Panama party cost $70k

| 06/07/2012

hotel-le-meridien-panama (285x300).jpg(CNS): Government spent over $70,000 on a two-day promotion in Panama at the end of May when it took some 38 delegates on an excursion to the new Cayman Airways destination. Records released by the Department of Tourism following a freedom of information request by CNS revealed that the two-day event marking the launch of the Cayman Airways direct service into Panama City cost the public purse $ 71,489.16. Officials said the trip was designed to promote the Cayman Islands as a new leisure destination to travel trade professionals and to Panama’s media. The 38 delegates included guests of the premier, the Chamber of Commerce and CITA representatives, as well as private sector tourism stakeholders.

The event took place between the 28-31 May, while civil servants back in Cayman were struggling to produce the 2012/13 budget. The premier came in for severe criticism from the opposition and the public over this and other trips he took against the backdrop of the ongoing budget crisis.

The two-day party followed the inaugural flight by CAL to the destination, which is hoped will develop into an important trade route for Cayman and produce future dividends. As this was an inaugural trip, the premier invited a contingency of people, described as “influential Caymanians” in a release from the department following the trip.

“The goal behind this action was to help enhance future package development for the route and to also help to educate the Caymanian public as to the potential benefits of such areas as cost-effective overseas medical care,” officials said.

Panama is currently being cited by government as a possible alternative to reduce Cayman's overseas medical care. The country is also believed to offer trade and tourism expansion projects, as air traffic routed through the country to and from Latin America is set to increase; and the Panama Canal is projected to double capacity starting in 2014.

Meanwhile, the director of tourism said the Cayman party was necessary to help promote the Cayman brand as it is little known in Panama.

“As The Cayman Islands has very little brand awareness in the Panamanian market, it is important that the rich sounds, colours and excitement are incorporated into marketing and promotional activities such as this, to help paint a vibrant image on a previously blank canvass and give a sweet taste of what we in the Cayman Islands have to offer,” Shomari Scott he said in the release.

He added that between 60 and 75 of the top travel agents attended and some of the leading TV programmes in Panama were on hand to cover the information session.

“We were able to excite, educate about the destination and introduce the wholesaler that will be distributing the Cayman Islands product to the travel agents, and this is ultimately the channel that will influence and facilitate travellers from this region,” Scott said of the $70k promotional investment.

The bill for the Panama party included $14,717.36 for accommodation at Le Meridien Hotel, Panama City, for delegates and $19,000 in airfares and around $25,000 for the main Cayman Nights event.

See details in released records below. The DoT has redacted the names of the delegates under the provisions of section 23 of the Freedom of Information Law, which deals with personal information .

Related articles:

CAL launches Dallas flight

DoT targets Panamanians

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: FOI

Comments (136)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    Well plenty of Colombian girls went back home with a smile !

     

  2. Anonymous says:

    I dont necessarily have a big issue with the amount of my money they spent, BUT i do have a BIG, BIG PROBLEM when they try to hide from me who they took on my dime

  3. John Anonymous says:

    So what? What is the Government to do? Nothing? Go Mac! I got your back with my vote!

    • Anonymous says:

      I truly wish Mac would go… and take fools like you and the other undesirables with him. Go! Please GO! We’re sick of you.

    • Anonymous says:

      One wote against 50,000 is not good, sir John.

  4. Anonymous says:

    These trips has been going on from day one. What is the surprise now? Business trips on weekends and the sort.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like another good Government to do business with (not):

     

    http://www.panama-guide.com/index.php?topic=corruption

  6. Truthseeker says:

    AN INVITATION TO HONESTY

    I herby invite all guests of the Premier, and DOT who attended this Panama "Jolly" to state who they are, and why they think it was good value for money for the people of the Cayman Islands to pay for them to attend this event, at a time when we cannot pay our bills or even submit a budget .

    We will find out eventualy (Cayman Airways passenger manifest, Immigration records, eyewitness accounts, Panamanian records, DOT insiders, etc).

    I have been on trips payed for by someone else, and I have always been required to submit a report of what benefit has been acheived by my going.

    If you attended this event in good faith, rather than as a soft bribe, political payback or likewise, be honest enough to declare and explain it here.

    You WILL be exposed in the end.  

