Cruise tourism in Cayman

| 23/02/2010

The CIDOT arrivals statistics for 2009 state that the Cayman Islands welcomed 1,520,372 cruise ship passengers. The Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) states an average spend of $96.78 per passenger, totaling $126.4 million dollars into the local economy. The cost of attracting these guests to Cayman, in marketing dollars, was nil.

The Cayman Islands 2009 cruise arrival figures are at a low not seen since 2001. Even in 2004, the year of Hurricane Ivan (where we had no cruise business in October of that year), we landed more cruise arrivals than in 2009 -for statistics see www.caymanislands.ky/statistics or page 8 of the FCCA report http://www.f-cca.com/downloads/2009-FCCA-Cruise-Analysis-Vol-I-and-2.pdf

The FCCA and CIDOT figures reported contradict one another, with CIDOT only showing a 3% downturn, while FCCA report as much as a 30% reduction from 2008 to 2009. This is due to a significant oversight in the way CIDOT reports based on ship manifests, rather than counting how many passengers actually come ashore.

The estimated losses for 2009 in the local cruise tourism economy equates to approximately $24 million in cruise ship passenger spending, in addition to a loss in government revenues in the region of $3.2 million from the passenger head tax. These figures would have been even worse if Cayman’s cruise arrivals hadn’t been boosted in 2009 by the Mexico health crisis in the spring, diverting ships to Cayman.

Cayman has a significant problem with declining cruise visitors and revenues; the outlook for 2010 is bleak. What is the magic number for cruise passenger arrivals, and equally if not more important, how much does each passenger really spend?

The most successful cruise port/destination in the Caribbean in 2009 was the USVI, with only 1,575,000 cruise visitors who spent an average of $193.22 per head, totaling $304.3 million that was injected into their local economy. In contrast is the Bahamas, which attracted a massive 2,019,400 cruise visitors but only managed $83.93 per passenger, totaling $169.5 million. The spend in the Bahamas is well below the average for the Caribbean, $97.26 per passenger, and yet they attracted the most visitors. This example indicates that perhaps less is more. At what point does our decline in arrivals equal much less revenue rather than more in average spend per person? What is the magic ingredient that results in some destinations to seemingly enable their guests to spend so much more than others?

The USVI is not known as an expensive destination, quite the opposite. Cayman, by contrast, is considered to be expensive and yet manages to earn less than half of the per passenger spend than the USVI for nearly the same reported number of visitors in 2009. In comparison, crime in the USVI is much more of a problem than it is in Grand Cayman, which would lead one to assume passengers might spend more in Cayman because they feel more at ease. Both destinations have world class duty free shopping, tours and restaurants, all enticing guests to spend.

The one glaring difference in the two destinations is Cayman’s lack of berthing for ships. In St. Thomas guests can walk on and off the ships with ease and at their leisure, whereas in Cayman it can take hours to get to and from the ship. This cuts into spending time ashore. It is also widely acknowledged in the cruise industry that the percentage of guests that go ashore when a ship is tendering is much lower that when a ship is docked. Very few crew members are allowed to come ashore in tender ports, which inhibits another significant source of revenue for taxis, attractions, food and beverage and retail.

When you see the number of passengers who are in port each day and compare it to the amount of visitors who appear on the dock, it often appears to be a significantly lower amount than the number reported on the manifests and what are recorded as ‘visitors’. There is no public data available to prove how many passengers are tendering, but we may be literally missing the business of 50% of the guests and 75% of the crew or more. This would equate to statistics telling us that our guests in Cayman spend less than half of what the same demographic of people spend in the USVI – in the same stores, having very similar experiences on excursions and tours. Comparing the ‘low spend’ of Cayman’s cruise ship passengers to any other statistic, be it the average spend of cruise passengers in the USVI (or any other island with a berthing facility) to the average spend of an overnight visitor to Cayman is just not sensible or fair.

The simple fact is that we have no idea how many cruise ship visitors actually set foot on Grand Cayman, but we can be sure that it is significantly less than the manifest number. Without this data we have little idea what Grand Cayman’s cruise visitors actually spend and what their real value could be to our local economy. If ourcompetition is achieving this higher spend, Cayman is certainly capable of achieving more which our economy would highly benefit from.

