Miller queries wisdom of port

| 14/01/2014

(CNS): The independent member for North Side has questioned the perceived position that the majority of people in Cayman are in favour of a cruise berthing port and that the business case has been made. Ezzard Miller said he has never been convinced that Cayman should be spending anything from $150 to $200 million on a facility for the cruise industry and noted that while this may be a private sector partnership, Cayman will be giving up the fees to cover the cost and will ultimately pick up the tab. As government seeks proposals from qualified engineering companies to do the environmental impact assessment on the proposal, Miller warns that it may not be a beneficial project for very many. (Photo Dennie Warren Jr)

Disappointed that the business case had not considered alternative proposals, such as improving the tendering system and the facilities at the existing terminals, he said a dock would not necessarily benefit downtown merchants the way government has suggested and that many are hoping for. Miller suggested that assumptions that ships would stay longer was not a forgone conclusion as it was the time of arrival in the next port and the opening of the casinos that controlled cruise ship timetables.

The independent member also said that more passengers would not necessarily mean more spending. Following his own observations on busy cruise ship days, he said there may be lots of people going in and out of stores in downtown George Town but few of them return to the ship carrying many bags. The MLA pointed out that the larger ships had been developed to carry more passengers, which has cut the cost of cruising. As a result, that type of vacation is no longer the preserve of the rich and, he said, the disposable income of cruise visitors declines as the ships increase in size.

Miller said he was concerned that while the new government was at least following the spirit of the Framework for Fiscal Responsibility (FFR), the business case for the project had not been made out in a report by consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers.

"I do not believe that a proper business case has been made out for the development of cruise berthing facilities, despite Cabinet’s position,” he said. “The business case seems to have been made around a decision that was already made rather than the other way around. It did not consider any alternative proposals, such as improving the tender process or even a floating dock.”

Miller pointed to the need to improve the treatment of passengers once they arrived and said it was impossible for anyone to enjoy the visit when they are shoulder to shoulder in George Town.

“We want quality over quantity,” he said, pointing to decisions by past governments to limit the number of ships in port on any given day because of that.

Miller warned that while the cruise industry is going to press for the dock, the ships can and will still come regardless and that the government should be more cautious about the conclusion it has come to that the cruise berthing would offer any distinct advantage for the local economy to any significant degree.

He pointed to the direct risks to the environment, the potential threats to Seven Mile Beach, the strain on infrastructure of so many people disembarking at the same time and the control that the cruise lines would ultimately have were they to finance the project in the first instance, especially when there were other possibilities.

Although potential serious environmental risks have already been identified in the business case and the government is now seeking a firm to undertake the assessment, it is likely to be seeking ways to mitigate those threats rather than stop the project. Having campaigned on the issue of developing a cruise port in George Town with a private sector partner, the PPM will, having won the election, claim a mandate for the project regardless of any opposition to it or potential environmental risks.

See tender details below.

Category: Politics

Comments (82)

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  1. Nero says:

    I think that on this occasion Mr. miller is right on the money.  Clearly there has to be  a balance between the interests of those whose livelihood is linked to the cruise ship industry and the negative effects of dredging, dock building and other negative effects on the appearance of George Town waterfront. I think that the  Government needs to cautious about offering too many concessions to the cruise ship industry, explore the concept of an Eco- friendly floating dock which seems to have many benefits to,offer whilst having a minimal impact on the environment and a pleasing appearance compared to a solid concrete dock.

    I also think that Government's number one priority needs to be dealing with the dump issue, due to health concerns and it's negative effects from a tourism perspective.The expansion of thairport facilities should also be weighed  in terms of its importance to the tourism sector. From my perspective, expanding the runway to allow  for the arrival,of larger jets carrying wealthy stay- over  touristswould seem to be equally important to Cayman's economy

     

  2. Anonymous says:

    The berthing facility,

    The landfll,

    The airport,

    The new courthouse,

    The coffers are empty, what do we do?

    • Anonymous says:

      apologize to DART!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Live within out means.  We need to pay back what we have borrowed before we get into further debt and if we can do that, then we can achieve prioities without resorting to loans.

