CG to take on tourism

| 22/01/2010

(CNS): Government backbencher and West Bay MLA, Cline Glidden, will be heading up a new commission dedicated to tourism, the premier has announced. Although the new Constitution does not provide for junior ministers or undersecretaries of state to government ministers, McKeeva Bush has placed Glidden at the head of a new Tourism Commission which he says will steer the industry towards a new future. Under the premier’s ministry, Bush said Glidden will work on a plan to turn around the tourism product.

During his address to the business community at the Cayman Business Outlook conference on Thursday morning, Bush explained his plans for tourism, which is one of his areas of responsibility. The plans included the creation of two new bodies. “The first is a Tourism Commission, which is going to work on a day to day basis on my behalf. The Tourism Commission will be led by Mr Cline Glidden MLA, and he will be joined by two others from the private sector. Together, they will advise and report to me as the minister for tourism. In addition, I will reactivate the Tourism Advisory Council which the Tourism Law calls for. This will be made up of a chairman, eight private sector partners and the acting director of tourism. The bottom line is that we have to proceed expeditiously and with precision to get our business back on track,” the premier explained.

Bush told the audience that he is often accused of moving too fast, but when people were losing jobs and businesses losing money there was an urgent need to develop strategies to get this second pillar of Cayman’s economy back on track. As a result of the pressing need to address problems in the financial sector and the government’s own finances when he first took office, Bush said that addressing the problems in the tourism industry did not receive the immediate attention they needed, but now it was time to tackle the issue. He said Glidden would be spearheading a new plan based on a draft report that reflects combining tradition with Cayman’s cosmopolitan society.

Bush added that tourism faced unprecedented challenges, and when the UDP came to came to office things were even worse than had been suspected, as passengers arriving in Cayman that were passing through to Cuba were being counted as stayover guests. He said the industry was in decline, with rising unemployment and the public sector elements of the sector fragmented with major gaps in leadership and marketing. Things were being developed in isolation with no synchronicity, the premier lamented, and added that there was a need to align financial services and the real estate industry with tourism and to understand what brand Cayman stands for.

He also said Cayman Airways was going through a restructuring process and spoke about the possibility of merging the airline with the Department of Tourism. He promised to develop the long debated runway extension and confirmed that, while there was scope to move the airport, the cost was prohibitive therefore the plan was to continue with the redevelopment of Owen Roberts International.

Bush announced that the Sister Islands would also feature heavily in the way forward and said there would be dedicated promotions to encourage visitors to Cayman Brac and Little Cayman this summer. He also spoke about developing a two-centre tourism product with Cuba.

The premier asked the business community to help boost the tourism industry’s fortunes. “I encourage all of you in this room to invite your friends and family overseas to come to the Cayman Islands this year and, of course, to use Cayman Airways wherever possible,” Bush said. “I want to see the tourism industry and the business community work more closely together to get persons here on business to stay an extra day or bring a friend or relative with them while they conduct their business meetings.”

Bush also noted the importance of specific eventssuch as Jazz Fest, which he said was an excellent event and there was a need to maintain the high-calibre of stars to attract the visitors. He also praised the culinary events, such as Taste of Cayman and the Cayman Cook-off, but noted they should not really be happening in the same week.

Focusing on the development side, he said there were opportunities for the development of new luxury 5-star brand hotels, which he was encouraging. “There are people that believe it is not right to build additional hotels because we are a small island. But to me it makes common sense to do so because they pull their own clientele—and this benefit can be especially important when there is a recession, thus continuing to protect jobs for Caymanians,” he added. By way of example, speaking from the Ritz Carlton-Grand Cayman, where the CBO was being held, Bush declared that particular hotel had helped to keep the whole industry going during the last year. He then told the audience that the applause “should have been louder than that!” in reaction to their response.

Category: Headline News

Comments (57)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    To 17:55 thanks for your feedback and for blasting me for being ignorant yet you’re the ignorant person as you don’t know who I am. First things I was only suggesting that travelling overseas will encourage our young Caymanians to  become more open minded like our forefathers. My father travelled the world as a Caymanian merchant marine and instilled in me to do likewise and to appreciate others and not prejudice. I asked that we all try to contribute positive to the future of Cayman and respect each other regardless of our race, religion, nationality or beliefs.

    I strongly hope that Mac will include Mr. K and Bo Miller on the commission to help steer Cayman Tourism product forward. We can have 5 star resorts yet if we don’t have friendly faces, a cultural image and good service then we won’t be attracting too many tourist that will be returning annually. Crime needs to be put under control and start taking better care of our natural environment and start preserving our Caymanian culture.