Another different but similarly shining example of how our competition is doing a much better job of getting more from less is St. Maarten. In 2009 St. Maarten welcomed significantly fewer guests than Cayman or the USVI – only 1,152,000 (the number Cayman was attracting a decade ago) – and yet their guests spent $147.98 per head, injecting $170 million into their economy. Once again St. Maarten is known for its beautiful purpose built berthing facility, able to attract the 220,000 GT Oasis of the Seas. First impressions upon arrival in St. Maarten are of a clean, organized facility that allows guests ease of access and movement to and from their ships. When guests visit St Maarten’s new docking facility, among the well designed shops and restaurants, there is a very efficient and affordable water-taxi service to the center of Philipsburg. There is also a purpose-designed area set up specifically for all ground transportation. For those who chose to taxi into town to shop in their world-class duty free shops there is a shaded area where guests form a short line whilst they are assigned a cab. The price is standard and there is no jockeying for business. It is efficient, orderly and gives a great first impression of the island. Compared to Cayman, which has none of this imperative infrastructure, the experience could not be more different. One would come to the conclusion that it is not a coincidence that their guests spend more than ours.

The debate over how many cruise ship passengers Cayman needs to attract each year is not as simple as picking a number. If we are to continue to operate our cruise visitor experience as we always have then we will never be able to attract enough people to satisfy the economy; it will continue to be a constant and futile battle to get higher numbers of ships and guests just in an attempt to get as many people as possible into tenders and ashore. However, if we choose, we can have the luxury of sustaining the actual number of visitors to a more manageable level, ensuring that more passengers disembark and enjoy our island. This will achieve the ultimate goal of having our guests spend more time, creating wonderful memories with more space and breathing room than experienced previously by cruise passengers.

Cruise conversion? When one thinks of the current first impressions of Grand Cayman a cruise visitor has, it must be put into the perspective of their itinerary. We all know that Grand Cayman is a first world destination, and in comparison to Jamaica, Cozumel, Nassau, Belize and Roatan (common Western Caribbean ports), we should provide a highly favorable impression that would result in many guests making the decision to return to Grand Cayman for a stay-over vacation. Unfortunately, the current dysfunctional experience provides them with a frustrating first and last impression of this superior island. With a proper cruise berthing facility, Cayman could become the first destination in the region to purpose design and build into the port a comprehensive hotel and attraction experience that all guests would have to interact with or through before reaching their tours or shopping. Many of these 1.5+ million cruise passengers are candidates to return as stay-over visitors and we are missing out on the opportunity to impress them. The ROI on a great first impression for these visitors is critical to our tourism marketing strategy to attract stay-over visitors. If we converted only 1% of the cruise visitors to come back, it would have a significant effect on the tourism industry and its related economic impact to Cayman.

The cruise industry in Cayman is in crisis. Cayman is losing credibility with the cruise lines and has lost the goodwill with cruise visitors, which puts us at a lower rating in the Caribbean. We are losing cruise calls every week and will run lean in the summer months when large vessels like Oasis of the Seas and her sister ship Allure will not visit Cayman due to their size and our lack of berthing facilities.

A new cruise berthing facility is not a silver bullet for cruise tourism in Cayman. Cayman will ultimately fail to our competition if we do not have the political will and a dynamic, strategic and accountable plan for tourism as whole. Our leadership at every level must fully acknowledge and support cruise tourism along with our tourism vision as a whole. The CITA urges the Cayman Islands Government to devote as much attention to the tourism industry as it is to the financial sector before it is too late. As stated all along, the environmental impact study for the cruise berthing facilities needs to be completed as an integrated part of the design process, and agreements between developers and contractors need to be executed.

 

Submitted by CITA President Stephen Broadbelt, on behalf of the Board of Directors of the CITA.

Category: Viewpoint

Comments (27)

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  1. Victor E says:

    It is hard to attract high end tourism in a place which is physically unattractive, has no culture, no history and over-priced, generally poor cuisine.  SMB is like a playground for re-cycled eyesores from South Florida. 

