September 20, 2020

Tourism and the blame game

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With cruise ship arrivals down for July (in a decade) and hotel occupancy rates not improving over last year’s dismal figures, the Cayman Island Government is celebrating the improvements in stay over tourism and air arrivals. Any crumbs that fall from the table to a waiting dog are indeed lapped up with a smile. The air figures are a little suspect as to whether these arrivals are actually tourists and not permanent residents, as the hotel occupancy rates do not match the 7.5% increase. Dept. of Tourism is suggesting the extra visitors ‘are staying with friends and family.’ Our own investigations (see Ivy Lichtenstein-Sahadeo’s article on P.12) actually paint a better picture with the occupancy figures of the hotels we contacted.

Our ‘friendly’ bloggers put the whole blame squarely on the shoulders of the Government and in particular our premier, Hon. McKeeva Bush. There is no mention of the downturn in the World economy, especially the USA where the bulk of the cruise ship passengers and stay over visitors come from. The cruise ships are almost ‘giving’ their cruises away and their passengers have little money to spend and prefer to stay on board where their food is included in the price of the ticket.

We have no cruise ship terminal and no word even when a start is going to be made to implement one. We are almost the only Caribbean destination with no such facility, and more cruise ships are not calling in here now for that very reason.

We cannot boast anymore that we have very little felony and we are almost gun crime free.

We have plenty of talk and precious little action. We can point the blame but not provide the solution.

Government can put forward plans to improve our tourist attractions but we howl our protests when it means change, even when it only indirectly affects us.

When we stagnate, and the tourists we do have leave, whom do we blame? Ourselves? Certainly not! We can organise and join protest marches against any proposed development including signing petitions furiously. “Not in my backdoor” even if the backdoor is 25 miles away. Do we ever stop and consider that tourism is our lifeblood?

No tourists and we may not even have the crumbs left upon the table to fall and we are the scowling, waiting dogs. But its not our fault. Blame someone else.

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