  3. Anonymous says:

    My friend could build the pier for about $30 million at the most .He owns one of the local concrete plants and we have spoken about it often.

    It is just too bad that short term greed blinds most men

    that said i have been on many ships to many ports and some of the piers are not expensive

    the costto build them  are readily available on the internet

    • Anonymous says:

      $30M??  what a joke….the engineering and design on the dock is likely to approach $30M.

      Has your friend built a hurricane resistant concrete dock in 80 feet deep water capable of berthing and holding fast a 1000 foot cruise ship??….I didn't think so….stop posting rubbish please, go find a job.

  4. Truth says:

    This is what happens when those who are elected to make the hard decisions are just not experianced and or intelligent enough to figure out a strategy. Nothing but talk. The key word here is "Nothing".  Nothing on the dump.  Nothing on the cruise peirs.  The only way anything gets started and done is if an outside developer does it.  And even then its only if CIG will get out of the way.  Next time hire skill instead of voteing in suitably qualified.  O wait.  There is no next time.  What Cayman has now is the best it will ever have.  Plan accordingly.

  5. Anonymous says:

    and the winner is……………… the person who understands that all this squabbling is for nothing, untill the Dump issue is under control. No tourists would want to get exposed to toxic fumes of the Monster Dump.

  6. anonymous says:

    Put the bloody thing in RED BAY where it will be an all weather port and usable all year round….silly to think about putting it at the edge of a drop-off pointing to the NW where we get our worst weather from…the sea captains, the taxi drivers, the contractors, practically everyone except the Kirks know thats where it should go….will be a waste of money putting it in cramped GT harbour.

    • Anonymous says:

      Totally agree!!!…guess where the ships are today?…Spotts and they will continue to be there if we think of putting a dock in GT harbour…

  7. Anonymous says:

    I agree. The dock might have made sense a few years ago but not now. We'd be better off improving the experience of cruise shippers once they get to shore. George Town is ugly and dead, there is nothing there except people selling rubbish. And to get out of George Town you have to run the gauntlet of touts trying to rip you off. We should allow hotels be built in George Town, bringing some shops and eating drinking options, pedestrianize it as much as possible, plant some grass and trees, and regulate the touts strictly.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dart will fix it. He fixes everything. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Kirk Freeport do not want any competition particularly from dart. The mistaken belief that Cayman can pay for this dock without additional retail and upland development in order to protect one family business is the Caymanian definition of croynism by a regressive government 

  8. Anonymous says:

    CNS….not sure if you are aware, but anyone can now push as many thumbs as they want in one session (at least from an ipad or iPhone). If possible, it would be good to know how many of the thumbs on this post belong to the same IP address. In any case, you should let the reading public know that the thumbs shown are not an accurate reflection of public opinion on this subject.

    CNS: This is an issue that seems to have appeared today. We've disabled the thumb/loll/troll function for now and seeing if we can re-set today's votes. Thanks to all those who pointed this out.

    • Anonymous says:

      Cns, I've always like how it was back in the ole days. There were no rating of comments and perceive status quo on any given subject. It was left open to all replies. If you disagreed or agreed with someone's comment, you merely replied to a comment your reasons- that's all.

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree is was way better before even whenit was just thumbs up or down and that Troll button makes no sense..

  9. Anonymous says:

    the comments here are a sad reflection of cayman……  from the disrspect shown to cruise passengers to the nonsensical musings regarding 'attracting high net worth tourists'………

    apparently if we build a bigger airport we will be flooded with millionaires from europe/japan…….zzzzzzz

    keep dreaming cayman…..wake up when you got the guts to tackle your real problems……..

  10. Anonymous says:

    Hmmmm…. let me think . All the hotels are full some till march. The hotel people came from cruise people mostly who saw and compared our island to other islands . Hmmm …. the people who came where high end people ? Well the under-20 women sports team might have some . But did they stay at Ritz? Shouldn't we research a little more? How about Holiday inn? 