     

  2. Anonymous says:

    To:      by look ya (not verified) on Sat, 01/23/2010 – 23:53.

    Shame, shame, shame  on you, have you checked yourself lately and the rest of the districts and you’re very sick in the head for  making such comments. Go get a check up!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Kirkconnell needed on Tourism Commission

    As a UDP supporter I can only hope that Mr. Bush gives CG the resources and support he will need for the new Tourism Commission to be successful. I’ve been in the Tourism industry for decades and know for a fact that the only way real change happens is when you have leadership from people who understand our tourism market and they have our industry support behind them.
    This is a simple decision from our perspective; Mr. Bush needs to get Moses Kirkconnell, 1st Elected MLA from the Sister Islands to work with CG! On behalf of our economic future, I urge all my fellow CITA and SITA members to voice your support for Moses.
    Not only is his college degree in Business, he has business experience in the tourism market and the endorsement of his peers as seen by his three terms as the President of the Sister Islands Tourism Association.   He has made the ultimate commitment to building the tourism industry – he has invested and risked his own money as an entrepreneur. He uniquely brings both a stakeholder and public servant commitment to the urgency of the current situation.
    The people of the Sister Islands elected Kirkconnell as their 1st Elected MLA because they know he not only cares about doing what’s right for the Islands — he has the business acumen and passion to make things happen.
    McKeeva has always acknowledged Moses’ skills as evidenced by him placing Moses as the Deputy Chairman of CAL in Mac’s last government.
    We urge you Mr. Bush, please take the high ground and show that our party selects the best person for the job regardless of party affiliation. We need you to put the good of our country first and convince Mr. Kirkconnell to join Mr. Glidden on the Tourism Commission.
     
    • Anonymous says:

      You are 100%  correct, regretfully the deputy premier will block that.

      Mr Kirkconnell is a man of vision who encouraged another hotel to open in Cayman Brac. Even though it must be compition to his own hotel. He had CAL ready to operate direct flights from Cayman Brac to Florida (now forgotten by the UDP). He was able to get UCCI to open a campusin Cayman Brac. The list goes on and on.

      Since May? Almost nothing! With the deputy premier being from Cayman Brac you would think that there would be more happening than road side cleaning and some road paving.

      If we are really going to ask Mr Bush to do some thing let’s ask him for a coalition government with Mr K as Deputy Premier with special responsibility for tourism. After all its obvious that the rest of the UDP and PPM are clueless. Mac and Moses would make a great team to carry Cayman forward

  4. Anonymous says:

    Ultimately, the Cayman Islands Government (any Government at the given time) needs to decide if we will continue to market these islands only to the wealthy and not to the ‘bread & butter’ tourists – as stated by Jim Bodden in the 1970’s. This policy actually pre-dates Big Jim to our first Exco Minister for Tourism, Warren Conolly who was quoted in the NY Times around ’69-70 as saying that "Cayman is not for everyone", meaning that we were intentionally targeting the wealthy. And that was good, as over the years the wealthy tourists have appreciated that so they didn’t rub shoulders with ‘Joe Average and Family from mid-America’ or rowdy spring-breakers. It has served us well but times change and we need to decide if we are ready to change with the times or keep the same 40 year-old formula.

    Look at some of the intentional and unintentional results or by-broducts of this long-standing policy:

    * A consistently dubious marketing policy (does anyone see the TV network ads that our generous tourism budgets pay for year after year? (stay up ’til 3am and surf some obscure channels and you might see a Cayman Islands ad every few months).

    * Over-inflated and non-competitive air fares;

    * Over-inflated local pricing, hotels, restaurants, liquor stores, etc. These claim to be priced as they are because of ever increasing Government fees but they never absorb any such increases (as minute as some may be) because they know they are catering to a wealthy bracket of tourist and feel they can justify ‘socking-it’ to the visitor. Now, many a wealthy tourist are good with that (if you choose the Cayman Islands you have no choice)but the wealthy didn’t get that way by being foolish with their money so even them likea deal and don’t appreciate being gouged. I recall witnessing a family checking out of the Villas of a currently non-existent resort. When they checked their bill, their accommodation costs were $14,000 for the week and they had no problem with that. But when they checked their incidentals, they had been charged $84 for a dozen bagels, $20 for a gallon of milk, $20 for a dozen eggs when the resort stocked their villa with groceries. They were livid, and rightfully so.

    * Actively discouraged all-inclusive resorts, totaly converse to the policies of most of our competitors.

