DoT cuts deals worth $12.3M with US agencies

| 14/06/2024 | 41 Comments
Cayman News Service
Tourism Director Rosa Harris

(CNS): Following a competitive, multi-month procurement process, the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism (DoT) has cut deals with two agencies based in the United States to take on promotional work and the creation of campaigns for the next five years. The two contracts are worth over CI$12.3 million to showcase this destination and attract more visitors from North America and other parts of the world.

Grey, an advertising agency with offices around the world, has a contract worth over $9.5 million to be the Cayman Islands’ global creative agency, according to the government’s procurement site.

Public relations and influencer agency Praytell has secured a contract worth more than $2.8 million.

According to a release from the DoT, Grey is a longtime industry leader with a number of big name clients, such as Coca-Cola and GlaxoSmithKline. It will develop DoT’s first-ever global marketing effort as a luxury vacation destination. Tourism Director Rosa Harris said the agency’s formidable proposal emerged as the top choice.

“I am confident our tourism partners and the country will be proud of the impending Cayman Islands global brand that will be unveiled in 2025. The agency’s strategic thinking has mined an ownable, breakthrough idea and their creative prowess will undoubtedly elevate and captivate audiences across our global markets. We had an instant connection, a natural camaraderie, and we can’t wait to get started,” she added.

“There’s stiff competition across the Caribbean, but the Cayman Islands provides an unparalleled experience given their many unique treasures, inviting culture, and incredibly warm hospitality,” said Jason Kahner, Grey’s global chief client officer. He said there was “instant chemistry” with the DoT team as they partner with them to reach “new audiences across North America, Europe, and Latin America to position them as the warm weather luxury destination”.

Praytell, which was named PRWeek’s Agency of the Year, will oversee media relations, the DoT’s visiting journalist programme, influencer relations, thought leadership, issues and crisis consultation, travel trade and consumer publicity, and events for the US, the Cayman Islands’ largest source market.

“In a landscape where breakthrough creativity and industry expertise are paramount, Praytell emerged as the clear choice for our partnership,” Harris said. “Their proven track record and deep understanding of the tourism industry made them the perfect fit to amplify the unique offerings of the Cayman Islands to the American market.”

Praytell’s travel practice is led by Senior Vice President Jamie Simpson and VP Maria Opatz. “The Praytell team is completely captivated by the allure of the Cayman Islands — not just its stunning beauty, but the genuine warmth and hospitality of its people, which was put on full display during our team’s recent visits to the island,” said Opatz.

At the end of 2021, the DoT said it would be spending close to CI$40 million over two years in an effort to attract back the more than half a million stay-over guests that were visiting the Cayman Islands before the COVID-19 pandemic struck and the tourism sector collapsed.

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Category: Business, Tourism

Comments (41)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Take that money and cut crime and make the island safer and they will come in droves. also stop the “im Caymanian get off my island” mentality and you wouldn’t need to spend 12 million. Oh and get uber while your at it. Maybe even attract a sporting even like the PGA, Rugby, Football or tennis. There is NOTHING for anyone to do here.

  2. Kenny's other Bee says:

    Please spend that cash on MRCU.

  3. Voter says:

    Please Vote them out of office.

  4. Anonymous says:

    If Caymanians could monetize their social media accounts there would be no need for these outside expensive agencies. So many people here would choose social media work over working in a stuffy office.

    • Anonymous says:

      Show me a Caymanian with at least 1 million followers first. The entire point is to attract people TO Cayman.

  5. Anonymous says:

    “genuine warmth and hospitality of its people” ?
    Ever been in Cayman traffic, road rage, stressed out people, anger, aggression.
    Greedy landlords and businesses.
    Poor public education.
    Lack of public health access.
    Lowest minimum wage and the highest prices .
    A naïve religious population, lead by obese, corrupt, women beating politicians.

    WTF do you mean ?

    • Anonymous says:

      I can’t imagine how shit things must have been back home for you to remain here even after considering all of those factors. <3

  6. Anonymous says:

    Come to Cayman. Experience the pristine beach, but with higglers for your convenience.

    Come to Cayman. Experience life in the slow lane, quite literally, thanks to our terrible drivers causing crashes on our overburdened roads.

    Come to Cayman. Experience the latest in multinational chain restaurants. Eat like a local, and sample Popeyes, BK, KFC, and swill it all down with drink from Starbucks.

    Come to Cayman. Experience the latest in transportation, with drivers available at the swipe of a screen with competitively priced Ube…errr with highly trai…err barely literate taxi drivers who don’t know the local highway code, but do know how to calculate some huge fare prices by consulting a fabled, magic price grid thingy.

    Come to Cayman. Experience the vibrant George Town, and gaze at closed down restaurants that are nestled between quaint jewelry stores and souvenir stores that sell goods from all over the planet, but have the words CAYMAN ISLANDS added to them.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes. It’s been going downward like this since you and the other useless expats “discovered” us, and brought your trash and crap habits here.
      Before that we had no traffic, fast food …or wife beaters 😉

  7. Anonymous says:

    Yes…Zero tourism marketing and info shared here ON THE GROUND!
    and DOT doesn’t answer their phone.
    Tourists don’t even know about this holiday weekend, and the expat concierges/front desk staff and most bellman, can’t explain to them basic Cayman .