    Did Jerry and Ken tell you how much money …well percentage then, How much money came from cruise as suppose to hotel? Are we looking and remembering that Ken closed his stores in front of the dock? Is the problem the dock or we all selling the same thing? I heard Ken said he was going to putin a ice bar. Maybe people who come here are sick and tired of seeing the same thing throughout the caribbean. 

    I believe people will come and visit wherever in the world based on cost. Especially our caribbean , What makes people come here ? Bars, smoking, partying, cheap food what?? 

    What do we have ? No partying , expensive food, drinks ,cigarettes and a free beach. Thats really what we have here. Where are the days of Old Jud at Rum point ? Cayman Kai partying ? East End had the best food and music cheap lobster and conch dinners. West Bay beach had the expensive food but not this expensive  cost, cost, cost. This is the problem the real problem otherwise once people visited here you would find they would come back like the past. But business people have gotten so greedy they just can't see through the trees . 

    Calico Jacks by the Public beach is doing well but can you remember when we had buffets at Galleon beach or Le club with Handel? Live bands music. Tourists need to go somewhere. Dave Mitchell kept control on bad boys remember how he did it. People complained about Barefoot but he still playing music. When they did that movie here " the Firm " which band did they pick? Barefoot 

    We know how and why the people came here . It wasn't foreigners working in the rest. it was hearing that little accents that was spoken in english that made people feel they went somewhere different. We need to go back to our history and do what worked. 

    Unless you want the south beach crowd because there are a lot of people who love that kind of tourism.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I have been saying it for years. Forget the expensive dock! Focus on keeping the harbour safe, attractive and beautiful. Make the tendering part of the cruise tourism, industry ask the owners of the tenders to get more attractive boats. Let those tourist who want to go on the mega ships, go where there are large, long, boring docks. Ezzard is right on this and I know that  Moses must have serious doubts about the economics of this. Unless the cruise ship can operate their casinos by the dock, the will not stay longer than a few hours. It is all about momey, don't forge this!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Floating pier.   Build one and test it out.  

  13. Anonymous says:

    "quality not quantity"….agree completely! 

  14. Anonymous says:

    Agreed Ezzard.  We need to focus on high net worth stayover tourism.  Some ideas:

    1. shut down turtle farm and use the 10 million subsidy to beautify downtown. Close waterfront to trafic daily from 7am to 11pm weekdays and all day on weekends. Make it pedestrian friendly like the paseo in caymana bay

    2. change use of downtown to allow for hotels and residential occupancy. this is the only country capital i know without any hotels.

    3. revamp the airport and offer direct flights on cayman airways to europe, South America and central america. Market flights from those destinations. this should encourage more business from those regions.

    4. allow the cruiseships to stay overnight and grant them casino licenses 

    5. open bidding for a dump long term solution.

    let's not sell ourselves short to low income cruise tourists.  let's focus on high net worth individuals who spend and may decide to invest here.  lets compete with monaco not cuba.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman Airways direct to Europe?

      What on, they can barely keep their tiny fleet in the air now, how will they afford the long haul aircraft and the slots needed at the major European airports?

      Leave long haul to the big boys who don't rely on government subsidies to stay in the air.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Ezzard makes the ASSUMPTION that cruise lines will continue to come here no matterwhat. He thinks we have no competition, but sadly, that is false. Cruise ships are getting larger and larger and they will not stop here b/c they cannot unload their passengers and reload via tender, so "improving" the tenders is not an option. And a dock that passengers can get on and off the ship freely does improve the overall experience, whick strengthens his arguement of "quality, not quantity." And while cruise passengers do not spend as much as stay over visitors, we get 3-5 times more visitors via cruise than by air, so even if they spend less, its still a huge cash injection into the economy, not to mention the government tax per passenger. Cruise lines support the shops and restuarants in town, taxi and tour operators, dive operators, stingray city charters, Turtle Farm, Dolphin parks, and the list goes on. Thousands are employed here by this industry, who in turn spend money at other businesses, and so on. This is just another ploy by Ezzard to get his name in the paper while doing nothing. Don't fall for it.   

