MLA hopes govt will act on tourism motion

| 08/05/2019 | 20 Comments
Cayman News Service

Frederick Beach, Bodden Town

(CNS): Arden McLean, the East End MLA who could soon be opposition leader, is hoping that a recent private member’s motion he brought to the parliament will be acted upon by the tourism ministry. The motion called for concessions for any Caymanian who wants to develop tourism-based businesses in Bodden Town, East End or North Side on all development and other relevant fees as well as import duty where their construction value falls below CI$500,000 or where the business generates under that amount in revenue per year.

While Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell accepted the motion on behalf of government and agreed to take a look at the package of concessions to stimulate bed and breakfast and other smaller accommodation, the govenrment has given no timeline for when it  might implement any of the waivers.

Kirkconnell had asked for the motion to be changed to increase McLean’s original $300,000 threshold to CI$500,000, indicating that government does see merit in the motion.

“For years the Eastern Districts have suffered from the lack of tourism related businesses, and I believe it has come about because we have not been as active in promoting the Eastern Districts as we should have been for a long time,” McLean said in a press release about his motion.

McLean complained that existing operators in the tourism market do not know much about the Eastern Districts and they do not receive their fair share of tourists. He said that if the people of the Eastern Districts were given the incentives, East End, North Side and Bodden Town would capture a much larger share of the market.

Christopher Saunders (BTW) supported McLean’s motion and said he hoped it would encourage many Caymanians to make the necessary investments to get involved with the Airbnb rental market and make additional income. “It is all about improving the quality of life for our people,” he said.

Kirkconnell said he believed a more aggressive policy for the small entrepreneur who is just becoming involved in tourism was needed and government would consider the proposal.

There are already a number of existing incentives in place for small businesses owned by local people and duty concessions on construction. Across Grand Cayman, numerous property owners have already begun taking advantage of the online accommodation platform Airbnb after it signed an MOU last year with the ministry.

In 2017 more than 8,500 visitors to Cayman stayed in accommodation booked through the platform and since then it has made a significant contribution to the record-breaking air arrival numbers last year.

See debate on CIGTV Below:

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Category: Business, Tourism

Comments (20)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The reason the eastern districts have suffered from lack of tourism has very little to do with lack of promotion of those districts. Its a simple fact that most tourists prefer to be in and around 7MB. You can promote the eastern districts all you want but if people prefer to be on the other side its not going to make much of a difference.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Do not be deceived by this motion people. You should ask what is his motive. He is making it look like he is trying to help but there is an underlying reason…and it is not to help us become entrepreneurs.

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    • Andrea Calderon says:

      Don’t agree with Anonymous! if there are no rooms/accommodation then they cannot stay – of course there are at least a 1/3 of visitors who would like to experience hands on the local culture and heritage by being a part of that environment.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Sadly, this has all been done before.

    There were people that bought into the GO East initiative scheme by the government back in 2005 ish. Those people were basically hung out to dry by the government and the DOT. There was no support whatsoever. Just a bag of empty promises with business owners holding that very expensive bag of promises.

    I hope any Caymanian that believes this is the government stepping into help, has a look back on history and speaks to some of the business people who got sucked in the last time this was floated.

    They will never be on the SMB corridor and, therefore, will always suffer at the hands of the government and DOT’s lofty promises.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Some of the newbies as you called them are trying, but what do they get. Two weeks of bad- mouthing.. Dammed if they do and dammed if they don’t. By now you should know that when you are in the opposition they can hardly even get their motions on the schedule. This government as well as previous ones forget that every member of the LA is representing their constituents. They think it’s only their sheep that need anything done for them. dictatorship or democracy? – you be the judge.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Here comes Arden! Elections must be around the corner.I can’t think of one member that deserves to be re-elected other than maybe Ezzard.I never thought I would say that.

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  6. Ron Ebanks says:

    I think that the wording in the $500,000 deal is very tricky , say if you build a Restaurant and a 10 room bed and breakfast , I know Restaurants that do half million dollars alone per year , so then you will have to pay Government back for those tax breaks that the little Caymanian got to get him/her started , but not putting those tricks on the multi millionaire developers he just gets his because .

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Bodden Town might be seen to be more friendly itself, if the mayor could take down the noose gallows from the first house everyone has to drive by. 15yrs past Ivan now. Just a thought.

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    • Anonymous says:

      And who made you judge and jury?

      It is on his own property and, therefore, he should be able to do as he pleases.

      It may have started after Ivan but clearly he is still upset with the current way things are being run in his country.

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  8. LookYa says:

    McLean, Leader of the Opposition? 😱😱 Oh my good, Lord! No. I shudder to think how many times he would go overseas and embarrass us with his xenophobic attitude – he favors deporting people who do not think Ike we do.Then he forgets he is in a Legislative Assembly and goes on monologues best fitted for an amateur theater production. For him, if for no one else, the 2 hours each member is allowed to talk should be cut to 1.5 hours. We are ducked.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    What’s in it for $Government$?

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Obviously Mr. Kirkconnell does not expect middle income Caymanians to be able to benefit from this. Why should it be increased to $500,000? It can only be the sole purpose of keeping Caymanians out. There are very well run tourism- based businesses operating in the eastern districts and I don’t think everyone was set up for $500,000. Arden insist that he accepts the motion as is. DO NOT CHANGE FROM $300,000. The rest of us are not the Kirkconnells but we would like to take part in tourism all the same.

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  11. East End Oprah says:

    You get a handout, you get a handout, everyone gets a handout!

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  12. Here comes the Judge says:

    kakistocracy which is is a system of government that is run by the worst, least qualified, or most unscrupulous citizens. The word was coined as early as the seventeenth century. Wikipedia.

    Now we all know that approximately every 8 years some legislator or the other wakes up from their slumber and their eyes go eastward. This is a fact jack. All o youse will remember the GOEAST INITIATIVE ( yeah I spelt it right!). Well here we go again.you would think that by now either the new alumni in the government or in the Opposition would have come up with a sort of macro blueprint from which this political football could be kicked around some more. No what we get is sound bites that appeal to the minds of voters who their representatives will tell at election time we’ll see I brought this up again but nobody wants to really do it. Hogwash.

    Can we should we be expecting better from the people we elect, oh ah don’t forget the silent ones in the house whose duty it is to go and preach the PPM or Unity gospel in their key areas to ensure a vote next time, and perhaps a little assistance in some form given to lock it in. I digress surely by now the people of these Islands should realize that generally speaking we the voting public are not much or any better off than 8 years ago, with tourism booming, cost of food , gasoline and living in general on the rise too, no meaningful increases in salaries even though we are required to bust our butts for the profitable gain of our employers,( who are mainly chamber of commerce members ) crime on the rise despite the stats we read about, education system still in improvement mode, the dump still a serious issue not taken care of, , insurance on health and premises on the rise and on and on I’m sure ona get the picture.

    So until the people say enough is enough and go in the meantime and prior to the next elections, pressure these representatives to really work for us and stop with the freaking sound bites, we will continue to suffer. That being sad we need to look for alternatives to those who are long livers in the assembly and sweep them clean and for those newbies that seem to have some potential we need to press on them that this is your chance to be rid of the shackles of the old guard and join with people with a vision to take this country to a level of greater understanding, prosperity for all, working with all to solve pressing issues and. for the overall good and a sound quality of life for all persons living in these Cayman Islands. If we don’t get a positive change good people we will be screwed literally.

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