    Truthseeker

  7. WestBayer says:

    I wonder how much did the Honduras trips cost.  XXXXX We need to do an FOI on those trips and the DR trip. We will be mighty shock with the results.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Give us the names! By accepting government perk they should losethis privacy. Influential caymanians they speak of can pay their own fare

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree 100 percent. When your way is paid for by public money, then you are answereable to the public. The public should know who was on the trip and why. Was the benefit of those persons being there greater than the cost to the public coffers?

       

      Influencial you say, but influential to whom? UDP or Panamanians?

       

      Why do those persons think their names should not be revealed when their entire trip was paid for by the public?

      • Truth says:

        You talk like your in the US or the UK.  This is Cayman and the Government is now "rules?  I don't need somone elses stinking rules" Bush.  Public money is now Bush's money.   Like it or not it is what the voters wanted.  It is what Cayman has become.  But it won't last much longer.  

  9. Anonymous says:

    Was any of the money spent in casinos by any chance?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Why unna peeple cant unnastan? If a cant do da stupid budget a ga fine someting do wid ma time ya na. Is unna payin mi ya na. Wa unna expec? Unna tink I jes like goin on d plane jus fa so?  Unna betta try staat honnerin me n mi crew, da wa unna betta do.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Tocumen’s annual Int’l air traffic was comparable to Miami’s last year. That’s the reality.

  12. Anon says:

    Sick! We can’t afford food, or electricity and they waste 70k in a snap like they are Marie Antoinette!? Our children suffer while THEY eat cake!?! They should be ashamed.

    • datisme says:

      They are too busy eating cake to be ashamed.  That comes later when they are in northward.

      • V says:

        Is anyone still eatting carrots and drinking milk?

        According to McKeeva, he seems to hate people who eat carrots and drink milk. It turns him off from eating his humble pie.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Llike the song says "Don't stop the party !".   Hope you realize I am being sarcastic here.

  14. sickntired says:

    What is all the talk about??  It takes money to promote our tourism and that's what happen with the in panama a launch of  anew route costs hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Panama launch brought together 70 tourism promoters from there and south america. It was because of our austerity position that only 70k was spent.  The complainers should check to see what the last government spent to go to panama for 3 years.  At least Mr. Bush started panama and dallas, plus we now hae westjet and others.  this is the best our tourism has been in 10 years.

    Cayman needs fair reporting and certainly cns aint doing it.  I guess they wont release this comment either, but hey I will go to the compass online and post it if they dont!!

    • Anonymous says:

      "this is the best our tourism has been in 10 years" Better try to get your head out my friend. Oh yes, we'll be getting wealthy Panamanians and South Americans coming in by the millions to spend their millions. They'll be coming in on brightly colored, overloaded buses though, it's cheaper that way. And they'll be bringing beaded necklaces and tobacco to sell to our tourists. What a deal.

    • Anonymous says:

      We're sickntired of you too. Justify the Premier taking ANY personal guests on this trip. Don't just bleat on about the tourism product. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Assuming that these trips are useful, I think that the same positive result could have been achieved with fewer "delegates".

       

      38 "delegates" cost a lot more than 10.

  15. Anonymous says:

    CHEAPER HEALTH COST.

    It is one hour by air ambulance to Miami and there you are close to Hospitals, its an hour an a half by air ambulance to Panama and you are miles away from the Hospital. Of course the more it costs the greater the percentage of fees for WP,

    • Anonymous says:

      John Hopkins is 20 mins from Tocumen oh worldly one.

    • Anonymous says:

      About the same distance to both. Panama hospital is near the airport and much more attentive than a US hospital would be at higher cost. Doctors equipment and methods are same at both, but you will get private room in Panama. Insurance company loves it too. One of life’s few win-wins…so take it!

    • Anonymous says:

      To be fair when it comes to health care, they do need to find another option besides Miami.  What happens when someone can't get a visa to go to the US?  They have been turning down a lot of visas lately.

