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A New Caribbean Tourism to be born in the Cayman Islands?

View from Ritz Calron

The Caribbean Tourism Organization and IATA are at the Ritz Carlton Caymean Islands: Regional airline connectivity is the key.

The Cayman Island Ministry of Tourism and Transport is hosting the first Caribbean Business Meeting and IATA Caribbean Aviation Day.

The all-week event is at the 5-star Ritz Carlton Hotel in Cayman, where delegates will find the best beds in the hospitality industry and experience fantastic services from a global team of staff members.

Monday, tourism ministers and heads of tourism boards from 16 countries attended an all-day media briefing to update the press about their new beginning after COVID-19, impressive numbers, new directions, new developments, and more.

With COVID restrictions now lifted across the Caribic, 2019 arrival numbers are not far, and on some islands already reached.

The mood of the delegates was positive and ready to continue in a unified way.

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The Hon Min Kenneth Byan, minister of tourism from the Cayman Islands, welcomed journalists and delegates to his island. He recognized that many delegates from other Caribbean countries had to fly to Miami first to connect.

Intra Caribbean connectivity has been a problem in the Caribbean for twenty and more years.

eTurboNews received heads-up to discuss this issue from all destinations attending the press conference.

It appears ministers are ready to engage in a serious discussion to change connectivity and walk away from this CTO conference with a workable plan.

Among those agreed are:

  • Cayman Islands – Hon. Kenneth Bryan, Minister of Tourism
  • Anguilla – Hon. Haydn Hughes, Minister of Tourism
  • St Kitts – Ellison Thompson, CEO, St Kitts Tourism Authority
  • Barbados – Sen. the Hon. Lisa Cummins, Minister of Tourism
  • The Bahamas – Latia Duncombe, Director General (ag) Tourism
  • Dominica – Colin Piper, CEO, Discover Dominica Authority
  • Turks & Caicos Islands – Mary Lightbourne – Director of Tourism (Ag)
  • Grenada  Petra Roach, CEO, Grenada Tourism Authority
  • Tobago – Korice AQ Nancis is the Advisor to the Secretary of Tourism, Culture, Antiquities & Transportation, Tobago House of Assembly.
  • Antigua & Barbuda – Colin James, CEO, Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority
  • Nevis – Devon Liburd, CEO, Nevis Tourism Authority
  • Belize – Hon. Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism
  • St Lucia – Hon. Ernest Hilaire, Minister of Tourism
  • British Virgin Islands – Clive McCoy, Director of Tourism
  • Jamaica: Hon. Edmund Bartlett (by phone)

With Barbados and Jamaica having recently announced air connections to the Gulf Region and Africa in addition to nonstop flights from Europe and, of course, the U.S, Canada, and new one-stop flights from Barbados via Panama to Latin America, the success would certainly be enhanced if visitors could experience numerous Caribbean islands. For this, interisland connections need to be established.

Discussions are set for Tuesday, followed by the IATA Regional conference on Wednesday.

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About the author

Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.

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