    Look at the example of Boatswain’s Beach: an attractive, innovative attraction which was well needed but senior powers at the time (most likely higher than management) saw fit to open the attraction charging a US$75 entry fee! That was higher than an Orlando theme park at the time. They failed to realize that the main market they were targeting was the same tourist who had paid $55-60 (then) for an all-day Disney or Universal experience; most of the Boatswain’s Beach market had only a few hours on land. With every other new service, one usually starts with bargain prices to attract your market and gradually work pricing upwards. Why in the world did BB do the opposite? Partly becasue of the ‘rich tourist mentality’ and partly because the ones who made the decision thought they were the marketing and financial experts and thought this approach would pay off the loans as quickly as possible. Needless to say they were totally wrong – the results today are evident.    

    We are only competitive in our rental car rates (taxi rates are not bad if you get an honest driver who doesn’t rip you off because of the lack of meters – but that’s another story).

    Anyway, difference is what sells; we were sold as being different, and we were. But the world has changed and so has Cayman but the real question is now: do we continue with our old policy which was appropriate to the times or do we change to match the rest of the world and in particular, the Caribbean? Or do we retain our exclusivity but change the direction thereof? Deep water channels in the North Sound, floating bars in Nature Interaction Zones, etc., etc., – hmmm, we might be on to something!

    Without changes to be in step with the times, we will be the ‘last resort’ – pun firmly intended – when visitors make their choice. 

     

    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

      Excellent post 19:48……..now figure out how to get that message to the Minister for Tourism ?????? 

  5. Anonymous says:

    So much rhetoric is given to the premise that Europeans are lined-up waiting to come to Cayman and all is needed is a longer runway to attract such flights. The Department of Tourism has never engaged in any meaningful marketing on the Continent so how do we know Europeans want to come – not necessarily saying that they won’t – but where is the proof?  

    Kevin Costner’s movie ‘Field of Dreams’ was pure fiction. The ‘if we build it they will come’ mentality is sure to work in a fictious setting but where is the guarantee in the real (and no doubt costly) world of runway expansion? Without larger Terminal facilities an extended runway is pointless and doing this would be putting the cart before the horse(s) – establishing a European market and expanding the Terminal.

    Proponents of runway extension, please get real and do some proper research and evaluations before you shout out for more pavement. Runway extension is appropriate only after the other factors have been addressed. Currently, Continental Europeans can fly here via London, without much additional cost and hassle. That being the case, where are they?

     

  6. aurevoir says:

    In other words, government has no solutions…  Shuffling personnel is one method by which government has often employed to give the appearance that something is being done. 

  7. Anonymous says:

    It will be interesting to see how big the separate paycheck will be for running this "Commission". Obviously an MLA’s fat paycheck plus all of the other perks is simply not enough.  

  8. Afraid to Strap on a Pair Also says:

    Great- one more hand in the till.  As someone in the tourism industry, let me break it down for you.  We pay 10% hotel tax to the Cayman Islands Dept. of Tourism every month on our earnings.  We pay an additional 10% in property management fees. Some of us idiots who don’t have the cajones to challenge the books pay close to $16,000 per year in strata fees on one bedroom accommodations. CUC’s monopoly has us in a stranglehold.  It’s massively expensive to fly here.  It’s massively expensive to live here.  When cost goes up we can’t simply pass it on to the consumer- it’s a buyer’s market.  While ‘The Great One’ is on his 2nd Annual World Tour who is going to pay the salary of his newest BFF?

  9. look ya says:

    cant belive our country is being governed by westbayers the craziest part of this island,t england please come take this little island over please save us.

  10. Anonymous says:

    To Anonymous Friday 15:37 – I would suggest that if you have nothing objective to offer in commentary on a public forum, that you keep your obvious xenophobic attitude to your own personal space or amongst your buddies of kind. There’s too much of that already on both sides. You are the same kind who are more that willing and ready to display your anti-Caymanian sentiments, excusing them by claiming to have the same displayed to you (or maybe not even!). That must make for a miserable experience in whatever community of the world you choose to habitate. But yet you ‘endure’ and stay?? I would say that smacks more of greed than that you accuse of Caymanians.

    Perhaps, you should offer some improvement recommendations to the  publishers of the ‘Skies’ magazine (who happen to be some of those you claim to be ‘greedy’ – nevermind, like its predecessor ‘Horizon’ the magazine is prepared overseas, for yes, more favourable commercial conditions) as you review a copy on your way out on a one way ticket. You seem to have no problem sowing seeds of discontent by your spew, so you would be one less xenophobe ‘cluttering up the infrastucture’.  