  16. James says:

    cns, can you post a list of names of those delegates that went with the Premier Pajamas party, since he lost the budget documents there. I would really like to see names, so that next time I see a business prospering in Cayman in the midst of an economic crisis, I can know if the prospering is because the business received special government prevelege or they worked hard and honest for profit. Because they trailing the Premier to a pajamas party is really looking like crony dealings are being made. Please post those names. Thank you 

  17. Anonymous also says:

    While this type of extravagant spending is taking place many very worthy charities that received government grants have had the funding cut by these same leaders government.

    This tells us a bit about Mac's priorities.

  18. datisme says:

    This is just one of many FOB (freinds of Bush) trips in the lst 3 years.  The Voters don't seem to mine.  The FOBs love it.  This is Government Caymanian style.  It will not change until the voters get some education.  Anyone see that happening in your lifetime?

    • Anonymous says:

      and more and more civil servant's salaries are being cut….yep he really takes care of his people…over 70,000 on a trip that was not needed when people can't even keep up with their bills…sad sad state this country is in.

  19. Anonymous says:

    McKeeva is leading by example.

     

    Why would any government civil servant cut back when the leader indicates by action that there is lots and lots of money available?

  20. Anonymous says:

    $70K here, $70K there……it adds up after a while to some serious coin.

     

    It sure is easy to be generous with other people's money.

  21. Beanie Baby says:

    Let's do and FOI in a year's time to find out the massive upsurge in Panamanian tourism.

    • Fed up with McChavez says:

      Panamanian Tourism??!!! Way of life in Panama is considerably below the standard of ours.  Why are we using the fact that McChavez if putting lots of fees in WP's pocket.  What has happened to the Frank Sound Church of God?  Did McChavez give them a donation and what happened to that?  WP is a hippocrite and that is why he is pushing McChavez to spend what we do not have. Government gives our indigent people 550.00 per month.  Has anyone really noticed the cost of food in the supermarkets?  Every month the prices are raised on us.  I noticed it with coffee and milk.  You can buy a gallon of McArthur Milk in Miami for 3.80 US$ and we are now paying almost 8.00 CIS, which is approximately $10.00 US.  Caymanian people are starving and McChavez, WP and followers are eating steak and turtle and prime rib.  The ironic thing is that he has been buying his support in West Bay from the time he was inaugurated as Premier.  This man has no business in that position.  XXXXX That would be very interesting to know.  McKeeva Bush reminds me of the old historical saying, "Nero fiddled, while Rome burned".  Feel the heat yet???????????

       

      • Anonymous says:

        Panama is a world-class city of over a million people.  The wealth of Panama's elite eclipses that of Cayman's many times over (even when skewed with our resident Billionaires).  With Billions in construction and trade going on at the Canal gateway, the rich of Panama are not getting any poorer.  Anyone who doubts this should board the Cayman Airways flight and refresh their opinion about the neighbourhood and the obvious trans-oceanic opportunities that exist in the region.  If you're clinging to long-held bias and not taking advantage of this link and levering it to your own business, then you only have yourself to blame.  

  22. Anonymous says:

    CNS please don’t confuse the issue. The released document says Guests of Government, not Guests of the Premier. Seems to me that you are trying to twist the issue……… Accurate reporting is crucial in this day and age.

    • Anonymous says:

      Could it be that they are one and the same???

    • Peanuts says:

      CNS Confuse what?  So you think that any one who reads the post is confused? What are you thinking. The Premier has FOB trip to Panama and you say CNS is confusing Government with Premier. To quote the Premier "My Government" any thing confusing about that? Wait for the score on the other trip, watch the news.

      When I vote on the 18th  it will be two votes,  one Yes to OMOV and  a No vote to to the Premier.

    • Anonymous says:

      Where to start; the non sequitur; the grammar; the punctuation; the clichés?  You're spoiling us.

      Alright, let's go with a quick one on the facts:  When was the last time that "the Government" was distinguishable from "the Premier"?

    • Anonymous says:

      Didn't you get the memo?  The Premier calls all the shots, this is a One-Man Government, he does whateverhe wants, regardless of what anyone else says.  Check out all the decisions made lately and you come back and report to us who made all these decisions, okay?  You will be in for an eye-opening experience. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Then why redact the names?

    • Anonymous says:

      There is a difference? A google search of the words "McKeeva" and "my government" returned 834 hits. Give it a try. lol.

