May 17, 2021

CITA hosts Cayman Islands Immigration officials on a site tour of Seven Mile Beach hotels

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Spearheaded by the Cayman Islands Tourism Association’s (CITA) Human Resources Advisory Committee, a series of momentous meetings took place between Cayman’s private sector and Government starting back in October 2017.  During an initial meeting, important information and perspectives were shared in a crucial dialogue between CITA member human resource professionals and the Department of Immigration senior officials. This resulted in a collaboration that allowed for Immigration administrative personnel to have first-hand exposure to the frontline of tourism through site tours in four prominent resorts on Seven Mile Beach. These tours took place near the end of February 2018.

The Cayman Islands Tourism Association’s Board of Directors hopes this will lead to a better understanding of the multifaceted Human Resources required by large hotels and some of the auxiliary services such as guest relations, watersports, restaurants and transport. Industry representatives from the Hotel/Condo/Villa, Watersports and Restaurant sectors engaged with a large group from the Immigration Department during the tour of four of CITA’s Accommodation Member businesses – The Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort, The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman, The Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort & Spa and The Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa. It was a success on all accounts.

Janette Goodman, Director of Human Resources at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, is a longstanding member of the committee and has been looking forward to this meeting since she first realized that more open communication was needed to ensure the best position for the industry she loves and has been working in for thirty years.  Ms. Goodman shared her appreciation for all involved and was happy to assist in making it happen.

“It began with Majestic Tours’ donation of a bus and driver, then each hotel gave the tour and access for the officers to have the opportunity to speak directly with our employees and learn more. Each hotel offered food and drink, and a glimpse into our daily lives.  It was made possible with the determination of the CITA HR Advisory committee, CITA leadership and members, and supported by government.”

Acting Director of Boards and Work Permits, Beth McField, was very pleased to have her team partake in the tour and felt it was beneficial to all involved stating, “This was a very intuitive, brave and historic initiative, especially during high season. We were glad to be a part of it. The main take away was that this is a partnership. While ensuring that Caymanians are provided with equal opportunities, the staff now realize that organizational fit and a natural propensity towards hospitality is equally important.”

CITA President Theresa Leacock-Broderick expressed, “This is a monumental step forward in our industry’s relationship-building, training and collaboration with Government.  This on-site exchange was also a step towards Caymanians gaining a better understanding of the hospitality industry’s human resource criteria. We hope that new found perspectives will also be shared with siblings, children and extended family and friends. Ultimately, every positive influence leads to more young Caymanians considering jobs in tourism. CITA will continue to do its part to this end and we look forward to creating more collaborative opportunities amongst our members and Government and the community at large.”

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