     

  11. Anonymous says:

    Golf-tourism, extending the runway (which by the way has already been addressed and discounted as unnecessary in airport development studies – why, because aircraft technology had advanced greatly while we chew the fat and long haul non-stop flights are easily possible with the 7000+ feet we have), etc, etc are all reasonable considerations. But why has no one recognized the very lucrative accessibility travel market (that’s the wheelchair-bound travelers to the politically incorrect)? However, our resorts, restaurants, attractions and planning laws have ignored these travelers for decades by providing no facilities. I’m not talking about a ramp here, an assist bar or marked parking space there. I mean properly designed rooms and facilities. Apart from a miniscule amount of visitors in this category, because there are no such facilities, such travel to Cayman is limited to the odd one-day cruise visitor.

    We are so far out of the loop in our tourism service provision it is pitiful. We have been so shortsighted and ‘tunnel-visioned’ over the years focusing on the same ‘cash-cow’ services year after year. Because the same old approach has (until now) been lucrative we have failed to expand our possibilities and throw our nets wider. While we have ignored and wasted such opportunities, many of the attributes we possessed which would attract visitors of any category are fast eroding and soon no one will want to come anyway.

    I was in Bermuda recently and, contrary to a poster’s assertion, their 8 golf courses are by and large empty, so are their hotels and restaurants. This is in fact their slow season, so despite that poster’s belief, they are not busy ALL year round.

    • 2 Wrist says:

      Well in about 10 months Cayman will have ZERO 18 hole golf courses.  NONE.  And for you non-golfers out there, people don’t come on holiday to play a 9 hole course.

      Extending the runway is a no-brainer.  Europeans come here in Summer proportionately more than Americans so it would help the low season. 

       

  12. Chacha says:

    Sadly political power attracts those who should be denied it.

  13. Anonymous says:

    The Cayman Islands prides itself as an upscale tourist destination and I truly want Minister Glidden to save the golf course for the benefit of the tourist product.

    Do some research check the condo owners who come here for the winter every year toenjoy the sun and play golf. If the course is closed to people outside the Ritz it will hurt this segment of the stayover market in the country.

    It totally baffles me that the government does not understand this component in the successful marketing of an upscale tourist product.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Listen now Mac has his problems and yes his ego is bigger than the Caribbean Sea. Yet if he’s trying to do something positive then try to encourage him we spend so much time thinking negative. I’m a Caymanian who worked over 18 years in Tourism and have  degree from a European Hotel School yet this doesn’t make me an expert now.

    My suggestion to Mac for the commission and CG to please make Mike Adam, Rod Macdowall and Bo Miller Advisors. 1-Redevelopment of the Airport with runway expansion. 2-Promote cultural tourism and encourage Caymanians to open B & B’s and other 3 star low budget accomodations. 3- Make Cayman Airways a low cost carrier similar to Southwest. 4- Get more Eco-Tourism and other Green rated Hotels.

    I kindly asked that we stop beating down each other and that goes for Caymanians who tend to enjoy slamming each other ignorantly. We need to become more open minded and go travel overseas not Miami or Tampa and appreciate the various cultures that we have here.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with your comments except for the last paragraph. You are completely ignorant of the fact that many Caymanians are well travelled people and have a strong history in doing so, from the seamen to many other seemingly unimportant souls. Shopping trips to Miami or Tampa are convenient but travelling as tourists is a totally different matter. Go and talk to a few Caymanians and you will be surprised to know how broad their knowledge of the world is, how many go far afield to ski in the winter, how many have second homes in Europe or the many who just save to travel. Please do not mispeak of what you have no knowledge of.

  15. Joe Bananas says:

      So the tourism ministry has not really done anything but pick up their checks since Pilar Bush quit because no one would listen to her. Don’t you think maybe Its time to  try something new like get some one who actually has experience in the tourism business?

  16. Anonymous says:

    It seems that because we Caymanians was so "fool fool" to elect the UDP, they now feel that we "fool fool" about everything! Everybody & their cousin knows that Cline Glidden Jr has been Mr. Bush’s right hand cronie from way back when! Everybody & their cousin knows that C. Glidden Jr & Mr. Bush are close friends & colleagues. Does this new appointment smack of friendship?

    We have witnessed a unprecidented amount of travel by the premier since the elections 7 months ago! My fear with this appointment for Mr. Glidden is that we will now see even more travel by Mr. Bush & Mr.Glidden now that they are involved in the same portfolio. I have often suspected that most of the world travels by the premier in the last 7 months have been unnecessary & is mostly vacation time rather than all business! Unfortunately I fear that it is going to get worse, with Mr. Bush & his good friend Mr. Glidden travelling the globe to "promote Cayman’s tourism"! That sweet vacation of Bush & Glidden’s to India recently was only the beginning! The taste of a vacation paid for by the people of Cayman was so sweet it was hard to pass up the opportunity to take a few more! We so "fool fool" we deserve what we get! 

