Tourism board clamps down on craft market
(CNS): Reports of improper conduct by vendors, poor customer service and the sale of unauthorised products at the Cayman craft market has led to the Tourism Attraction Board instigating a new set of rules. The code of conduct prohibits the use of profane or threatening language or behaviour at the market and addresses basic service standards that vendors should provide to all customers, the board said. It also reinforces the kinds of art and craft items and that can be sold at the market. In view of the Department of Tourism’s marketing campaign, Gilbert Connolly the CEO of TAB said vendors had to ensure that all visitors to the market enjoyed a courteous, pleasant, beneficial and ‘Caymankind’ experience.
Although the TAB officials were not specific about the complaints or the vendors that had been complained about all licensed stall holders will be required to sign the document and agreed to be bound by the new rules which have arisen as a result of what were described as “persistent issues at the market.”
The vendors at the Cayman Craft Market on Boilers Road, located in downtown George Town were presented with the revised and updated ‘Code of Conduct’ last week by the board’s chief executive officer and Jeán-Eric Smith, the craft market manager at a special meeting. The document is designed to regulate the conduct of business at the market, how stall holders behave and what can be sold at the location the officials said.
“The Board was committed to maintaining the mission and integrity of the market, as a truly Caymanian enterprise that provides visitors with authentic representations of local art, culture and heritage,” Connolly said in a release about the meeting.
He said that the vendors are representatives of the Cayman Islands tourism industry and must conduct themselves as such but he said the code was also there to protect the licensed stall holders rights as well as guidelines on how to behave.
Smith said he welcomed the code as he said it reflected the growth of the Craft Market. “Hopefully, this kind of entrepreneurial tourism initiative will be more passionately embraced by Caymanian artisans as a means of showcasing and selling their creations,” he said.
Ivolyn Thomas, who operates Ivy’s Cayman Treats at the market for the past five years, said she was behind the code 100 percent because of the impact the vendors can have.
“The vendors here at the Craft Market are some of the first people that cruise tourists meet in the Cayman Islands and the first impression is very important. This is not only our business; it’s the country’s tourism and if we do not conduct ourselves properly, we lose and the country will lose,” she added.
The code will apply equally to all those using the market and they were all given copies to study over the week following the meeting. This week all the vendors licensed to sell at the market will be required to sign the document, signifying their agreement and legal obligations to comply with the new rules.
The Tourism Attraction Board has management responsibility for the Cayman Craft Market and other tourism-related properties including the Queen Elizabeth 11 Botanic Park, Pedro St. James Castle, Hell, as well as the annual Pirates Week Festival.
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