    • Anonymous says:

      In Cayman Bush is THE CAYMANIAN GOVERNMENT.  Have you been reading CNS the past few years?  No twist here.   Nice try on the spin though FOB.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t you know that “government” and the “premier” are one and the same? What rock have you been under for all terms of government under Mckeeva Bush. He’s the top banana….oops I should say the ONLY banana.

  23. Stnkybtt says:

    Stop picking on these good Christian leaders!  They go to the right churches as indicated by the $millions of our money they handed to them.  They know it's a sin to steal so they're not stealing.  They also know the sins of sloth and glutany.  So be happy dey be right wid da lord!

  24. Anonymous says:

    I thought they said pajama party.  lol! 

  25. Dreadlock Holmes says:

    Let me see.  I'm in Panama.  Close to Brazil, which has marvelous beaches, close to Costa Rica, which has more of the same and is quite inexpensive, Close also to Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua. All of which have eco tourism, jungles, rivers, waterfalls. Should I fly my ass all the way to Cayman instead? Which has a few beaches, no rivers, no jungle, no waterfalls, no ecotourism.and is very expensive?  Hmmm…..

  26. Anonymous says:

    "aye, Papi Mackeeva, yo te quiero, Papi Mackeeva."

    also known as, in-house adverstising.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Panama has the most expensive medical care in all of Central America. US Dollars, go a lot further in the rest of the region. "Happy endings" on the "other hand", well… priceless.

    “The goal behind this action was to help enhance future package development for the route and to also help to educate the Caymanian public as to the potential benefits of such areas as cost-effective overseas medical care,” officials said …cough, cough, bullsh^t.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Panama’s John Hopkins (with board-certified US trained physicians and surgeons) is covered by our insurance, much cheaper than USA. Or you can go to Guatemala and save a buck.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think you mean Bushit.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Redacted under s.23 of the FOI law????

    "Subject to the provisions of this section, a public authority shall not

    grant access to a record if it would involve the unreasonable disclosure of

    personal information of any person, whether living or dead…."

    What personal information is in danger of being disclosed?  Their names can't be personal information!

    Is it the identity of who went on an all expenses paid trip, at public expense, unreasonable to disclose to those who paid for it?  You've got to be kidding me.

    Disgraceful decision.  Please appeal.

     

  29. LOL22 says:

    Boy, Government can spend some money on some sh*t, yet we have kids going to bed hungry tonight, families losing homes, CUC taking us for a ride, gas prices bending us over.

  30. MacShambles says:

    Weeze broke. Except when I say we ain’t.

    Tell them to start the jet, Richard.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Wow! $1,881.00 per person! What a waste of money, fuel and time.  Any wonder they cannot balance the budget and present it on time.

  32. SleeplessinCayman says:

    OK I am confused and probably uninformed….Panama is primarily 'selling' not 'buying'so why a "trade delegation?? What are we selling to them?

    …OK we want to sell our own residents tickets to fly to Panama so they can shop at cheap stores there [rather than at home]….the question of sustainability comes to mind. To a consumer this is good news but say goodbye to a few more of the dwindling number of shops in Cayman. The customs revenues and air tickets may produce some revenue for government/Cayman Airways but my guess is that this will be a net loss to our economy by sending more cash offshore. Pathetically short-sighted.

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you really that stupid?

      Mac is going to send you all crasy! why dont you lay off the man! you cant beat him!

    • Rorschach says:

      "OK I am confused and probably uninformed.."

        THAT, my friend is what theyre always counting on…

    • Jonas Dwyer says:

      Continue sleeping friend, rip van winkle won’t be as famous as you. Panama is a gateway to Central and South America , and our airline flying there provides the opportunity of people from that region to come to Cayman through there rather than the Miami hop. With A comprehensive marketing plan by Cayman Airways, the Departmentbof Tourism and the Hotel Association it is possible that over time the numbers of passengers from the mentioned regions could generate a substantial inflow of tourists.

      So sleep on beloved sleep on.

      • Anonymous says:

        Cayman Airways does not even have a marketing manager or department. And, DOT has never created a "comprehensive marketing plan". Just not going to do anything but give some friends of the Premier a good trip.