    • Anonymous says:

      I  think that cayman island is a good island just by looking at the pictures

  2. peter milburn says:

    I read with interest the story on Cruise ships,berthing docks and figures etc etc  as reported by Steve Broadbelt of the CITA..I have said this for years and will say it again.We need to control the number of ships that can be in port at any one time.Because GT is so small and  roads are usually clogged up with cars taxis buses etc.how can we possibly try to "sell"Cayman to these folks in order for them to return as stay over visitors????It looks like a Chineese fire drill down town when the ships are in and we want to have a docking facility to allow even more of the folks to "rush"off the ship???I hear some of the shop owners saying that yes bring in more ships as  more ships means more business but talk to the staff that have to deal with some of these rude and unruly folks your hear a TOTALLY different story.Again its too crowded in town for more than 3 ships per day.as the infrastructure is not in place to handle anymore.At least by using tenders one can control the number of passengers per trip and they can be dispersed(pretty much)before other tenders arrive.Closing harbour drive to all but buses taxis etc.would be great or at worst have ONE WAY TRAFFIC going north. This will help alleviate the madness that goes on each day.Can you imagine the mayhem that we would still have if our intrepid leader had not taken the advice of several people including myself to close the dock during the day to unloading freighters???At least they have some space to park buses etc.for loading and unloading after the various excursions have been completed.

            We need to get our stay over visitors back on track and to do this we need to DROP the high rates of travel by air to this country.Its far better to have a full flight at a much more sensible rate than to have a third full flight at the out of sight rates that we are charging now.This I am sure will allow the other airlines to bring in fuller flights and help to boost our economy.We cannot and MUST not depend on cruise ships alone as we seem to be doing lately.We have totally forgotten who made this country what it is today.YES OUR STAY OVER VISITORS.Yes after Ivan I know that we needed business really badly but we must get back to what needs to be done to really bring the $’s back.and stay over visitors are the best way to do that.(No I am not against cruise ship tourism but they have to kept under control as right now it seems that when they say "jump"we ask "How high Massa").

  3. maria says:

    I think that the big problem in Cayman is not the cruise ships the big, big problem is the rubish dumn,  and   smell now from every where in town but from seven mille beach  and from kirt supermarket, all that area I think   is the worst.

    You imagine, you pay a lot of many in this hotels o apt and smell  this rubish dumn  every time you go shopping. That is not going to bring more tourist here, not even the cruise.

    Nobody think in the residents  and the people that live close to the dumn. this smell  not only afect peoples health, the way of life as well went nobody wants to walk in the streets because the smell.

  4. Joe Average says:

    Here’s one suggestion, although it’s a little off topic.

    Today, I drove past Spotts.  The ships were anchored quite a way out and the tourists were all lined up waiting for the next tender.

    The least we could do is provide them with some benches to sit on.  It would be courteous and they would be less likely to feel noone cares after they’ve visited.

    I know I would after I’d walked around all day and spent my money.

     

  5. Anonymous says:

    Building a Port is no guarantee of extra ships; its not even a guarantee of keeping the same number of ships we have now.  As CITA themselves say, building a Port is not a magic silver bullet…however, surely building Piers that the ships can dock alongside IS a silver bullet……there is simply no argument that ship operators prefer destinations with berthing; and businesses that reside in destinations with berthing do better than those that dont…..its a win-win……but the problem is what type of berthing project should be built.

    Building a port with a Hotel and shops and whatever else is crazy – put shops on the port, and the shops currently downtown GTwill hurt, never mind the businesses further down SMB.  Put a Hotel on the Port? Who’s coming to the Caribbean to stay in a hotel on a Cruise Port?!!  Really, who comes up with these ideas? 

    As far as anyone can tell, Dart (or Deco or something) are going to build the Port…..can anyone tell us why Govt can’t actually build this themselves (dont laugh….think for a minute)….why not ask Dart to finance the build, and it can be repaid back through the head-tax that the ships have to pay per person…….its no secret that Dart has lots of money…….then surely Govt can simply build a basic, NEEDS-driven berthing project (i.e. 2 Piers and some planned covered shading and taxi/bus/tour sections)..heck, Govt could HIRE Deco to build it for them………surely this is better, instead of any PRIVATE enterprise building a WANTS-driven berthing project that will without doubt require Retail, Hotel(s), etc, etc……..and create major disruption to the environment with its larger scale and major disruption to the local economy as Cruise $ spend moves to the Port…and who’ll own the businesses on the Port? Certainly not traditional mum & dad Caymanians…..and why would the Private builder not insist on owning it all for themselves??

    of course – no building of any berthing makes sense at all without the Cruiselines guaranteeing ship calls for X # of years….have we seen such a guarantee?