  8. Anonymous says:

    This just makes me sad. To think that our government considers spending tens of millions of dollars to tiktok promoters/personalities to advertise the Cayman Islands. Not their money. Nope. It’s OUR money, from our duties, our fees. We couldn’t find a Caymanian company or group or organization that could promote our cause. What a [expletive] travesty. We actually have to spend millions in a foreign country to try to attract their countrymen to our territory.

    I hope like hell I’m not the only one who sees how tragically wrong this is.

    It just feels so incredibly hopeless. We, the people, who provide the funding, will never ever realise any value from these expenditures. We will also never ever get any relief from our own requirements to pay for things we don’t want.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Meanwhile, the people of this country continue to suffer and our government is sponsoring trips for TikTok influencers. I’m shocked but not shocked!
    @meimonstaa made two videos just yesterday talking all about it. She’ll be getting married so our government has offered to sponsor the bachelorette AND bachelor party. How much have they budgeted for that??? I’m SICK.

    • Dirk Diggler says:

      It’s called “marketing”. She has 3.5M followers on TicTok. Her posts regularly get over 1M views and tons of engagement.
      When she comes here she will be required to make a pre-agreed amount of posts and content on Cayman.
      This is just a paid Cayman promotion. What don’t you understand about this?

  10. SSM345 says:

    Rosa, where we can can find these “many unique treasures”?

    Everything that made Cayman unique has been wiped out or paved over. We have F all to offer but for traffic, extortionate prices and a 4 mile beach.

    Have any of the hotels have chipped in to pay this bill or are we giving them global marketing campaigns for free?

  11. mervyn cumber says:

    In an age of internet media, why not work from home to promote our Islands?

    • Anonymous says:

      If they had all the apron fees they are owed there would be no shortfall to be concerned about.

  12. Anonymous says:

    and still not back to 2019 levels.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Yet no European marketing strategy!!!

  14. Anonymous says:

    We already break stay over tourism year on year which is predominantly from North America. Why would we pay $12 million to promote what influencers and celebrities along with word of mouth has already done. Something is off with this!

  15. Anonymous says:

    “Signed” would be a better word. “Cut” suggests reduced or stopped.

  16. Anonymous says:

    So the Cayman Islands hired people from abroad to advertise the place. What happened to the Caymanians first job policy? Did they check there was no Caymanian willing to take the job before signing those 12 million contracts?

    • They didn’t need to.

    • Anonymous says:

      The civil service is a socialist employer of last resort. There is no international consumer market savvy in house or even on these shores.

    • SOUL REBEL says:

      12:49 im with you if you show/tell all who this\these local companies are with the savy, expertise and track record please. im with you on this one, but hurry.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah right! Appoint a Caymanian, to market Cayman from within the USA using USA channels, to North Americans.

      Lots of connected persons would line up for the contract, but the DoT has gotten wise to locals pretending they can produce results marketing Cayman.

      • Anonymous says:

        Perhaps we should continue to bring in the big brain immigrants that want to sponsor their third cousin’s dentist’s dog groomer’s daughter’s Gaelic football team in the middle of bufu nowhere.

  17. Anonymous says:

    If Kenneth is voting to gut the Conservation act, what are we spending money to promote to visitors?

    Kenneth, can you provide an answer pleas?

  18. Richard says:

    we know our Government’s contribution in this instance.
    Does that fugure have any contribution from the hotels? How much?

    • Anonymous says:

      How much are hotels contributing? They do not hire locals but tax payers dollars are paying and paving their way. Good job!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Can’t wait for the alligator skin purses and sponsorship of the Tupelo Cornhole team.

    • Rosy Glasses says:

      Looking forward to painting a rosy picture of reality, glossing over the overpopulation, traffic congestion, reckless driving, widespread littering, endless construction and concrete and outrageous cost of living.

  20. Anonymous says:

    “There’s stiff competition across the Caribbean, but the Cayman Islands provides an unparalleled experience given their many unique treasures”

    Treasures= Traffic, over population, over development, seven-mile beach disappearing. The list goes on….. but hey $12.8 millon, what can go wrong!

  21. Anonymous says:

    How much of this $40mln is DART ponying up to fill its rooms? From what government tax receipts are DART’s hotels refilling this $40mln hole? DART should be paying this tab, not ordering around our agencies with our money. Cancel DART’s duty concessions ($30mln long ago maxed-out) and forever government room tax waivers. We shouldn’t have to pay twice.

  22. Anonymous says:

    From Rosa Harris, the same mind that signed off on SpongeBob Squarepants, ice cream cone giveaways, swanky conch fritter junkets, and unwatched underwater Game of Thrones fantasy who-knows-what…why can’t she be fired?


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