      • Anonymous says:

        "and our airline flying there provides the opportunity of people from that region to come to Cayman through there rather than the Miami hop".    I don't know about you, but I would rather hop over in Miami than hop over in Cayman.   I believe a lot of other folks feel the same way.  You are the one that is dreaming, sleeping beauty.  You need to be awakened with a beloved's kiss. 

      • SKEPTICAL says:

        I presume you have checked the figures for the number of arriving passengers in Cayman from Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia etc.. Why would they want to come here ? They WANT to go to Miami for shopping, nightlife, theatre, and where any lack of ability to speak English is not an obstacle.

        • Anonymous says:

          For business not tourism. There is an established financial center here if you open your eyes before your mouth.

    • How about iguana meat? says:

      There are over 12,000 prisoners in Panamanian jails so we could export tinned iguana meat- good protein?

  33. UH UH UH says:

    CHECK the figures. There is some $12,000.00+ missing.   WHERE IS IT?

  34. The Parliamentarian says:

    Let me condense all this into one word:  P-O-R-K !!!

  35. Anonymous says:

    Which friends of the Premier?  People with a formal role or just friends?

  36. Tire of the B.S.! says:

    My friends, Nothing is what it seems! Don't you know by now, that the accounting for such trips  should never be bought at face value! The figures publicized "re money spent on these trips" are generally inflated. The cost is generally much lower. But nobody questions anyone or anything. 

    NUFF SAID!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Good, since you're 'Tire of the B.S.' perhaps you'll remember never to vote for McKeeva again.

    • Anonymous says:

      I assume that was sarcasm.

    • Another Anon says:

      I beg to differ. Since the CIG cannot even balance its books, I will not be surprised if the costs were in fact much higher than actually accounted for (reported). The CIG is notorous for losing money. NOTORIOUS CIG!

    • Anonymous says:

      Get your head outof you know where. With the current government the cost are usually less…plenty of slush funds to put through the gambling and entertainment

  37. Anonymous says:

    Let's look at the breakdown.

    $2K for ground transportation in Panama, sounds like a fleet of stretched limos to me.

    Nearly $15K for two nights at La Meridian, which has a current individual room rate of about $200 a night and will give generous discounts on group bookings – you can do the math on that.

    Then over $25K to 'Inhouse Advertising'. WTF was that all about?

    I'd like to see Dot and Cayman Airways produce detailed accounts plus a realistic cost/benefit analysis for this little stunt then try to explain why they bothered.

    That money would have been better spent making solid business ties with major companies in the area where the real tourist dollars are – the UK and European all-inclusive market.    

  38. anonymous says:

    From Mariam-Webster online:

    definitiion of boondoggle: 2: a wasteful or impractical project or activity often involving graft .

  39. Anonymous says:

    CNS – please appeal the redaction to the FOI Commissioner and demand a written explanation of the legal basis for the decision to redact the information from Kee Kee's office.

  40. Anonymous says:

    The total of $70,000 may not seem like much compared to the total amount that this government is wasting, but in reality we are all adversely affected by hundreds decisions like this which happen every month. Money wasted on this trip and other money wasted could have been used to lower our debt, reduce our taxes or put into more useful projects.

    S.19 of the Constitution provides that each of us, as persons adversely affected by the decision to waste money in this way is allowed to demand written explanations as to why it was decided to spend money on each person that was taken on this junket. Hopefully a few dozen of us will do so. The demands for explanations should be sent or delivered to the Chief Officer responsible for Tourism, Government Administration Bldg. George Town. If no response is provided in a reasonable period, a complaint should be filed with the Complaints Commissioner. I would also advise that from here on every FOI request that in any way relates to government waste should also include a request for a written explanation as provided for in the Constitution.  

  41. Anonymous says:

    Totally agree with 10:42 There is a huge untapped market in Latin America with a population bigger than that of USA and Canada combined with a new upwardly mobile class ready to spend their new wealth Brazil is part of the BRIC group of emerging economies projected to become the 5th richest nation in the enxt 20 years. Mexico last year has one of the top growth rates GDP in the world. Don't stop the Panama flights in September – look to the long term, keep them going and tie in the schedules with COPA Airlines and also the new LAN / TAM airline alliance that was put together for the wholeof Latin America. There is more potential in Panama / Latin America than in another US city – Dallas.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree – too much provincial thinking plagues the committees of Chamber, DOT, and CITA – I worry they do not get it, and never will.  A couple hours of dancing pirates, free rum punch, and fritters in the Multicentro plaza does not represent us or sell our opportunities, nor is there any demonstrable value generated (beyond the handful immediately present swelling their cheeks).  A plan with impact would be to tap the contacts that already exist and show them how we can now serve them better than before – that method can be delivered to tens of thousands of people and the comparitive cost is free. 

