October 20, 2020

Scott to leave Cayman tourism’s top job


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Caymen_Tourism_Shomari_Scott-250x298In a shock announcement on Friday (15) Cayman Islands Director of Tourism Shomari Scott said he will be leaving his post at the end of this year.

Scott has been with the tourism department since 2002 after first becoming its first intern in 1996. He left to complete his studies at Stetson University and on returning to Cayman he found there was no job waiting for him in tourism.

He waited three months and then, despite his newly acquired qualifications, found a job in the department at the bottom of the ladder. He rose quickly through the ranks from events coordinator through to director. He took over the helm as acting director in 2009 during one of the worst economic periods when stay-over tourism arrivals were down by 10 percent.

He implemented Internet and social media along with other initiatives that has seen more than a 23% increase.

Scott will officially leave Dec. 31. He will be remaining with the department during that time to facilitate the transition, leaving Rosa Harris and Oneisha Richards joint acting directors.

“There is never perfect timing to move on, however the team at the CIDOT has been built to be strategic, innovative and result driven, and I am therefore confident that they will take the Department to even greater heights,” Scott said in a release. “After more than a decade in government service within the tourism industry, and with the accomplishments the team has helped to achieve, it is time for me to further my professional career by pursuing another opportunity that gets me just as excited as tourism, and also stays in line with working for good of the country.”

It’s not yet clear what Scott will be doing next; a release stated that his new endeavour in the private sector would “be announced shortly.”

“Mr Scott’s departure will be a huge loss to the tourism industry and to the government service. However I am pleased that he is staying within the Cayman Islands and will continue to focus his efforts towards the ultimate goal of increasing the economic benefits for the people of the Cayman Islands,” said Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell. “He has my full support and I wish him all the best in this new chapter of his life. The Ministry and I also have full confidence in the senior leadership team that has been established at the CIDOT and anticipate as seamless a transition as can be expected.”

Stran Bodden, Chief Officer for the ministry, said it had been an absolute pleasure to work with Scott.

This year Scott won the Young Caymanian Leadership Award. Upon winning the award he saluted his fellow finalists, saying, “This is not a competition, but a celebration.”

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