     

  6. No berthing, no cry says:

    "The cruise industry in Cayman is in crisis"  Good! It has done nothing but make the place cheesy and tacky. 

  7. Anonymous says:

    I believe what Cayman is lacking is a "local vibe" and "culture". When I step in to any restaurant or bar, I hear "rock-n-roll" or "techno" music. I can hear that at home. I am in the caribbean, in hot weather, surrounded by palm trees and beautiful sea- I want to get in to that "mood". I think an increase in local bands playing all over the island (i.e. like Jamaica)- where you never have to be in search of where to find a local band playing, would definently help. Night time local band concerts- published well so tourists can attend would be a definite plus. Sports??? Start advertising sporting events. Cricket, soccer- whatever- let the tourists know where, how, when. Cultural events- same as above- publish, publish, publish. In Cayman usually things are done by word of mouth and tourists sometimes hear of events after the fact and that is a sad reality.

    The biggest factor of tourism of all- lower airfare to get the people there and then of course, we will fill up the hotels!

  8. Brynley Davies says:

    Lachlan is scaremongering! To quote him "The cost of the dock is only the tip of the iceberg. The whole town and 7MB corridor will have to be redesigned". This is ridiculous and false. We are talking about better managing the experience of cruise visitors in the Cayman Islands which has to be positive. No one is talking about a wholesale change to urban planning.

    Let’s look at reality. Cayman is the only significant port in the Caribbean without ship berthing – fact. Although the tenders work hard at moving people as quickly as possible the general guest experience is not good in terms of the time and hassle it takes to get to and from the ships. – fact. Many other ports in our local geographical area have invested significantly in their port infrastructure creating serious competition with Cayman as a cruise port. This includes Costa Maya in Mexico, 2 ports in Roatan and Falmouth in Jamaica – Fact. All of these mean that whilst we continue to do nothing, others are improving their cruise destinations and the experience that cruise guests receive. Cayman has a choice – improve or ultimately die.

    To answer some of the other points made in the comments –

    Only a very small percentage of Cayman’s marketing dollars are used in cruise marketing with the vast majority being used for stay over tourism. In cruise tourism it’s not about the marketing (who are you going to market to?) but ensuring that the guest experience is great and better than competing destinations.

    There was one comment that local small businesses would receive less money if there was a berthing facility. This is completely at odds with every study on the subject where the ability to create easy  movement on and off the ship leads to a much higher spend per guest and overall in higher number of guests getting off the ship in port.

    You can argue with the figures in Stephen’s viewpoint but the reality is easier to deal with. Talk to any of the many Caymanian small businesses that are involved in cruise tourism whether in ground transportation, boat charters or retail and they will invariably tell you that their business is down substantially over the past 2 or 3 years as cruise guest volume has consistently fallen.

    • Anonymous says:

      who are you going to market to?

      Judging by what we see wandering all over the streets of George Town, people who drink at least a case of beer a day, spend most of the cruise at the All-U Can eat buffets on the ship, and save all year to be able to buy a T-shirt. 

      Whoever said it earlier was right, Cayman needs tourists who spend more money in Cayman and not more tourists who spend little and drive away the tourists who actually have money to spend.

    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

       16:48…..not scaremongering….just reality….take present arrivals add 50%…75%…whatever…the mega ships dump 1000’ssssss of people. If, customs, immigration, the width of the dock, public wash rooms, sewage, sidewalks, store size ( stores can only accomodate X number of people and X number of staff can only serve X number of people, there are not enough eating establishments, the roads are already congested, taxi’s and buses have no where to park, what about injuries/ambulances, how will people get to 7MB, it already is a parking lot, ….