       

    • Anonymous says:

      And that is why………

    • Anonymous says:

      Have you done your math and saw how much money is circulating in Latin America?  I have vcisited several Latin-American countries and the level of povertyin them boggles the mind.  That is one of the reasons why the level of crime is so high in those places.  Do not let your premier and WP blind your intelligence.  Ask yourself why Trinity Square had to be sold to the highest bidder and what has happened to Sounds & Things,  If the owner/operator is such an astute businessman, what happened to his businesses in the Cayman Islands? XXXX  Come on people, we are spending money on these third world countries that should be helping alleviate the cost of living in the Cayman Islands.  The government gives indigent people 550.00 per month.  When rent has to be paid and food bought for a mother and 2 children out of that 550.00, how well are they eating and generally living?  Of course, that sort of Caymanian cannot further McKeeva and party agenda, so that level Caymanian is counted as nuisances.  I hope he is not going to depend on becoming Premier for another 4 years?  He could have a major disappointment.

      I HOPE SO!!!!!

       

      • Anonymous says:

        It is lamentable that life isn't fair in Cayman, but that doesn't change the fact that Brazil's booming economy creates 19 millionaires every day.  Brazil's number of millionaires increased 6.2% in 2011 to 165,000 from 155,000 in 2010, while millionaires in the rest of the world (including USA) fell sharply.  I want to do business with those millionaires.  Anyone else?!?

  42. Anonymous says:

    I'm happy to see that our finances are now back in order so that we can start celebrating inaugural flights again.

     

    Bush said that he had put a stop to a number of the extravagances that Clifford had planned prior to leaving office, such as the inaugural flight celebrations for the Cayman Airways route to Honduras.

    http://centos6-httpd22-php56-mysql55.installer.magneticone.com/o_belozerov/31115drupal622/headline-news/2009/08/11/logb-defends-travel-and-cars

     

    I take it that "extravagances" means someone else is doing it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Great article, especially the comment about "taking someone elses wife" on a trip.

  43. Anonymous says:

    WOW! Being in the hospitality business and having knowledge of the what costs are, this is high. I guess when spending the public's money there no need for fiscal responsibility.

  44. Anonymous says:

    It seems like both of my recent favorite comments apply here.

    "You can't polish a turd"

    "The elephant in the room is corruption"

     

     

  45. Anonymous says:

    Total waste of money.

    • Anonymous says:

      You should add "for the Caymanian people"  But….A great time was had by Bush and all his many groupies……………………..At the Caymanian people's expense………………..Again.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Cayman insists on projecting this antiquated and unsettling dancing pirate cultural association when making first impressions.  It's also a particularly wierd sales tactic when the direct flight stops long before Pirate's Week.  If these minds would just get it right for once, our hotels could be crawling with Spanish and Portuguese speaking families right now.  We shouldn't focus on tourist traffic from Panama, we want the business travellers from South America that transit via Panama's Tocumen.  Seriously, who actually uses Travel Agents in 2012?  Cayman Airways should be working to form alliances with the feeder airlines that route via Tocumen and code-share with COPA.  Our Cayman hotel managers at Marriott, Ritz etc should be on speed dial with CITA, tapping their corporate loyalty programs and sending deals and incentives to those affluent South American email addresses they already have – double their rewards points/buy 3 nights get 4th free etc.  CITA should be working with Cayman Airways reps to get the code share agreements signed.  Otherwise, this risks becoming yet another wasted Cayman Airways effort that fizzles out in September, and we'll hear, "We tried and it didn't work" for the next 10 years.     

    • Anonymous says:

      Party time again at our expence.

      well thaught out but planning!, not possible by the government,

      it was just a party with friends and very, very few working for the Country

      FOI, ? after landing,

      how many were never seen again untill departure time of the return trip????