  17. Anonymous says:

    – lower airfares!!!

    – local entertainment at night instead of just sitting at a bars/clubs

    – align cultural events to US holiday weeks (jazz fests etc)

    -solve the crime issue that is overtaking the island

    – more sporting events published for tourists

    – hotel/air deals during peak seasons to entice us  🙂

    – offer some sort of trolley service up and down 7mile beach so we do not clog up the traffic with our rental cars just to drive a few minutes up the road

    – larger signs at the round-a-bouts for directions

    (these are in no particular order)

    • anonymous says:

      If we were talking urban planning, a safe and dedicated bicycle path would vastly improve the appeal of Cayman longterm.  Not only is it a healthy way to get around, it’s one of the best ways for families to explore, shop, and commute.  Cycling here is scary business.  It’s just a matter of time before one of those cruise ship cyclists gets clipped by one of our many disengaged drivers.   

       

       

      • Almost says:

        A decent sidewalk along South Church Street all the way down to the end would save lives too.

  18. Let seriously look at a new tourism model. Organic – Agrotourism or Agricultural Tourism. It can potentially transform any Caymanian home garden or farmstead into a viable small business that is proven to be a profitable model. Farm tourism is the one that will mesh all of the other together. It caters to a wider "middle class" clientele from the US and Europe. Eating locally grown – authentically prepared (homestyle) cooking – even at the level of a micro scale farming enterprise is the only "true" form os sustainable tourism that would offset carbon footprints, and yield the most net benefit to the grassroots – farmers that are the very backbone of the Cayman Islands and its currently dwindling choices for sustainable tourism enterprises.

    p.s lots of agricultural and environmental linkages will develop – giving our youth an increasing myriad of opportunities for employment and sustainable livelyhoods. Lets not wait until its too late. Procrastination is the thief of time and trust me – that is our most valuable resource.

    Cayman Parrot

    CNS: Very interesting website

  19. Peter Milburn says:

    Before I forget.We need more golf tourism on this island.When the North Sound Club closes later this year we will be losing a good % of our stay over visitors who come here to not only dive but to golf.Why do you think Bermuda does so well?They have 10-12 golf courses and stay busy pretty much ALL year round.These folks spend LOTS of $’s when they travel to play golf anfd the spin off is tremendous to the area they are visiting.If done properly(environmentally wise)this would be a major major boost to our economy.Hope you read this CG as you sound like you are going to need ALL THE HELP you can get with this one.and try to do what you know is right for the Cayman Islands not what is good for a few.

  20. Peter Milburn says:

    Would be nice if that commission would have people on it that know what the hell is needed in our tourism product.I have LONG said that we need to drop all taxes on our airfares and allow the other airlines the chance to use their FAR BETTER advertising corridors to fill the planes with stay over visitors.From what I heard on a local talk show some time back our tourism dept.is thinking about doing just that BUT not til Sept.of this year.WE NEED THESE PUT IN PLACE NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Of course the hotels and condos MUST also be involved and try to talk sense to their condo owners who are part of the rental pool.They seem to want to make their money back overnite instead of getting lower prices which will in turn fill the rooms.Its better to make something all year than to rape the market other times of the year(High season).and not make as much.One keeps hearing that prices MUST go up duringthe season.What a load of rubbish!!!!!Times are achanging folks in case you have not heard.Throw the old time methods out the window.as its time for more modernistic ways of thinking.Mac you need to let go  your grip on CAL TOURISM and concentrate on other portfolios. Time to let the younger minds start to run things.so you can sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labour.For the love of me I cannot think why MIKE ADAMS was not given the responsibility of CAL & TOURISM.He is certainly no slouch when it comes to CAL and blending the two makes far more sense in my opinion.But what do I know?I have only been in tourism for over 40 yrs and one learns to listen to ones clients on ways and means of making our tourism product far more attractive.The problem here from way back and into the future is the lack of allowing our local knowlege to be used in creating a better way forward instead of bringing in so called EXPERTS from outside,pay them way too much for the same ideas that are being put forward right here on island.

              One last point.It would be nice to find out just how much money is being made the a/port authority on landing fees etc.Seems strange that we should be charging CAL the same as the others.Is that not robbing Peter to pay PAUL.?Their accounting system should make interesting reading.

  21. Anonymous says:

    more hot air from mackeeva…he’s been talking about ideas, plans and possibilities for the past 8 months…. what about actually doing something?

  22. Anonymous says:

    This is a good move assuming that Mac steps out completely apart from the pay check of course. Now the UDP should find someone to take on the responsibilities of the Ministry of Finance that at least knows how to spell Finance and add two digit numbers. I nominate Rolston.

