Impact of tourism collapse hits home at Cayman’s biggest resort

The Ritz-Carlton resort is not expecting to run at close to full capacity until November 2021 at the earliest, according to general manager Marc Langevin.

Kirkconnell: Soft reopening a first step

The soft reopening of the borders this week is the first step in a cautious, phased approach to bringing back visitors, Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell said.

Caymanian hoteliers advocating for ‘bubble resort’ trial

Two Caymanian hoteliers are continuing talks with government over a pilot project for ‘resort bubbles’ that would allow some tourism to resume on the islands.

Could super yachts be a new niche for Cayman?

Mega yachts can bring big business with relatively low impact, but for Cayman to pursue the industry major and potentially controversial infrastructure upgrades would be needed.

Jobs cut as Dart scales back hotel operations amid COVID impact

The Dart group is scaling back operations at The Ritz-Carlton and Kimpton Seafire resorts in a move that will impact hundreds of jobs.

Tourism stipend registration reopens

Workers who lost their jobs in the tourism sector and who are not already receiving a government stipend can now apply for the $1,000-a-month financial assistance. Applicants have until the end of this month to register.

Premier: Resort bubble plan proving difficult, but not impossible

Discussions around working out a way forward to introduce “resort bubbles” as an avenue to boost Cayman’s tourism is proving “difficult,” Premier Alden McLaughlin has said.

Behind the scenes at a quarantine hotel

The Cayman Compass went behind the scenes at the Ritz-Carlton's isolation wing to find out what protocols are in place for guests in quarantine and to hear how the resort hopes to adapt its safety measures to welcome back visitors.

Ask the experts – The future of tourism

Cayman 2.0 is all about imagining and planning for a better Cayman. Today, we talk with experts in the tourism field to discuss what the future of tourism in the Cayman could (and should) look like.

Tourism industry fighting back against devastating job losses

Over the next month, as part of our ongoing Cayman 2.0 series, we will examine the impacts of the pandemic on tourism and discuss ideas for a new vision for the industry. Here, we look at the employment impact across the sector and plans to retool Caymanians to take front line jobs when the tourists come back.

Editorial: Cayman’s future depends on finding tourism solution

The Cayman Islands has successfully eradicated COVID-19. While that is certainly cause for celebration, the job is still only half done. Rescuing the tourism industry will require the same energy, focus and a degree of calculated risk.

Border reopening still scheduled for October

Premier Alden McLaughlin confirmed Tuesday that Cayman's borders were still on track to reopen in a phased manner from 1 Oct.

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?

Tour bus drivers: “It’s a scary situation”

Cayman's tour bus operators have been among the worst hit by the tourism shut down. With little prospect of cruise ships returning any time soon, they don't know where to turn for help.

Gov’t to pay out more tourism-worker stipends

Jobless tourism workers who missed the deadline to register for stipends from the government can still apply for financial assistance when registration reopens on...

Tourism Minister: ‘We won’t take undue risks’

Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell says the island is not taking any 'undue risks' with its soft reopening of the border in September.

Tourism plan targets route back to half a million visitors

Cayman Islands tourism leaders today unveiled a comprehensive action plan for the recovery of the industry following the devastating impact of the coronavirus crisis.

Green recovery proposed for post-COVID Cayman

Environmental protection and economic growth have typically been viewed as opposite sides of the argument in the debate over Cayman’s long-term future.

Ritz boss: ‘Risks must be taken on road to recovery’

The Cayman Islands may have to take some ‘calculated risks’ to bring tourists back to the destination. That’s the verdict of Marc Langevin, general manager of the islands’ biggest resort, The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman.

New sanitation guidelines for tourism industry published

New sanitation guidelines have been issued for businesses within the tourism industry to ensure the safety of visitors to local shores and guard against the spread of COVID-19.

Tourism Recovery: Caribbean islands begin to welcome back visitors

Around the region, many countries are still facing COVID-19 challenges, including the damage to the economies of the impacted islands. This week, Antigua and Barbuda reopened its borders to international travel, the first in a string of Caribbean countries looking to restart the region’s most significant industry.