  47. dave says:

     Anytime I hear the name Cayman Airways getting some deal I cringe at the thought when during Ivan in 2004 when people were trying to evacuate the island, how these devils deliberately sold their tickets at an extremely higher price than what was considered reasonable or fair.  Sorry to bring that up, but I still cringe at the thought. The amount of money they stole, price gauging them. I haven't heard anything about recompense.

    • datisme says:

      Governent funded means government used and government protected  and here government means Bush.

    • Anonymous says:

      Stop being ungrateful and be glad they were here to take your sorry a$$ off the island. Cayman Airways as far as I remember offered apologies and refunds for what was a computer glitch and if you didn't get yours, go ask for it and stop being so ungrateful..

      Next call American Airlines and ask them to send a plane for you.,.. Let's see if you will pay for that one. Better yet, let's see if they will come!

      • SKEPTICAL says:

        Same old stupid comments about US airlines who did not assist in the Ivan evacuation. If you were American Airlines insurer, and they submitted a claim for the total loss of a $100 million Boeing which they had flown down to Cayman when it was known there was an impending major hurricane – where would you suggest they put their claim form. You have to think these things though before you start pointing fingers.

        • Anonymouse says:

          LOL!!

          Hey Skeptical, I'm in the business and AA was and always is the first to abandon ship well before there is ANY risk of losing an aircraft!! And THAT is a fact!! (first hand knowledge)

          And I never heard them offer to rescue their citizens after the fact either.  Even Air Canada came for theirs, though they didn't publicize it very well.

          You may need to think things thru before YOU jump to conclusions!

          LMAO

        • Anonymous says:

          SKEPTICAL the classic is when that same airline brought a plane full of passengers to cayman in 1995 right when Hurricane Gilbert was going to hit.

          • Anonymous says:

            If you are going to make up stories at least try to get the background facts right. Hurricane Gilbert hit in 1988. We were not seriously impacted by another Hurricane until Ivan in 2004.  

    • Anonymous says:

      that was just a 'computer glitch'!

    • Anonymous says:

      Dave,

      Cayman Airways transported hundreds of people off this island after Ivan at no cost so you need to check your facts.  Cayman Airways staff put the people of this country first, even ahead of the needs of their immediate families.  If anything, we should be grateful to the men of women of the airline.  Not sure why you cringe at the thought, therefore, as it is not an accurate one.

      Additionally, Cayman Airways and the Complaints Commissioner confirmed that all affected customers were identified and the matter rectified.  Again, check your facts.

      This article is about an unnecessary waste of government funds and since you have nothing to add, you instead chose to drag our national airline down.  I for one support our national airline. 

      • Anonymous says:

        My sisters both had to pay to be able to leave after Ivan on a flight, so not sure where you got your facts from….

  48. Anonymous says:

    DOT redacted the names of the delegates…..hmmm interesting….. Why was that I wonder?

    • Anon says:

      and 31 rooms for 40 odd delegates, can't see those guys sharing unless they brought their wives and partners along for the jolly

  49. EYE ON THE ISLAND says:

    Reason number 200 why we need new leadership.

  50. Anonymous says:

    There are no pressing issues facing our country so why shouldn't they spend our money partying?

  51. Anonymous says:

    When since has Swanky band increased to 12? A(n) (ac)counting error? I need to jump on that "band"wagon!!! Perhaps then my budget might be singing a different/sweeter tune.

    • Anonymous says:

      While I do like the Swanky Band, but what about sharing it up some of the time too? Burmons Band seem to be the number 1 in Cayman and also JRs.

  52. Anonymous says:

    This is totally BS just like the ones that was taken to New York also so you can see them posting  pics on FB saying what a great time they are having. YES off  us the  People of this country footing the bill maybe if they had to pay out of thier own pockets it would have been a different story. This Crap needs to be cut out and fast why does everyone and their first cousins needs to be on these trips.

  53. Anonymous says:

    I do not think names should be redacted.  Isn't this suppose to be public as it is the public's money?  Perhaps I am wrong, but it should be transparent (new word I know in CI Politics).