    That way Mac can go home and play with his chauffeur, chef and housekeeper for the next 3 1/2 years and the country will be much better off.

    • Anonymous says:

      I doubt he would want Rolston around that closely…  he is much too intelligent and can see through the smoke screen. Plus you see, Rollie has a mind and won’t just be a yes man, so that can’t work. Why do you think Julie has the position as deputy now? Watch and see how it will all play out .. Rolston is no push over and people with dictator personalities don’t like men of strength.

  23. Anonymous says:

    The UDP is a one man show and that is becoming very visable more and more everyday.  Whatever Mac tells them to do they just jump and do it without asking any questions.

    Look to what he has done with the work permit fees.  He has increased them told the permit holders they wouldn’t need to contribute to the pension anymore.  The law hasn’t even been passed to approve that and the fees gone up. 

    I don’t really think he knows what he is doing.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh dear Jesus, please tell me it ain’t so!!! Glidden to take on tourism? Mary mother of Jesus! What are we coming to? What will he do? Oh how silly, he’ll do what Bush tells him to do as always! For sure, what I can foresee is MANY vacation trips to exotic locations around the world, that is for sure!
      Let us just imagine, in fact we do not have to imagine because it is happening; Mckeeva Bush is Tourism Minister, & Glidden in now to take on tourism! Bush & Glidden together in tourism? Oh my my my, to me that adds up to a lot of working vacations around the world, & we have to pay for it!!!! And Mckeeva Bush has the audacity to say that Cayman is bankrupt? Who does he & glidden think they are fooling?

      It sure helps to be close with the UDP! There are alot of perks involved!

    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman, just count from this day forward how many trips Premier Bush & our new Tourism Czar go on together in the name of tourism.

    • Anonymous says:

      You got it right, the fees have gone up, new and ambitious expectations from dwindling immigration employees are being announced without even allowing them to recruit replacement ones. All sorts of announcements being made of what is happening without the changes in the laws to make it possible. Sounds like someone don’t know much of what they are doing yea!

  24. Anonymous says:

     

    Did any of the politicians go to school to learn about tourism? Or at least work in the tourism industry to understand what drives tourism?
    • target says:

      did any of the politicians go to school to learn anything at all? You are exactly right, these are classic cases of ‘being caynmanian is a qualification’ – complete crap. Being caymanian appears to be an impediment to progress, not a qualification.

      Glidden, you want to improve tourism? Then gag Bush, and for f***s sake, lock all the cayman ministers association in a soundproof, preferably airtight, room.

    • Cassava Cake says:

      No they didnt.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Cayman Airways is precisely what it says it is, an airline. The airline folk don’t care about package deals and beaches and the tourism folk do not have a clue about running an airline.

    Don’t these politicians ever spend any time in these industries? They just learn as they go along and then end up paying for consultants because they are not confident to make the necessary decisions.

    Fact – The VAST majority of tourists do NOT use Cayman Airways.

    Do an FOI request and you will find that most tourists will come to Cayman on Delta out of Atlanta, American out of Miami and US Airways out of Charlotte.

    The product of Cayman Airways will only ever be a regional airline serving mostly regional residents. They lose their shirt going up to New York and Chicago. It must cost at least 35k to fly a 737 up to Chicago.  That would make a return ticket for a plane with 100 passengers be $700 which would be closer to $1,000 with taxes. Who is going to pay that? Right now CAL nets less than $400 on a JFK return.

    It is a waste of time going after a minute portion of the tourist airfare dollars with expensive ad campaigns to put people in planes that make a huge loss not mention wear and tear of added flying hours.

    The planes would be better utilised doing more frequencies in the region and I challenge anyone to come up with numbers that would prove otherwise.

    The government then says that the loss is collateral damage for bringing tourists here who spend in other sectors. Then Cayman Airways has to go begging government for a subsidy to cover said losses which makes it appear that CAL is doing a bad job,so time to bring in the consultants and God forbid that they should make a recommendation that is unpopular for the politicians.

    The politicians need to be kept away from Cayman Airways because they are the reason the airline is in so much debt. There are some very experienced people at Cayman Airways who are trying to implement positive change, so just let them get on with it.

    But be warned that a debt-laden airline will have to be extremely concerned about the safety aspect because servicing a massive debt means that there is less money for other things.

    CAL needs to have government write off the debt and give it a mandate to be profitable in its own right. After all, CAL belongs to the Caymanian people, and they deserve better. There should also be a monthly report in all Caymanian publications of the previous month’s statistics including revenue and expenses per route. Then it will be plainly obvious for all to see and we won’t need to shove our opinions around, we’ll have the truth.

