DoT director reveals continued record arrivals

| 20/06/2019 | 13 Comments
Cayman News Service
Stingray City

(CNS): Tourism Director Rosa Harris shared more record-breaking statistics on air arrivals Wednesday, when she revealed that 40,591 overnight guests visited Cayman last month, the first time that the numbers for May have surpassed 40,000 and the sixth consecutive month of growth. Harris was speaking at the Chamber of Commerce Economic Forum, where she offered an update on the tourism sector.

Focusing largely on overnight guess, she told the audience that stay-over numbers for 2019 have increased on 2018, which was itself a record-breaking year, by more than 13%, as the increase in airlift from Denver and Texas fuelled the growth. By the end of May this year Cayman had already welcomed 232,474 visitors, the highest number in history for the first five months of the year.

While Harris said airlift was the most critical factor in the growth, targeted market campaigns have also helped to attract people to the destination, and it was the “stunning natural beauty of the Cayman Islands” that continues to be its best selling point, given that it is by no means the only warm weather destination in the world.

While cruise numbers were down around 15,000 last month when compared to the previous year, the near 108,000 passengers bring the total of cruise visitors to almost 900,400 so far this year, which compares well with most previous years. The drop in cruise numbers will be offset by the much greater expenditure of the additional 5,000 stay-over guests and the accommodation tax, which will boost government coffers.

Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell, who joined Harris to answer questions after her presentation, said he would like to see cruise passengers spending more money. He justified government’s continued pursuit of the cruise project by saying that it was securing the cruise sector for the 300 or so taxi drivers who depend on it to make a living.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: , ,

Category: Business, Tourism

Comments (13)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    Didn’t read the article, but I will say whatever anything is about, just let Dart and Jackie take care of it. It’s their island.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Q. How do these 300 taxi owners, already being actively displaced by private and government-subsidized attraction-contracted bus operators, make MORE money by restricting arriving ships to just 4 from 7 or 8? Can anyone explain how that works? Thanks.

    • Anonymous says:

      Most of these taxi drivers should not have been granted status in the first place. Good on them for working in their old age. But they aren’t even Caymanian.

      Now that’s out the bag. They should have a plan for themselves because they can’t work forever and what do they do during hurricane season? So what is their retirement plan? Govt?

      Jobs come and go. Careers are lost because of changing times. People have to adapt. Why are we trying to help those that need to seek other means of income and should have thought of other means from many years ago. Not every job is sustainable.

      Are you telling me that typewriter jobs should be saved? Or the phone companies should be helped because barely anyone uses a home line or calls long distance like they did years ago?

      Move with the times. These people can still make money in tourism, just doing something else more sustainable. Or how about finally create a government bus system that runs until from 6am – 3 am. The taxi drivers will drive the buses and get a guaranteed salary with uniforms. The buses will actually be clean and stay clean as they should be cleaned nightly, smell nice, have AC that works and have identifiable stops and schedules so people know when to stand outside rather than some random time of day.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Well stayover tourist will spend $400 for spaghetti and fish but get upset that taxi rates are not as cheap as home or uber. One pound of $3-4 lobster $37, well I mean just look at this menu: this the furthest rest. taxi rate $30Ci vehicle price 30,000 not including insurance for car or van, fuel maint. its truly not the same. If I have to do mech. work CI$ 100 per hour or more. Cost of living is expensive . So they rent a vehicle and they come in groups. So not that much for the driver/owner. But of course they can use the public bus those guys charge CI$2.00 per person and work 6am-6pm.
    The taxi industry can’t pension them off becase most wouldn’t even have $100,000 we joined later. So we have your Grandparents working in the system. Some as old as 85 yo. So no we don’t make a lot of money from stayover people, especially if they seen the island already. But I agree creating a meter app would be better cause we could make more money by charging when syuck in traffic. Normally we lose when its busy.

    • Anonymous says:

      In fairness, the obscure taxi rate sheet hasn’t been updated in decades, adjusted for inflation, or rising fuel and labour costs. Driving 20 miles in Cayman isn’t so different cost-wise from driving 20 miles in any big urban city – worse, there is unlikely to be a return fare. I use Uber a lot and routinely absorb $30-50 fares going around NYC, Montreal, Miami or where ever.

      Cayman doesn’t need a new app, there are dozens of existing apps that can be easily white-labelled for us with minor adjustments – and no special hardware. It would be better for passengers and taxi owners. Need Moses and DATT to listen, which is the hard part.

  4. Anonymous says:

    And how many come back ?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Just a reminder that it is Rosa Harris that is also in charge of the dysfunctional unmetered/unapped taxis and soot-belching PTU public bus fleet that can’t be bothered to fulfill their scheduled routes for EE and NS customers. When will she begin covering her transportation mandate? Does that start in 2021 or something? Bermuda and Bahamas have had transport apps for 10 years, while this regime revels in self-congratulation for uncorrelated arrival data. Is there someone else that needs to be hired to handle this scope?

    CNS: Rosa Harris is only in charge of the DoT. The PTU is a different and quite separate government department within the same ministry. Here’s the PTU webpage. And here’s the ministry website.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Government consistently provides its own proof that the port is not needed or wanted and then consistently ignores said proof. Only in Caymanistan.

  7. Say it like it is says:

    Now I understand why so many of our cruise ship visitors just wander around George Town – they are admiring it’s “stunning natural beauty”.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Enjoy it while it lasts.

    It will take years to build the new cruise port, and oh yeah, it’s coming. The visitors that like Grand Cayman won’t come anymore because nobody wants to herd around with the Fanny Pack Brigade.

    Sad day in the Cayman Islands.

  9. Anonymous says:

    The port is to support 300 taxi drivers! Waaaaay cheaper to pension then off!!!
    Why are they not satisfied driving all the extra stay over visitors?! Taxis needed for them surely?!
    Kirkconnell needs to think before he speaks,


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.