      The big Caribbean ports ie St.Thomas, P Rico have hugeee city structures. Business for existing businesses has fallen off because of USA and world economies falling, the cruise ships have developed more reasons for passengers to stay on board, and Cayman’s infrastructure sucks. Why not make the tendering smooth, the docks easy, and the atmosphere Caribbean, keep the ship/arrivals as is and grow the $$$ from 90.00 to 150.00….

      Or lets just think bigger is better….more bodies make more money….

    • devil is in the details says:

       There are a lot of ways to interpret the statistics presented on average daily spend, and to say the determining factor is berthing in USVI and St Martin may be misleading.

      Consider this:

      USVI is an American Territory where US $ are readily accepted. Considering a majority of cruise passengers to the Caribbean are American, it seems possible that they would be more willing to spend their US$ in a US territory that has a well known reputation as one of the largest Duty Free ports in the Caribbean. As opposed to spending US$ in a port with a stronger currency than theirs, thus less wiling to spend. 

      Also, it may be prudent to compare the average cost of shore excursions in St. Thomas vs Cayman. I have not done the math, butI suspect it is possible that USVI would have a higher average per person excursion ticket price due to a wider selection of tours offered that are mid to high price point. Caymans two most popular excursions, Stingray City and visiting the beach, are high volume but lower per head price. 

      St. Martin stats can likely be justified in a similar argument- a more equal currency encouraging spend, and higher average excursion price. 

      Bottomline- I think the berthing is another red herring but like anything can appear to be justified if only some of the stats are provided. 

      Or how about a cost benefit analysis comparing the cost of the new berthing and what it is projected to return annually,…

      versus spending the exact same amount of money on promoting/improving stayover tourism (subsidized airfares etc- imagine what kind of packages you could create with hundreds of millions of dollars) and calculate the upside to the economy for this scenario.

       

       

  9. McJinedad says:

    Cruise ships are the death of Cayman tourism. We don’t make enough off of these herds of cheapskate cattle to justify the reduction in quality for everything else here.

    Who in their right mind ever thought it would be a great idea to have several thousand overfed, confused, and hungover cruisers wandering around George Town buying carved coconuts imported from Central America? Seriously? This is Cayman tourism? What a tragic joke and what a waste of what was once an impressive destination for stay-over tourists. We sold our soul to appease these floating cess pools?

    Now, thanks to the politicians who pursued cruise ships, we can only attract the truly stupid and naive to spend a week or two here. Who else would be dumb enough to blow their annual vacation on Grand Cayman where they end up eating at Burger King, sitting in traffic, and elbowing their way through cruise cattle on the sidewalks?

    Hey, here’s a new tourism slogan for us:

    "Grand Cayman, where morons feel at home. Come stay with us!"

     

    Hey CNS, unna please tally up the millions spent by government on idiotic tourism ideas in recent years. How much was spent on Pedro St. James? How many people go there? How much was spend on the Turtle Farm? How many people go there?

    Now they are going to build a massive dock that will further destroy the marine environment that is already dying fast. And why are they doing this? So fat people from Wisconsin can spend 2 hours here to buy a "Hey Mon" Tshirt (that disinigrates after one wash) and two ice cream cones. Brilliant.

    Our idiot politicians had a gold mine in the form of Seven Mile Beach, once one of the world’s most beautiful beaches. That beach could have been a worldclass tourism draw forever. All they had to do was keep it uncluttered and undeveloped. But, of course, they destroyed it. Is it even there anymore? I wouldn’t know. Can’t see it from the road now. Can’t park anywhere near to visit it exept Public Beach. And that tiny strip is not exactly a family friendly place anymore. It’s clear that Seven Mile Beach is not really for anyone other than condo owners anymore.