  16. Anonymous says:

    "People query wisdom of Miller" more like it…

     

  17. Anonymous says:

    Please, please invest the funds in a modern, state of the art airport where we can fly in our high end consumers.  Did you see the number of private jets here over the Christmas/New Year holidays?  This is where we need to ensure our customer has the great experience.  We need to be ablet o bring in the long haul flights where people are staying over, and spending money.

    There are many other jurisdictions which continue to successfully tender the cruises…..we do not need to be bullied into this.

  18. Anon says:

    As far as shopping goes, the cruise ships have duty free shops on board – from liquor to jewellery. Cruisers mostly buy souvenirs on shore – t- shirts and the like. Concentrate on stayover tourism and continue with the tenders for cruise ships, and at the same time – PRESERVE SEVEN MILE BEACH. A cruise dock in George Town would be a big mistake. I am behind Ezzard on this and I hope he can convince the powere that be. 

  19. Anonymous says:

    Right now we need to take our garbage out before doing anything else.. Squash all other projects till the GT Dump Issue is handled.

     

    This needs to be our number one priority.

    • Anonymous says:

      Funny how people disagree with this and call me a troll, just goes to show that people don't really thik this is a priority..Maybe when a three legged baby is born or Cayman is completely covered in radioactive trash people will see the light..

    • Anonymous says:

      tell this to the ppm…….

  20. B. Hurlstone says:

    I think it's great that so many of us who haven't been too positive on brother Ezzard can see that he is right about NOT building an unnecessary and costly eyesore for the Caymans.  I'm with you, Ezzard!

    • Anonymous says:

      Where is the Caymans?

      • Anonymous says:

        Shouldn't that be 'where are' the Cayman's?

        • Anonymous says:

          No apostrophe, Duffus. Apostrophe does not note plurality in this sentence.

          • Anonymous says:

            Really, is that your contribution to a cruise ship dock debate, benign sarcasm, with a touch of self important snobbery? Get real, and there's no need for a capital 'D' in duffus either, dickhead.

        • Anonymous says:

          The Cayman's what? Be careful correcting someone else's grammar. 

          • Anonymous says:

            No, just watch for the auto punctuation on an iPad. Be careful what you make assumptions about you pompous ass.

      • Anonymous says:

        "The Caymans" is a perfectly acceptable term.  The Caymans refers collectively to Grand Cayman and the Lesser Caymans.  While the term Lesser Caymans fell out of use locally to be replaced by the fawning "Sister Islands", largely for political vote pandering, the geographical reference is still correct and the term "the Caymans" is not incorrect.  There are some who dislike the term and voice their views with the biting wit of the poster above, but they are typically the type of isolationist curmudgeon we all know too well.  It is a question of style rather than correctness, but to say that the term "the Caymans" is incorrect is wrong.

  21. Anonymou says:

    Between the urgency of dealing with the landfill and dealing with the berthing dock there is no question where the attention should be placed.

    The jury is still out about the pierand its danger to 7 mile beach.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Send the money on the airport instead to supply the airlift that Health City and the new hotels will require. Let the bargain cruisers go to Mexico – they are not Cayman's clients long-term.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Cayman needs to focus on High Net Worth visitors & people who spend money here, & live here, so develop what we have to offer & financial services. Cruise shippers don't spend much so this isn't worth it. Though CIG have to do something to regenerate town.

    • Anonymou says:

      You are correct, George Town is a disgrace as the capital of the country. A city planner needs to clean it up and what ever happened to the boardwalk plan?  Where is the Chamber of Commerce on this issue, just what do they do anyway?

    • Anonymous says:

      Some people speak without engaging their brain, or they either don't have one.  Let me see if I can explain it to you in simple language:  There are more working class and people of lesser means than there are rich people.  Would you turn away a poor man from shopping at your store because he could only afford to spend $50 instead of the $250 that the rich person would spend?  If 1000 poor people spent $50 and 10 rich people spent $250, which one would benefit your business more?  Next time you openyour mouth, engage whatever gray matter you have better your ears first.