  54. Anonymousey says:

    Yes, we see Very Transparent. I think the Panamanian Gvt. should hafe footed at least half of this since they stand to gain from Cayman Companies who I am certain will find good deals on some items. 38 delegates (hum) at such a time. We don't want their personnal information just their Names ! We the people paid for this ur event and we have a right to know WHO went.

    • datisme says:

      Before you go totally off on the "I have rights" issue did you ask Bush if you still have them?  did we the people get to go to the Panama Party?  You have the right to pay for it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe the Panamanian gov't. did give them funding.

  55. Libertarian says:

    There is a rat in our overall economic system. He has lived during PPM's tenure and UDP tenure. It is a huge rat of close relationships between business people and government officials. It exhibits special grants and favors. It gives special duties to some and permissions and indirect tax breaks to others. It consist of self-serving friendships and government ties between politicians and the private entities. You call it crony capitalism. The article states, "38 delegates included guests of the premier, the Chamber of Commerce and CITA representatives, as well as private sector tourism stakeholders." One must scratch his head and wonder, where in these deals, will the average Caymanian who is without a job or struggling to make ends meet… just what is in these deals to their benefit???  Remember and don't forget – the alliance between government and the private sector stakeholders, will end up increasing the cost of living, legislating more laws to their favor, and a centralized market where only a few will be controlling the cost of doing business. Government should never be making any favors and deals with a "few". Government should be neutral to all market forces and focus on enforcing the law and good governance. 

  56. Knot S Smart says:

    Not bad for a two night splurge! Considering we have a balanced budget…

    The increased fees for the liquor establishments should be able to cover that trip.

    But I wonder who will be hit with new fees to cover the next excursion?

    My only complaint is why did we pay $1200 for Pirate Actors when we have so many real pirates available?

  57. Anonymous says:

    Government needs to be shut down for a week and all turned away so they can sit on their hands and reflect on what it is or isn't doing. . .

    "The peoples lock out" as it could become affectionately known. We could all stand on the steps and poke them away with long sticks and sharp carrotts attached to the end, – surely a few janitors would buy into this one too; – leaving notes on the doors criptically revealing the dispensing of keys into flaggens of milk randomly distrubuted around the supermarkets. . . 

  58. Anonymous says:

    How much money has the Island from the visitors from Panama spent on Island to date, where are the welthy Panamanians that were coming to invest in Cayman, so far I see a few applying for work permits, I guess for some Bar.

  59. Anonymous says:

    Guests of the premiere? Sounds like his families and friends to me

  60. Anonymous says:

    SPEND SPEND SPEND! We need to stop this maddness, this so called defunked government have to go …… today…. Idiots are running the Country now. Thank God time is longer than rope.

  61. Anonymous says:

    Looks like the costs all in for the Swanky Kitchen Band came to way less that $20,000. Lucky for us the Michigan Battle Creek Brass Band was already booked that weekend.

  62. Anonymous says:

    How many……38?????   How much…..$70,000????  How long……2 days?????

    • Anonymous says:

      Ya, ya ,ya, peanuts man especially when we are broke

      and getting broker, it's just $940.65/ day for each person

      That;s how to run a country and show surpluses at year end

      spend more than you make and get  0.43c value on each dollar spent.

      hu, huu, haaaa,  change change change

  63. Anonymous says:

    If this was all about advertising the new route why did CAL charge them $19,000 in airfares?

  64. So whats the point! says:

    70,000 is nothing compared to what Cayman Airways will be making off its new destination and customers.  70,000 can be made back in a month. This is nothing..

    • Anonymous says:

      Well that is the case why didn't  CAL pay for it.

    • Anonymous says:

      especially if the passenger load of 20 the other day is typical!

    • Anonymous says:

      What ever you are smoking I'll take a couple of bales – that would be worth at least $70K.

    • Anonymous says:

      I know I will get the thumbs down here but this is not a bad spend particularly when 20k of it went back directly to Cayman Airways. You can start a route and spend 10K to promote it .

      People start thinking reasonably. You have to spend money to make money.

      Think about it, if they collected 20k in airfare on one round trip, it won't take long to make up the 70k spent and hopefully that amount will be multiplied significantly as folks from Central and South America start coming to Cayman for vacation and business purposes.

      Most airlines starting a new route would spend in excess of a million dollars in promoting and marketing the route before it ever got off the ground.