Culture highlighted at CITE 2009

| 06/05/2009

(CNS): International travel wholesalers, members of the local tourism industry and both international and local media had the opportunity to experience first-hand what they will promote and sell to our potential guests at the Cayman Islands Tourism Exchange (CITE), where they were treated to Cayman culture, Caymanian hospitality, networking functions, presentations and a business forum. A release from the Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA) said the 8th annual CITE, held from 30 April to 2 May at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, offered the perfect opportunity for the Cayman Islands to stand out from other destinations.

The invited travel wholesalers mainly from the US and UK were identified and recommended by local tourism operators, CITA and the CI Department of Tourism. Wholesalers include both traditional and web-based operations which have supported the Cayman Islands in the past or have the ability and interest to do so in the future. The format of the event included a business session with presentations and updates on tourism developments, property tours, pre-scheduled appointments, networking functions and activities for all delegates.

The wholesalers were met by over 20 local tourism operators who provided information on their products and services directly to the wholesalers during the three day event. The local operators’ key objectives at CITE were to reaffirm existing business relationships and to form new ones where possible with this important group in the travel distribution chain. Although the event is geared toward properties, our local suppliers included many of the transportation providers, water sports representatives, and attractions as well. (Above: Penny Cumber-Cayman Villas, Effie Mitchell-Casa Caribe, Robert Bodden-Islands Club, Elizabeth Oliver-The Cayman Club and Lisa Hernandez-Christopher Columbus meet with Susan Crea-Tighe from MLT Vacations)

The festivities began with a Roof-top Welcome Reception hosted by Camana Bay. Delegates were treated to an incredible view of the North Sound, Seven Mile Beach and George Town from atop the fifth floor of the Ernst & Young Building at Camana Bay.

The Opening Ceremony started off Friday morning with opening remarks and presentations by various tourism officials including the Tourism Minister Charles Clifford, Sharon Banfield-Bovell of DoT, and CITA President Steve Broadbelt. Pre-arranged, one-on-one business appointments between the international wholesalers and local operators made up the remainder of the day with the exception of breaking for a luncheon and Destination Weddings presentation at Blue Restaurant sponsored by Celebrations. Friday night the delegates were in for a real Caymanian treat when local culture met tourism at “Culture@Callalloo hosted by the Cayman National Cultural Foundation at the home of Martin & Vivian Bould.

This year a new feature was added on Saturday morning – a team building exercise in a Jeopardy Game Show format – which allowed some great data to be captured from the wholesalers about how they view Cayman as a destination. Afterward the delegates were off on one of many excursions including a day trip to Little Cayman, Islands Tours, Site Inspections, the Batabano Parade, and Watersports activities. The Farewell Party was hosted by DOT at Ristorante Pappagallo.

This year’s CITE events were hosted by CITA and sponsored and supported by American Express Publishing, Camana Bay, Cayman Airways, Celebrations, CUC, Department of Tourism, Martin & Vivian Bould and the Cayman National Cultural Association, The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, Travel Agent Media Group, Tropicana Tours, and Webster’s Tours.

For more information about next year’s Cayman Islands Tourism Exchange, contact the Cayman Islands Tourism Association on phone: 345 949 8522 or email

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Business

About the Author ()

Comments are closed.