      • Diogenes says:

        Amazing insight.  So all the designer goods firms and top end hotels have got it entirely wrong – they should be reducing prices to attract the volume market, not turn away people that can only afford to spend less.  All they needed to do was engage their grey matter.  The world's entire luxury goods and lifestyle market based on a simple failure to think.    Who knew  it was that simple. 

        • Anonymous says:

          Most of the hotel chains understand the need to serve all markets.  That is why The Ritz, Marriott and Courtyard Marriott exist.  They are all part of the same chain.  They are covering all the bases. 

          We here in Cayman need to do the same thing.  We need to focus, not jut on the High End Rich people but on all classes of travelers.  Each brings unique benefits to our economy. 

          The young lower middle class diver may be tomorrows multimillionaire.  Why not take their money now and later, and not just wait until later?

          As an investor, would you put all your money into just one stock?

  24. Anonymous says:

    As a 20x Cruiser from the States, who hopes to one day move to the Caymans,please do no destroy the beauty of the Harbor with a concrete monster. The Cruise industry wil continue to come and would not stay longer in Port with a Pier. The industry is based on, on ship spending,casinos,beverage,upgraded dining and spa treatments. The tenders provide jobs for the economy and as a passenger ,motoring in on a  tender is beautiful with visitors taking pictures and creating memories, the trip back to the ship is just as memorable as Georgetown slips away  in the horizon. The tenders and crew, are the visitors first contact with the Caymans and it has always been positive. Belize's beauty is retained by  using tenders only as well. In the States, it is said, "that sometimes people live in the forest so long ,that they cannot see thru the trees".  The "sugar high" of a few jobs during construction for Caymanians, since a project of this size would use international experienced crews, is not worth destroying the Harbor.

    • Cayman Concern says:

      I read VERY Carefully the comments made by Carnival about not entertaining the floating dock proposal…..and the spokesperson made it VERY clear that Carnival would not come if we kept tenders.

      That sounds fine to me.  Focus on stay over tourism and if I never see another Kmart Carnival cruiser at Margaritaville, my heart will not be broken.

      Will a monster dock and casino benefit the island population? No. Will it pander to some retailers and overall tourism? Yes.

      What are our priorities? let the voters decide.

      • Anonymous says:

        Will it benefit out first and worst (remember him folks?)  It almost did!  Don't ever forget that. 

      • Anonymous says:

        i'm sure the carnival cruisers love your caymankind attitude………zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  25. Anonymous says:

    OK, now I know I have a problem. I agree with Ezzard. First time in my life.

    • anonymous says:

      me too….funny, 2014 is really starting in a strange way!!

      • anon says:

        This is like the twilight zone – I never thought I would agree with Ezzard either.

        If you are a west bay boat captain think about this. You need 5 cruise ship people to make $100 taking them to sandbar. That's about the same as taking 2 stayover tourists. You make the same amount of money going every second day.

        If you have been to sandbar on a day where there are 3 or more ships in port you can't help but think this can't go on before having some kind of negative impact. Either on the rays or other wildlife killing our big North Sound attraction, or somebody else being killed by a prop.

        I'm sure if you consider the other economic, social, and environmental impacts to mass cruise tourism it probably doesn't make sense when you compare that to stayover tourism. Those hundreds of millions of dollars invested somewhere other than a concrete dock can have a better return both in dollars and quality of life for those that live here.

        I wouldn't miss the WalMart Carnival cruisers either.

    • Caymanian M says:

      You just now agreeing with Miller, don't embarrass yourself. Nobody should know how blind you was, rallying behind Papa Bush and the Chinese.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Ezzard's observation about more cruise passengers not guaranteeing more business has been common knowledge for years but nobody wants to accept it. If you speak to people working in the GT shops there seems to be a point you hit where more people on the sreets actually means less revenue. It seems when the town gets too crowded to be comfortable cruise shippers simply stop spending.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Agreed. We should invest in the airport rather than the cruise port. As a tiny jurisdiction we  cannot sustain volume tourism.

