CITA proposes changes to permit restrictions

| 17/04/2009

(CNS):  As the Cayman Islands Tourism Association gears up for its Annual General Meeting and Board Elections, the organization said it has issued a vision of the top objectives for the future of the industry and offered some suggestions to improve the short-term outlook. A six month freeze on pension plan contributions and a change in the restrictions on job descriptions for work permits to allow managers to better utilize staff are some of the  temporary changes CITA is proposing.

Trina Christian, the Executive Director said the points will be shared with all the political candidates so that goals and priorities for tourism will be understood by any potential future leaders. The organizations says the long term goals are to sustain tourism arrivals from both stay-over and cruise tourism as well as improve infrastructure and the arrival/departure experience for both cruise and air visitors. The vision also talks about marketing the diversity of the product and increasing revenue opportunities for local businesses as well as defining the development plan for the Cayman Islands and prioritizing the implementation of the National Tourism Management Plan

However, CITA has also posed other ideas to improve the short-term outlook and act Christian said as a stimulus plan during this recession. The organization says that there should be a six month freeze on pension plan contributions to allow more cash flow for employees and employers during difficult times and reduce the investment during a time when pension funds are losing.

Another proposal is to reduce immigration restrictions regarding job sharing in the same category and same industry between companies to weather the slow times. “This will reduce the risk of losing good staff who provide quality service and training for Caymanian’s who are entering the industry,” Christian stated.

The idea of reduce immigration restrictions regarding multiple job duties for an employee will allow businesses to better utilize their staff in slow periods without having to wait until the renewal period of an employee’s contract. CITA has also suggested encouraging the training of Caymanian’s who are already employed in tourism so that they can work in multiple areas as well and may obtain maximum hours within a company.

The organization said that it has partnered with the Ministry of Tourism to successfully train Caymanian’s in Tourism through the Tourism Apprenticeship Training Programme that has 25 students currently enrolled in the programme and who will be placed in CITA member businesses.

“This programme is essential to develop the human capitol in tourism; however it does not replace the need for businesses to also retain talented persons during these difficult times in our economy when exceptional service is how we maintain and gain competitiveness over other destinations,” Christian said.

Other Initiatives with which CITA is involved include the artificial reefing project, Kittiwake an online booking engine for small properties and CARIBCERT – tourism certification programme.

CITA will hold is AGM and board vote on 23 April 3pm -5pm at The Westin, Galleon Ballroom. Members are invited to attend this meeting where plans for the year ahead will be discussed. CITA’s President, Steve Broadbelt will be doing a special presentation on Market Share in the Caribbean and The State of The Tourism Industry. This year’s nominees for the 2009/2010 Board of Directors include:


Cruise Director: Bud Johnson – Atlantis Submarines ~ Condo/Villas/Small Properties Director: Tom McCallum – The Reef Resort and Harry Lalli – Treasure Islands Resort ~ Hotel Director: Walter Regidor – Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort and Dan Szydlowski – Westin Casuarina (serving second year)~ Restaurants/Nightclubs: Kevin Doyle – Hard Rock Café and Cliff Woods – Tropical Trader Group (serving second year) ~ Transportation Director: Ronnie Anglin – Captain Marvin’s Tours and Robert Hartsfield – Cayman Airways ~ Watersports Director: Steve Surrey – Divers Down and Steve Broadbelt – Ocean Frontiers – serving second year ~ Allied Director: Emma Graham-Taylor – Image Holdings and Hugh Treadwell – Dart Cayman Islands ~ Sister Islands Director: Gladys Howard – Pirate’s Point. For more information on CITA Initiatives visit:









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  1. Anonymous says:

    A inside source told me about the characters of these people (predominantly foreigners) and the way they work and think once again the " white capitalist monster’s are exploiting us’ and acting as if the rural/native/Caymanian can’t see through the ‘bull’. They act as if they are looking out for our best interest with their witty yet calculated rhetoric to super-impose on my people yet again. These pirates should thank God for Cayman as their lives seem to be on the upswing (more hours and jobs) and our not so much; how is the exchange where your from do enjoy!

    From: A Caymanian who has been in the industry for 10 years, did the PRIDE work shops, and the Tourism Apprentice Program whilst obtaining an AS in business… and yet I still can’t get work and  the going rate 4-5 to dollars an hour if that, go figure! What does one have to do to get their pay and the same respect? (Yes Caymanians I have more education than most of those "good folks" in charge of the ICTA and other big business entities in Cayman) I guess they blame it on Colloquialism , so I guess I had better become a Caymerican!

    Even that doesn’t work! Progression my @#$! It is suppression and depression, but who to blame, as our elected members have screwed us, for immigration is big business in this country.

    Hope our brilliant officials namely the new education minister would add a viable course as part of the regular curriculum in this country’s schools, ‘ HOw to get a work permit 101’ yes do teach us how to get work else where, i’m ready to leave! So much for having the highest currency on this side of the globe I woun’t be able to send money home but at least ill still have my dignity!  As the ole people sayz, ya can’t win fi loose chile!

    Think about it!


  2. Anonymous says:

    Tourism is a very low paid industry.  Caymanians chose not to work for low pay prevalent in the industry.  Our tourism product is already too expensive because of the costs of operating here.  This reform will help but only a little.

    • Anonymous says:

      Tourism is much lower paid than it needs to be in many respects. Some businesses are extremely profitable. Caymanians do not work in the industry today (they used to dominate it and did an excellent job)  in part because of pay but also because of treatment. Some businesses have gone out of their way NOT to hire Caymanians – not because they are accused of being lazy or anything but because if a Caymanian is not paid gratuity, or pension, or health insurance, or sees someone promoted without immigration permission etc… the Caymanian may do something about it.

  3. Anonymous says:

     Here they go again with one of their brilliant ideas. Why is everything they do or say not in the best interest of Cayman.  CITA is a joke only looking out for the few board members.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Wow – lets make Tourism Jobs even less remunerative and provide even less encouragement for Caymanians to seek employment in the field. Brilliant idea. NOT!

  5. Anonymous says:

    This multiple job program will only further put Caymanians at a disadvantage; now , in addition to the 2000 Caymanians already looking for work  which is already in short supply, they will have to compete with an expat holding not one but two jobs.   Not acceptable.

  6. Anonymous says:

    What are these people on? This is one industry that has generally failed at involving Caymanians and has been responsible for numerous instances of breaches of law, ie gratuities and overtime and now they want to make it easier to move expat staff while so many capable Caymanians are unemployed? This is madness. The attention shouldn’t be so much on Tom Jones as it should be on these people! 

  7. Anonymous says:

    If a foreigner is doing multiple jobs then that will take away jobs from Caymanians.  We all know that only the foreigners will work multiple hours to send home money to their families.  Caymanians won’t do it because their families are here so they need to spend time withthem. 

    I happen to know a few men that worked all these hours: one to build a house in Dominican Republic and one to put his daughter through college in Guyana.  It took about a year.  Think a Caymanian can do that?  Then they both went home.

    • Anonymous says:

      This would be a disaster. Pensions are at a low point now. Not contributing when stocks are depressed will only mean there is less chance to recover.