    Cayman Airways has excellent potential and is still a national treasure and we need to strive to keep improving it. Good luck to them.

     

    • Night Flyer says:

      Well Said.

    • puddlejumper says:

      The current model, structure and organization of Cayman Airways is un-sustainable. Evolution has been tried, it failed because the political cost is too high.
      In order to stem the hemorrhage of scarce resources, a revolution is required. To make that painless is probably impossible!

      I’m convinced that every Minister in charge of CAL for the last 15 years knows what I’ve said is true.

      When the revolution finally happens (it is not a matter of “if”, only of “when”) a lot of non-performing staff will become redundant until such time that they can demonstrate that they will pull their weight, some good people will go elsewhere, but the majority will breathe a sigh of relief, put their shoulder to the wheel and move a new, slimmer, more efficient, more appropriate entity forward.

      Compare Cayman Airways to our Premier; currently CAL is the pre – surgery Premier, severely overweight, with serious health concerns. What CAL needs to get to is the post surgery Premier, much trimmer, healthier, more energetic and with a good chance at living for a long time. I believe he ( the Premier) would be the first to tell us that the surgery was no child’s play, but quite necessary, the same would be true to correct the ailments of Cayman Airways.

  26. Anonymous says:

     

    Here are some ideas: Green tourism (little Cayman/Cayman Brac), nature tourism (botanic park and stingray city), adventure tourism (Diving the wrecks etc), tranquillity (promote little Cayman/Cayman Brac), education tourism (set up small campuses), Christian tourism (conventions), fashion tourism (fashion week)
     
    Develop on what we have and create other interests. For example what really makes McDonalds burger better than everyone else? Nothing. It is all about marketing, packaging, customer service delivery and perception. What makes Cayman Islands different than the other countries? It’s definitely clean.  It is still relatively safe, especially in comparison to the other Caribbean countries. However because of complacency we need to be able to drive the business back to the island rather than believe we are the best. Tourism is a business and it should be run like a company. In order to be the best company you have to keep innovating and understand the customer’s needs.
  27. noname says:

    May I suggest that one of the first things Mr. Glidden does is look into that ugly magazine called "Skies" that is now the official inflight magazine of Cayman Airways.  It is boring to put it mildly.  Other than the cover (which is equally as boring) the paper is cheap and tacky.  Is that how we want to show off our National Airline and these Islands in general?  I think not.  I was ticked off when the contract was awarded overseas but I refrained from commenting until I saw what they could deliver.  Now it is apparent that this overseas publishing house is clearly not capable of providing us with an interesting top-notch magazine.  Get rid of it and bring it back to Cayman.  There are many publishing houses in Cayman capable of producing a better product.

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Shut up you driveling idiot. You were always lookignfor an excuse to moan since it began being published overseas.

      If the Caymanian publishers had submitted cheaper and better value proposals for the mag, then they would have got the contract. but as they are Caymanian and therefore greedy, they charged top whack. So in a cost reduction and efficiency effort they had no choice but to look overseas.

      The magazine is poor, but then italways was because unfortunately the writers and contributers are mainly caymanian and therefore haven’t got a clue what real people want to read about. They don’t just want to look at adverts for Kirk jewellers or read what the corrupt government has to say.

  28. Lachlan MacTavish says:

    ** There are volumes of good out sourced reports that should be reviewed and used.

    ** The Commission sounds like more bureaucratic layering.

    ** Perhaps Mr. Glidden could advise a quick shift from Commission to a Tourism Authority combining both the public and private sectors. Of course the private sector stakeholders would have to have equal authority and the casting vote would have to come from an objective neutral individual.

    ** Perhaps the TA could dismantle the DOT and restructure into a proactive not reactive organization. 

    ** CAL part of DOT. Might that just increase the size of the DOT instead of decreasing. Why not just use CAL as a "Tourism Tool". $200USD inclusive of all fees and taxes round trip from Miami, Tampa, ……watch the hotels fill up.

    ** Just my opinion but would not Mike Adams be a great chair for the Tourism Authority.

    Stay over tourism is vital to Cayman and it seems a commission slows things down ….not speed things up. Stay over tourism is not rocket science. It is…………….

    ** Tourism Authority….use the stake holders that have everything to gain. Use their knowledge and experience.

    ** Dismantle the DOT. Cayman has grown away from that model. New TA that wants business instead of a group working for the CIG.