    • Anonymous says:

      No point in building a bigger airport until the terrible state of hotel and resort accommodation is sorted out on these islands. Condo accomodation will not encourage those from the east to travel to Cayman. Europeans and those from the Far East need the asurance that package and all inclusive vacations give them through ABTA and IATA. 

      Cayman also needs to be talking to BA in regard to the second class service that is their shabby 767 aircraft and the severe lack of British and European guests coming to these islands. They need to stop the unequal offload of at least 75 to 80% of passengers alighting in the Bahamas, taking up vacation packages that cost less than the outrageous cost of a return ticket to Cayman. I was informed by a BA employee that the 'demographic' of passengers coming to Cayman has changed, well why would that be. Could it be the lack of choice, hotel and resort accommodation and the overall cost of travel to Cayman?

      Cruisepassengers will never compete with stayover vacationers, especially those from the less premium cruise lines who start out on a restricted budget in the first place. So the need to focus on long term tourism products is vital, and resort building is the way forward if this island is serious about upping their game to international expectations.

      • Anonymous says:

        If we had a package, Bahamas style to offer, and an airport that aircraft from Europe could land at, then the Europeans would come. Mr Branson might even get in on that programme. Until someone else does, BA will keep the sky high prices-no competition!!! Monopolies and mergers commission need to look at that.

        • Anonymous says:

          I wouldn't hold out much hope of 'tricky' Dicky flying Virgin to Grand Cayman. He dropped the Islands from his holiday packages about 15 years ago andhasn't done much to honour the deal he did with CAL a couple of years ago. In any event Virgin is hardly a budget carrier anymore, last time I checked, their transatlantic fares were on par with BA.

          As has already been posted the sort of people we need to get onboard are First Choice but to do that you need to be able to put together a package that would allow them to sell two weeks all inclusive (flights, hotel, food and drinks) for CI$2000-CI$2500 per person and provide them with a runway long enough for a fully loaded 767 to safely take off on a direct flight back to the UK.

          Over the years I've seen the hotel industry on the Cayman Islands steadily decline until it's reached the stage where you start to wonder if it's ever going to recover. It began before Ivan and just carried on. I've now lost track of how many good hotels have gone in recent years but I do know that virtually no serious investment has been made in the stayover market and that's what we need. Fewer hotels may make the occupancy stats look more impressive but the reality is that ripping down a hotel and building another on the site, or replacing it with condos, doesn't solve anything, what we need are new developments.

          • Anonymous says:

            I suspect the reasons Mr Branson has dropped Cayman is nothing to do with airline deals, but being able to get reasonable priced hotel deals to attract people here and the lack of anything to do other than sunbathe, swim, snorkel, dive drink and eat (all expensive). They cannot offer attractively priced packages. They dont have to be very cheap, but more reasonable would help.

      • Anonymous says:

        Maybe the demographic has changed because the product offering is third rate?

      • I work in the travel industry says:

        The reason the Cayman Islands can't attract visitors from the UK and Europe is because they can go to places like Cuba, the Red Sea and even the Maldives for not much more than the cost of the flights out here. We're simply being priced out of the market and DoT have let that happen by refusing to work with big all inclusive tour operators like First Choice/TUI.

        Right now someone from the UK can do two weeks in Sharm el Sheik for £700 (CI$1150) or Cuba for about £1200 (CI$2000) – that's all inclusive with flights, transfers, food and booze – but the cheapest return flights from the UK into Owen Roberts are nearly £1000 (CI$1640). In the current economic climate it's a complete no brainer.

        Look at room rates on Grand Cayman. US$300 a night at a dive resort (I'm not naming them) where the scruffy little rooms would be lucky to make US$50-$60 a night anywhere else – its a joke. Even Comfort Suites, which I rate as the best value on the island, is being priced out of the UK/European market by US$300+ a night room rates. That's way more than you have to pay for a decent hotel in Central London, when I was there last year a room in Kensington cost about US$130 a night.   

        If you want to get into the serious stayover market you need to start talking to the big-time players and not, as DoT have done in past, dream up feather-brained schemes that will never work. The business is out there but to get it CIG needs to have a major shift in attitude.

