Tourism stipend extended to June

| 14/12/2020 | 27 Comments
Cayman News Service
Deputy Premier Moses Kirkconnell in Parliament on Friday

(CNS): Workers and water or tour operators who have been furloughed or unable to run their businesses since the borders were closed to tourists in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic will receive another six months of monthly support from government. Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell said Friday that the monthly payment of $1,000 being given to nearly 2,900 people will continue until June.

The decision reflects the fact that government is not expecting any significant reopening of tourism anytime soon. And while government has so far laid out around CI$15.6 million to help those who are suffering the most as a result of the COVID-19 situation, he said it would now find another CI$18 million to continue the support until tourism can resume.

He said that because of the foresight and determination of the coalition government, which had put funds aside for a rainy day, it was able to directly support those most affected by the pandemic.

“Since we are not yet at the stage where we can safely reopen our borders to tourists, I am pleased to confirm that the ministry will be extending the stipend payments for an additional six months, from January to June 2021,” he told Parliament. “Here in Cayman, we are blessed to be living in a relatively safe bubble, going about our business as normal… But beyond our borders, it is a very different story.”

The minister pointed out the challenges ahead for tourism. “Many of our source market cities are re-entering lockdowns or renewing restrictions to try to curtail the virus spread. This paints a bleak picture in terms of when we will likely be able to bring back tourism,” he stated.

Optimistic about the positive developments relating to vaccines and the expected arrival of the first shots in Cayman next month, he said that would be “the game-changing equalizer the world has been waiting for”.

Kirkconnell added, “Having a vaccine will allow us to take the first step
on the road towards safely rebuilding our tourism industry… to pave the way for our borders to safely reopen and visitors to return to our shores, restoring gainful employment to thousands of Caymanians.”

See full statement in CNS Library (scroll down to Impact on Tourism).

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Category: Business, Tourism

Comments (27)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I had to get out an get another job after loosing my job after being in it for ten years- still not making as much as I used to but the stipend helps. Tourism is pretty much dead . Time to reinvent ourselves. Agriculture?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Without wisdom, we will be guilty of creating our own prison.
    It will be a technocracy.
    Front people behind a garage door pretending that they invented something.
    It is all a scam.

  3. Anonymous says:

    We were all told borders were staying closed for a long time and that tourism would be pretty much nonexistent during that time.

    I know local entrepreneurs that have worked hard to re-purpose their tourist-driven businesses to fill other roles for now. Others, have found employment in other areas.

    Some of these workers haven’t tried to find other work and choose to sit on their butt and wait for a stipend…..that’s on them.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Please shut up if you don’t know why so dam bad minded I worked in tourisim of course, but there’s nothing for us so what must we do dead for hungry just because the government is helping us out don’t mean that they are going to do it forever but until they do what they have to do they wount be opening up cayman, and yes I got 2weeks work with nice picking garbage but that’s a honest bread, taxi drivers are not working because they want they are not working because they just cannot we are hard working people and before this virus we have never being to any government for help we always work we are hard working and honest and proud beggars we thank the government of the cayman island for all they have done for each and every citizen of this island and so happy that some of you who hate taxi drivers is not the government blessed Christmas to every one

  5. Anonymous says:

    “Here in Cayman, we are blessed to be living in a relatively safe bubble, going about our business as normal…”. XXXXX What is normal about our business right now?

  6. Fleecing Cayman says:

    Export tax on all the stolen stuff going out of here in containers PLEASE!CBC aint doin shit all about this terrible situation so lets tax it NOW!All these Balikbayan Boxes need to be searched and these containers been sent to Jamaica Too. Too much foolishness going in Cayman!

  7. Anonymous says:

    June won’t be long enough.

    With the governments plan to require vaccination and 4 tests and then everyone in the family to have it there will be minimal tourists anyway.
    Hope the remember children can get the vaccine so no families are coming.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Any reason they can’t be doing NICE work?

  9. Anonymous says:

    no-plan-ppm are a one trick pony…..spend and borrow till election time.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Thanking the Government for the stipend, its been a lifesaver, especially Moses .

  11. Bean Counter says:

    PPM burning through all the money now. That will leave the next government in 2021 broke or scrabbling. We have seen this movie before in 2009 when PPM were voted out of office for mismanagement of the treasury.

  12. Anonymous says:


  13. Anonymous says:

    Meanwhile thousands of jobs are filled by imported labour in construction and transport, and more than a year after Covid, government will still be paying people to sit on their asses without any regard to their efforts to seek alternative employment.

    WTF are they waiting for? A cruise ship? (None are coming).

  14. Anonymous says:

    So the election is in May and the handouts go to June. 🤔

  15. Anonymous says:

    This is a joke. Either start offering $500 per person duty free to bring stuff in one time or let us pull from pensions again. We don’t get any help when other countries are doing much more to assist their people.

    • Very concerned says:

      Additional Pension withdraw and/or mortgage loan deferrals for the next 3-6 months are desperately needed PLEASE!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        Agreed. Many of us don’t qualify for help for one reason or another because we don’t fit into govs specific terms. I don’t want a handout but I would like to access pension funds so I can pay rent while I am trying to start my own little business and find another job.

    • Anonymous says:

      During the Great War and WW2, industrial economies issued “Victory Bonds” to whether the storm, allow assembly-lines to pivot and re-tool for the war effort, and make Allied contributions to the rebuilding of Europe.

      Savvy tourism businesses/restaurants in the Cayman Islands that are struggling could issue low, or no-interest 5 year convertible notes to keep their lights on. Or rudimentary coupon booklets for future service credits. This isn’t going to be a forever situation. Cayman’s forward-looking resident billionaires/millionaires and Industrialists could absorb all that is issued and more, just for fun.

      Caymanians must help each other in crisis, and not look to our broke government for political hand-outs during every elections cycle. It’s OUR money, not theirs.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Another vote getter.

    A substantial amount of recipients are otherwise employed and/or are earning Government pensions.

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