    Thanks idiots.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is one of the most uninformed, unintelligent posts that I have ever read. First of all, there are far fewer rich people than working class, middle income people.  So in business, you cater to all sectors. That’s common sense.  Secondly, I would suggest that you look at your life.  Have you gone away and doled out money unnecessarily, paying more than for a good or service than it was worth? I’ll bet not.  You probably dine at the more value efficient restaurants too.  Thirdly, when it comes to understanding business and employment, the more you diversify, the more resilient you are.  In simple terms, in case you don’t understand what diversify and resilient means, it means that you don’t put all your eggs in one basket, cause if one basket drops, you would not want to lose all your eggs.  Tourism has two main sectors; stayover and cruise.  If both were eggs, you would have two baskets.  In a recession, stay over vacations costs more and even the rich start to look for more economical and value for money products and services.  So they might turn to cruising for a while.  If you had turned away the cruise industry and the stayover industry declined, it would mean you had no eggs to eat, cause your only basket had broken.  There are other things to consider such as creating more employment by having more sectors and marketing research to determine trends to predict future customer preferences, but you wouldn’t understand that, so I will not even attempt to explain it to you.  What I would like to caution you about though, is that before you resort to labeling rude names to any of our visitors who support any of our two toursim sectors that you stop and consider what enabled you to earn the food on your table, the dollar in your pocket, the dollar you will earn tomorrow.  It probably came out of one of those baskets you didn’t want in the first place.

  10. ToroTeacher says:

    As one of the cruise ship visitors discussed, I find the discussion interesting, but rather arcane.  On our two visits to your beautuful country (via the Carnival Conquest out of Galveston Texas) my wife and I managed to spend far more than the $96.78 per passenger quoted in the article. The only downside to our visits was the tendering process.  However, spending millions or billions on a cruise ship berthing facility is not the answer.  Upgrading existing facilities/tendering services would be more cost effective and prehaps entice more people off the ships.  Looking forward to our next visit this summer. 

  11. Which way is downtown says:

    I am a stay over tourist and I have been here for three months.  Although I didn’t intend to.  I got stuck in traffic.  And the boat left without me.

  12. John Evans says:

    Steve, this is old news. DoT admitted to me over two years ago that they had no idea how many of the manifested cruise passengers actually came ashore. Net News ran the story a long while ago and I’m sure the Compass has also mentioned it.

    My own (admittedly very unscientific) figures suggested that some vessels only dropped about 50-60% of their passengers – a figuredisputed by both CITA and DoT, the latter claiming somewhere on the high 90% range. One significant factor has been scheduling by some cruise lines that means the vessel departs just after lunchtime giving passengers little time, and little incentive, to come ashore.

    The actual story on the cruise passenger problems was eventually killed off in Net News, probably by lobbying from members of CITA and fears that it would impact advertising revenue.

    Quite why CITA has now chosen to lead on this ‘revelation’ is rather mystifying.

    The harsh reality is that Cayman has become an unattractive destination. Partly because it is perceived as expensive and lacking in tourist facilities but also because of its geographical location – in the middle of nowhere with no direct route to and from the USA.

    What CITA might consider, rather than trying to re-invent the Cayman cruise industry, is getting tourism back to where it started with quality SCUBA diving and reasonably priced accommodation.

    Whilst that might seem to some like going back it appears to me that everything that has happened in Cayman tourism since my first visit in 1992 has been a backward step and you need to stop that slide into what is becoming a bottomless pit before you end up forgotten. Building a cruise dock and expanding Owen Roberts Airport may give the facilities to handle more visitiors but getting them on island is a whole different ball game.

    • Anonymous says:

      U asked why has CITA chosen to comment on this at this time?? i’ll tell u its simple – to push the berthing agenda  – by getting us to conclude that people are not coming ashore because we do not have a pier.

       

       

  13. Lachlan MacTavish says:

    IMHO …The DOT has not been able to produce credible stats for air or cruise arrivals for 4 decades. Therefore proper business planning and validation for tourism related investment is flawed. I do not believe anyone has done a valid assessment of cruise business or benefits to the island. The massive dock project just seems to be bull dozing its way along. The dock and the mega ships is a huge folly. The cost of the dock is only the tip of the iceberg. The whole town and 7MB corridor will have to be redesigned. Big dock + mega ships = massive congestion walking and vehicle. Most shops cannot deal with the customer load now when the majority of arrivees are on shore. 7MB road is congested now….so lets just add more taxi’s and bigger buses to slow it down even more. The cruise dock expansion is not the answer and is poorly thought out. At least D & T or E & Y should be contracted to at least produce some valid stats. Maybe they could also help the DOT to be able to finally create accurate numbers. I’m being blunt here but it is frustrating that the same problems have been with us for years.  The real money comes from stay over tourists for the Government and the business community. The focus should be limited cruise business with an emphasis on having them spend more…..doubling the numbers is not the answer. Stay over tourism should become the priority. The island has grown out of the DOT model. The DOT is producing less and less stay overs each year. An Authority IMHO is the answer with the power in the private sectors corner. The private sector have to make money…the DOT does not. Stay overs are far more valuable to Caymanians than cruise visitors.

