Archive for January 8th, 2011

Cayman in new ‘news’ light

| 08/01/2011 | 28 Comments

(CNS): From the Los Angeles Times to Canada’s CBC, the sinking of the former USS Kittiwake generated significant media attention for the Cayman Islands far and wide. For once the international press spotlight was on the Cayman Islands for something completely unrelated to the movement of money or taxes. Wednesday’s historic event, which came at the end of many years of planning, was filmed, photographed, watched and written about by a range of global media outlets and television channels, which have now begun producing that copy, pictures and packages for their various print, online and TV outlets. The DoT noted that the coverage was invaluable to the whole of the country’s tourism product. (Photo Dennie Warren Jr)

"I’m excited that the International media has taken such great interest in this historic event," Acting Director of Tourism Shomari Scott said on Friday after the scuttling of the naval vessel began hitting the headlines. "We have been working hard behind the scenes to provide major networks, publications and media outlets with images and film of the sinking."

He added that the coverage on NBC TODAY alone reached more than 6 million viewers and the story was also picked up by other major television networks such as CNN and CBS.

“Yahoo.com is featuring the Kittiwake on the home page, which is another avenue that has the potential to reach many millions of viewers,” Scott added. “This kind of global coverage is invaluable to the Cayman Islands and our dive industry and is already translating into confirmed bookings. Dive operators are reporting that calls are pouring in about the Kittiwake and they are inundated with requests from divers, both locally and overseas, who want to dive her."

With leading newspapers in the US such as the Washington Post and the Los Angeles also covering the story, the scuttling of the Kittiwake was given optimum exposure in the United States. There was also coverage on the website of the UK’s leading broadsheet the Daily Telegraph, RT, a Russian news network broadcast the sinking, Pakistan’s Daily Times, ThirdAge, a website for baby boomer women, and even the Christian Science Monitor covered the story. With one of the world’s biggest news agencies, Associated Press, picking up the story, the news of the Kittiwake sinking spread to every corner of the world this week.

Dive enthusiast were able to start discovering for themselves on Saturday afternoon what this new attraction is all about as the site opened to the public for the first time. Licensed operators were finally able to take tours out to the new marine park after the attraction’s public opening had been slightly delayed owing to a nor’wester, which prevented safety work being completed on Thursday. Officials said, however, that the Kittiwake would close on Tuesday to complete the final maintenance work.

Over the coming weeks the wreck will settle further down and the seabed and nature will begin to work its magic as fish and marine creatures begin to make the old naval vessel home creating an artificial reef.

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