         

           

        • Anonymous says:

          spot on comment….should be in the viewpoint section….

        • Anonymous says:

          "That's way more than you have to pay for a decent hotel in Central London, when I was there last year a room in Kensington cost about US$130 a night".

          Decent London hotel rooms are much more expensive. I just paid US$500 per night for mine.  

          • I work in the travel industry says:

            $500 a night is silly money! Where and when was that? I can find you any number of better deals in London or at Heathrow Airport (it's as little as C$80 a night there at weekends) simply by using the normal on-line booking discount websites. 

             

            • Anonymous says:

              You obviously haven't been to these low cost hotels. The ones you refer to at Heathrow and in Central London are Premier Inn, Holiday Inn, Travelodge and other basic level, (albeit quite comfortable) short stay hotels. They are designed for business travellers and short stay guests only.

              The Sofitel at T5 will cost at least £250 a night for a basic room, and considerably more for upgrades. A luxury hotel in London WILL cost in excess of £300 for the same basic room, without any food or drink. You can add at least another £150 a night (minimum) if you eat and drink in.

              The point being that $500 isn't so silly if you don't want to stay in a basic, one night stay hotel. 

              I'm a Londoner, well travelled, industry insider and dispute such nonsense. Of course deals are to be had, but they are dependent on availability, location, quality and facilities available. If you want to stay in a Central London luxury, (4 or 5 star) hotel, be prepared to pay. And by the way, the same applies to almost every other western capital or leading city.

              However, vacation resort hotels are a very different story. All inclusive packages are the way forward, offering a high standardof accommodation, facilities, catering and beverage supply for one package cost. It is those that Cayman need to invest in, not self catering condos with no guarantee of quality or service. Condo's will always have a market share, but they will not generate the numbers required for sustainable, long term tourism.

               

        • Anonymous says:

          I am poster 13:43, and broadly speaking you have repeated the premise of my original post. However, one needs to take a closer look at why Cayman cannot compete with other Caribbean or indeed world resort based vacation centres. Clearly the problem lies with both the lack of acceptable hotel and resort accomodation and the failure of CIG to address the lack of European charter companies that operate on the Cayman Islands. However, the failure of CIG to encourage BA, Virgin, TUI, Thompson, Thomas Cook, Kuoni etc….back to the islands is only part of the story.

          Without external investment, finance, developers and established hotel operators to lead the way Cayman will be firmly stuck in the past. Business laws need to be adjusted to take this into account, Cayman just doesn't have the money or the expertise to expand its existing hotel stock. The biggest problem is that these islands are run by a small cabal of wealthy Caymanian families whose only interest is making themelves richer and more powerful. Franchise's are not the way forward, we need the spending power of international operators to push Cayman out of the stranglehold of introverted self interest and into the world of global business. 

          The other myth that needs to be faced down is the lunatic idea that Cayman's tourism product should be targeted at the rich and famous. This is economic suicide as it is the mass middle class who are the wealth creators and spenders around the world, not individuals who breeze in and out, bringng their chefs and household staff with them. Cayman isn't and never will be a exclusive luxury destination on a par with the Maldives, Seychelles, Bora Bora, Mauritius, SanTropez, Cannes etc… You just don't see promenades with chic cafes, restaurants and designer shops, or lines of super cars waiting to cruise past the trendy bars and night clubs. We don't have a private airfield or seperate runway for private jets, we dont have a high end marina for super yachts and the facilities expected by high rollers. For heavens sake, we don't even have secluded private beaches, spa resorts or exclusive beach clubs where they can hide from the rest of us.

          I bet that if a census was taken of the foreign property owning visitors on Cayman, the vast majority would be from the affluent middle classes, not the super rich. Whilst the Cayman Islands are beautiful in their own right, they are not geographically or topographically appeallng to those who want a true tropical island experience. Cayman lacks close neighbours for island hopping and cruising, itlacks mountains and rain forests, rivers and steams, it lacks a selection of quality beaches, accommodation and facilities, but most of all, it simply lacks style and a certain wow factor that other destinations have.  