    • Anonymous says:

      If the shops want more money from the cruise shippers why can’t they have the common courtesy to open before the passengers get ashore. Day after day you can go through Georgetown and see “guests” to our country sat waiting for the shopkeepers to have the decency to open their doors to allow the cruisers to give away some money. It would appear the shopkeepers are not that concerned about increasing their sales at the expense of a little extra effort on their part.

  14. Anonymous says:

    The cost of attracting these guests to Cayman, in marketing dollars, was nil.

    Really? In that case a large part of the $30 million allocated in the budget for tourism marketing must be a complete waste. Now that we have that clear, could we please re-allocate the money to where it will do Caymanians some good.

  15. Watch out Carnival is about says:

    George Town is too full of classless tacky stores pandering to the lower end cruise ship visitor (did someone say Carnival?).  Cayman should focus on the high end stay over market.  A capital clogged with wife-beater wearing overweight cruise ship visitors buying pirate mugs and having their photos taken with "Big Black Dick" is inconsistent with that focus.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not to mention the scantily clad, greasy, sandy masses frolicking about through the capital, causing those higher-end stayovers to avoid George Town businesses until later in the afternoon when the majority of the crowds tender back. Perhaps a solution would be to have downtown businesses open later or alter their hours to benefit stayover tourists, who are the higher percentage spenders keeping most businesses in the black (relative to the majority of trinket- and discount-chasing cruisers).  

      • Anonymous says:

        I wonder if some of you went on vacation, how you would spend your hard earned dollar?  You probably wouldn’t even want to give a tip.  It’s so disgusting and disheartening to know that our island which was once known for well mannered and friendly people, is becoming so filled with a set of ignorant, illmannered, loud mouthed, unappreciative and downright rude and inhospitable generation.  You are certainly not the welcoming type of people I would want to visit after reading your posts.  Ignorance is bliss and if me, a Caymanian find your comments that way, imagine how our potential visitors must feel!

        • Anonymous says:

          When I go on vacation, I do so knowing I am visiting thehome country of someone else. Therefore, I act in accordance with the respect I would hope someone would give me if they were to visit my home country. I work in one of the major tourist stops in Cayman, and quite frankly am often appalled by the way tourists (particularly cruisers) can behave while in the premises. Luckily, there are still a few decent people out there who are cognisant of their location and I enjoy interacting with them – and for each of those, I have no doubt their stay was quite pleasant and filled with the hospitality Cayman can be known for. For the others who I decried in the post you replied to, I certainly hope that they choose not to return so that their better behaved brethren will start to make up the majority of visitors, rather than the minority.

          Look at it this way, I will give every visitor the benefit of the doubt, but if they’re not willing to afford me and this area the minimum respect it deserves as my home, they’re not worth a single dollar they might spend here and I’d rather they not return. Clogging up the roadways is one thing, no big deal, but some of the downright rude and disrespectful behavior I am forced to deal with on a daily basis makes me wonder what kind of tourists are we currently catering to, and why in the world we want more of them to come.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Is it not correct that the average spend per cruise passenger calculated by the FCCA includes a large percentage that the cruise ships get as their cut for pre-sales of bus transfers, tours, and events such as Sting Ray city excursions, etc? For that reason and others, the figures produced by the FCCA therefore greatly overstate the benefit which Caymanians get from this business. 

    I would suggest that the focus going forward should be on how to find ways to get cruise tourists to spend money in Cayman rather than pursuing money which stays on the cruise ships. If the berth is put into place there will be less money for local small business, not more, and for this reason I oppose the proposal for the new dock. We should be looking at ways of attracting tourists who spend more in Cayman, not more tourists who spend little.