    ** Cheap airfares.

    ** Once the fat is gone, the DOT, use funds for hard core Bahamas and JA TV ad camplaign. It works……

    ** Finally reduced fees and duties for all private sector tourism businesses for 3 years. No reductions without lower prices to the consumer/stayover tourist. Have extremely attractive pricing……rich people like deals as well.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Well, I hope that one of the outcomes will be lowered hotel rates so that some people can actually afford to come and stay here. Perhaps then  more residence would also consider to spend a weekend pampered at a hotel. The last time I checked, it was cheaper for me to fly to Miami and stay for a spa weekend there than doing something similar on Island.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Did he make any mention of Heritage Week, Thatch Week, Schooner Week, Turtle Week, Waumper Week, or whatever it’s called that used to attract visitors during the slow period?

     Bush also noted the importance of specific events such as Jazz Fest, which he said was an excellent event and there was a need to maintain the high-calibre of stars to attract the visitors. He also praised the culinary events, such as Taste of Cayman and the Cayman Cook-off, but noted they should not really be happening in the same week.
    • Anonymous says:

      I agree, Jazz Fest is good. The high-calibre of stars: How about a Gospel Fest – singers like Mary Mary, Deniece Williams (she sang Let’s Hear It For the Boy, Free… but now sings gospel), Kirk Franklin….

      Other singers include, Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift, Adelle, Mary J. Blige, sort of like a Diva concert, but, singers that would keep it clean.

  31. Herewego says:

    My question is: Is Government going to work with CITA ( Cayman Islands Tourism Association) which their man focus is Toruism within Cayman? or is this all Government?

    Please note I DO NOT WORK FOR CITA , ONE OF THE  BOARD MEMBERS or A MEMBER OF THE ASSOCIATION!

     

     

    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

       My thoughts…..blend dismantled DOT + CITA + the just formed commission into a Tourism Authority brain trust.

      • anonymous says:

        Lac….then you would be back to square one in 1970!!! that is how was for those that cannot remember. It was then that Government thought the business was too important to not have a department assigned to it. The department worked fine from the early 70s until early 1990s…then politics got too involved..downhill ever since.

        • Lachlan MacTavish says:

          17:04….correct on 2 points….DOT worked through 1990…..and politricks interfered since….my point exactly……we have grown out of the DOT model. Civil servants with no stake hold. It is a job….not a means to better tourism. The Tourism Authority needs the private stake holders….owners of hotels, condo’s, watersports, transport, restaurants, rentals, shops, boat trips, ….these owners have EVERYTHING to loose and then some. These private sector people know more ways to promote business than the last two decades worth of DOT leaders, consults and advisors. Use these people to turn tourism around instead of spending more money on commissions, travel, and the same DOT methods that are NOT WORKING.  The TA/DOT/CITA needs to be private sector lead…..these people know how to get the job done. The DOT wastes 20-25m a year to produce declining numbers. For 30 years NO ONE has been able to count arrivals properly. We waste millions on CAL when we could be using CAL to transport tourists at LOWWWWW RATES. But history is showing that politricks will prevail and my money is on a commission that will do nothing, more Cabinet travel and a still languishing stay over tourism product in 2 years with the same old same old excuses from the decision makers. Hummmmmm must be a bad mood Saturday for me today ;-)))) but 2 years will prove me correct. I have watched it for 38 years now…..

  32. Bobby Anon says:

    Great move. I suppose, but what about Pirates Week?

    It was the great powers of being that thinks "Cultural Week" will replace Pirates Week. I think not.

    I some how can’t see thousands of tourists at the sea front waiting for "culture" to invade the island.

    We could bring Boy George to the Island and start a Culture club!

    Ahhhhhhhhhhhh me hearties!!!!!!!

  33. Mojo says:

    Here comes his Succcessor it is truly the last days?

  34. Young Caymanian says:

    Good! Give him something to do yes, because he always looks like he’s falling asleep. lol Now Mr. Bush- please find something for Mr. Eugene Ebanks to do, because I honestly do not know why he keeps returningto the LA. After all these years I have have never seen or heard a word from him until election time…

    • Anonymous says:

      So what essentially Mac is telling us is, that the Ministry of Tourism, The Dept. of Tourism, The Tourism Association etc. are all not capable of doing their job. Why else would he be forming a new Tourism Commission!

  35. Anonymous says:

    Sorry Mike!

    Its obvious Mac doesn’t believe Mike Adam has anything to contribute to Tourism in Cayman.

    Congrats CG!

    Years of brown nosing looks like it is finally paying off.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mike who? I’m not sure who you are talking about! Who is Mike Adam? NEVER HEARD OF HIM, or seen him

  36. StillgoingStrong says:

    I think they should work handin hand with the private sector.  Tourism shouldn’t be just a Government thing! They should focus more on protecting the tourism product, and allowing the private sector or entities out there to creatively promote their style of tourism