          The dream of a super luxury vacation destination is just that, a dream and nothing else.

          Concentrate on getting the basics right first, then raise the bar. 

    • SSM345 says:

      Other places that have been held hostage by the cruiselines in terms of building massive concrete docks have also taken a different route, namely floating piers.

      Buildig a massive concrete structure at the bottom end of SMB is going to disrupt the natural current and the beach will vanish.

      We do not need anymore tacky tourist shops nor do we need anymore Kirk, Magnum or Island Companies.

      Build the goddam airport and open the place up to Europe for f**K sake, they spend money unlike Carnival passengers, who just walk straight to Margaritaville.

      • Anonymous says:

        So you think Europeans spend more?  How dumb can you get?  They have been used to austerity measures far longer than North Americans.  North Americans enjoy luxury, and will spend on it, not Europeans.  Why do you think more go to the Bahamas and Cuba where things are much cheaper than Cayman?  Alas, you get what you pay for. 

        Let's be thankful we have cruise passengers to help add to our meagre stay over numbers, because if it wasn't for cruise tourism, many taxi, tour and stingray city operators would be out of a job, not to mention shop owners and restaurants in downtown and at the tourist attractions.

        • Anonymous says:

          Q.  Whats the difference between a cruise ship full of Europeans and canoe?

          A.  A canoe has been known to occasionally tip.

          An old tourism industry joke.

           

        • SSM345 says:

          19:58, are you a taxi driver?

          I see hat you are the thick one here as you clearly do not understand what my point in expanding the airport so that more direct flights from Europe (not just the BA flight fom London that stops in Bahamas) can fly here.

          Your question:

          So you think Europeans spend more? How dumb can you be?

          My answer:

          In really simple English, if a tourist from Europe flies to Cayman and stays here for a week, they will spend about a hundred times more than a person off a Carnival cruise ship who is in town for 4hrs.

          You see, those planes they fly in on drop them off for a period of time to grace our shores. That involves a hotel, transport, food, drink, activities and all sorts of other things.

          A Carnival passenger normally does an activity i.e. stingray city, and that is it or they just walk around half naked bein harassed from taxi drivers looking for BK. Who benefits? Carnival, ask any tour operator. No food or drink because that is included in the cruise. They might buy a t-shirt but thats only if they didn't notice they can buy the exact same one with another island's name for 10x less in every port they stop at.

          Have you ever worked in Cayman's tourism industry? How long have you been in Cayman?

          Build that dock, and SMB will disappear, it will disappear whilst they are building it, and then what? No tourists by ship or plane.

           

      • Anonymous says:

        europeans can come to cayman very easily. if they want to…… to think they are put off by by short US connection flight is nonsense…….

        do some research on the cost of european vacations and you will soon find out why europeans will rarely come to cayman for vacations

  28. Anonymous says:

    In the midst of a lot of hot air, Miller sometimes makes a lot of since…

  29. Anonymous says:

    Why is it that EVERYTHING that is suggested is WRONG in Mr Miller's eyes???  WAKE UP MON WAKE UP!!!  This isn't "old" Cayman anymore!!  

  30. Anonymous says:

    The cruise lines are building these mega ships because it makes business sense for THEM. Thank GOD for the National Conservation Law, hopefully this monstrosity will never happen.

  31. Anonymous says:

    I agee with Miller . WE have a product that cruise industry need , they are not tell you this . I think if the Gov stay in controle 100% of the port & the Island they will have more say & make more money. The old saying say , if it  is not broken dont fix it  .  The fix that is required  may cause more harm than good for the Island & its economy .

  32. Anonymous says:

    Captain Caveman!

    • G.Towner says:

      That's right!  When the political storms come along, there is always safety in the rock. The Capt'n looks out for us.

  33. Anonymous says:

    You know what, just do a referendum and get the damn thing done once and for all or not…how long can this go on? To me it is all political posturing and manveuvering…just ask the public. End of story.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Ezzard is quite right on this.