More than 1,000 jobless tourism workers register with government

More than 1,000 Caymanian tourism workers have applied to the government for assistance after losing their jobs in the industry, Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell said in a statement Wednesday.

Editorial: Rebuilding our tourism industry

The new realities around travel call for a general shift away from pure volume-based mass tourism, which in Cayman is synonymous with cruise ships, to quality-oriented, high-end tourism.

Cabinet confirms borders closed until at least September

Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell confirmed Thursday that Cayman’s borders will remain officially closed until 1 Sept. as he disclosed that cruise ships will not be allowed to call on local ports until the seaport is reopened.
Downtown George Town is a quiet echo of its former self

Ask the Experts – Reopening the economy

Around 6,000 workers are expected to return to work in one capacity or another as the first phase of reopening Cayman's economy begins. Retailers,...

Call for fellow tourists to help Grand Cayman

To the tourists who regularly visit Grand Cayman on vacation: As the pandemic continues to spread, how about those of us who frequent this beautiful...
Downtown George Town is a quiet echo of its former self

Businesses face grim reality of life without tourists

Business and tourism leaders are preparing for the possibility that Cayman could be closed to visitors until next year.
Ritz Carlton manager Marc Langevin

Ritz-Carlton braces for possibility of lengthy shutdown

Leaders of Cayman’s biggest resort are preparing for the possibility that the island could be closed to tourists for several months.

Message to Cayman during coronavirus

To all the good people of Cayman, Tourism may be in free fall for now. Have faith, you will get through this. As soon as this...

Tourism minister: Lives come first

Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell said the closure of Cayman’s borders to tourists was a difficult but necessary decision to keep the country safe.
Kirk Freeport has shuttered 7 stores

Businesses announce temporary closures

Multiple businesses closed or scaled back operations as the news began to break Monday that the Cayman Islands was closing its borders.
Empty deckchairs outside the Westin Hotel, Sunday. The tourism industry is facing massive cancellations.

Tourism industry in free fall as virus paralyses travel

The Cayman Islands’ tourism industry is facing a virtual shutdown as global travel grinds to a halt amid concerns over the spread of the coronavirus.
Tourism industry impacted as hotels report cancellations

Virus fears starting to impact tourism

Several Cayman Islands hotels are seeing cancellations amid fears that anxiety over the coronavirus is having a chilling effect on global travel.

Kirkconnell continues campaign for port project

Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell continues campaign for the cruise berthing and cargo project as he outlined the new Cayman Islands National Tourism Plan 2019-2023 on Friday.

Delta adds New York-Cayman route

Delta Air Lines is adding a seasonal non-stop flight between New York and Grand Cayman, starting 13 June.

Cayman Brac seeing more cruise ships

Luxury cruise ship the Seabourn Sojourn called into Cayman Brac on New Year’s Day, bringing an influx of passengers to celebrate the holiday.

BA adds extra London-Cayman flights

British Airways is set to increase its Grand Cayman-to-London flights, starting in April.

Mexican Caribbean entangled in seaweed invasion

It’s a hot summer day in Tulum, Mexico. The sun shines down on the white powder sand and tourists fill beach chairs along the...

IN FOCUS: 2019 Cayman Stingray Tourism Awards

The 2019 Cayman Stingray Tourism awards took place Tuesday evening at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, hosted by the Cayman Islands Tourism Association.
Tourists relax on Grand Cayman's Seven Mile Beach

Jessop: Tourism industries must deliver greater benefits to all

Tourism now dominates most Caribbean economies, drawing huge numbers of visitors and wealth into the region. Despite this, many of those who work in or with the sector have yet to benefit fully from its success.

EDITORIAL – Another win for sports tourism

Cayman’s repeated successes in sports tourism makes ‘winners’ of us all, opening up new revenue opportunities for the sector, diversifying entertainment options for our residents and reinforcing the importance of healthy, active lifestyles among our youth.

This week