November 28, 2023

The Editor speaks: A four year tourism plan to …….?

Colin Wilson

It was with some excitement when I downloaded the “Cayman Islands NTP – National Tourism Plan 2019-2023.

I was going to learn how and when our government was going to get us all back on track to the recovery of our tourism product.

I am mistaken.

The document was written well before COVID-19 hit our shores and the great lockdown to our borders began.

It hasn’t even been updated.

The Hon. Deputy Premier and Minister for Tourism, Mr. Moses Kirkconnell, admitted this in the press release we received with the NTP:

“The NTP was adopted in February of this year, just prior to the onset of pandemic response in the Cayman Islands which effectively ceased tourism operations in March. However, both the RB5 and the NTP were designed with the same principal goal: to lead tourism effectively, safely, responsibly, and sustainably, now and into the future.”

With so much that has changed since the NTP was written I can only wonder at what everybody was doing at the Department of Tourism during all the months they were employed? Surely, not all of them were ex-pats who have been returned to their homes?

“The RB5, developed through extensive collaboration with private sector stakeholders, government partners and in-depth market research, identifies four priority areas that will guide the tourism sector to its return as a major pillar of the Cayman Islands economy. This tourism recovery strategy addresses methods to stabilise businesses; create new opportunities for displaced tourism employees; and creates a plan for the next two to three years, focusing on four priorities:

“Reinvent for Readiness: identify current stakeholder challenges and develop the best methodologies to reactivate the tourism sector in an effective and efficient return to be a top pillar of the economy.

“Stimulate the Domestic Economy: identify strategies to positively impact the country through domestic tourism as the Cayman Islands transitions through the phases of the COVID-19 crisis to recovery.

“Regain Global Market Confidence and Market Share: extensive global marketing and promotions of the best practices and methodologies put in place to ensure the Cayman Islands tourism products and services are operating with the highest safety and sanitation standards for accommodations, events, dive, tours and attractions, transportation, and culinary experiences.

“Bolster Future Tourism Sector Employment: this adaptation strategy will develop new definitions of roles within the industry, including the necessary retraining of tourism professionals to adapt to a new way of operating in the tourism market.”

However, when you wade through all the nearly fifty pages of the NTP there is nothing in it explain how we are going “to positively impact the country through domestic tourism as the Cayman Islands transitions through the phases of the COVID-19 crisis to recovery.

Yes, we have an outdated four year tourism plan that needs much change because the whole world has changed since this NTP was written.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Speak Your Mind