PPM hits out at minister’s failure to reboot tourism plan

| 24/06/2024 | 55 Comments
Chief Officer Stran Bodden at the PAC meeting on 6 June

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Ministry of Tourism is waiting until the end of next year to launch a new tourism plan after the current document expires in 2023, according to Chief Officer Stran Bodden. However, the opposition has criticised this decision. In a statement, PPM Leader Roy McTaggart urged Tourism Minister Kenneth Bryan to “do his job” and begin the overdue work of updating the national plan immediately.

Bodden told the Public Accounts Committee earlier this month that a decision was made to delay this as the existing plan is still a “dynamic document”.

Since the next general election will take place in April 2025, this would enable the next administration to develop the new plan, he said, noting that this would entail significant engagement with the relevant stakeholders and public meetings across the islands.

However, in his statement, McTaggart said that the existing plan, which will cover the rest of this year and next, did not account for the impacts of the pandemic. “This decision ultimately falls on” Bryan, he added.

In a video message and statement released last week, McTaggart said that Bryan’s “approach is unacceptable.” He continued, “The future of our tourism industry should not be left hanging for another 18 months. Businesses and families in the tourism sector are already suffering due to the minister and government’s inaction over the past three years.”

McTaggart said that since his first days in office, the Progressives Opposition had urged Bryan to revise and update Cayman’s strategic tourism plan to better guide its future growth.

“The industry has changed significantly, and evolving consumer demands, especially in the post-pandemic cruise sector, require a ‘re-imagining’ of our tourism and marketing strategy,” he stated. “The urgency of this cannot be overemphasised. Instead of undertaking this essential work, the minister has done absolutely nothing, leaving many tourism businesses struggling and many employees facing reduced incomes and even job losses. The consequences of this neglect are severe.”

McTaggart cited the recent closure of the Hard Rock Café in George Town as an example of businesses that have shut down “with little hope of return or replacement” under the “current government’s neglect”.

Several cafes, restaurants and small businesses have closed recently or are planning to close soon. But there are a number of other factors at play, not least the long-running roadworks in the centre of town as part of the George Town Revitalisation Project, skyrocketing rents, and the trend to move offices to Camana Bay and other parts of the capital and away from the downtown area.

However, McTaggart placed the blame squarely on the shoulders of the tourism minister. He said that he had previously informed him that the work could not wait until after the election and that the opposition was willing to collaborate with him to start the much-needed revision and update of the tourism plan.

“This matter transcends political divides and is a shared responsibility towards the future of our important tourism industry and the livelihoods it supports,” McTaggart said. “It should not be subject to political delays. Developing a new strategic tourism plan is already overdue and cannot be postponed for another 18 months while more businesses close their doors.”

McTaggart added, “I strongly urge the minister to do his job and begin the long-overdue process of revising and updating the national tourism plan immediately. Our country deserves better, our tourism workers and businesses deserve better, and most importantly, all Caymanians deserve better.”

Watch McTaggart’s video message below:


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Category: Business, Tourism

Comments (55)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The total lack of understanding of the Cayman economy by our elected MPs is truly frightening.

    As a former local managing partner of a major accounting firm, Roy should know better. And he should be working to ensure the continued success of the financial industry.

    Something seems to go wrong with the brain upon election however.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Why does the PAC, which is made up only of MPs, ask questions to Civil Servants about policy decisions, when the policy decisions are only made by the MPs and Ministers in Cabinet?

    Why not ask the questions to MPs or Ministers in Cabinet?

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Stran is a puppet that thinks he’s a minister. His demeanor speak for itself. Met him once and reminded me of Alden.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Was any part of the last plan implemented? It’s not good enough to say they need a new plan. Rather, the people should be told what was accomplished from the last one. I recall there being public meetings to get input, how about showing us some outputs!

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  5. Anonymous says:

    sounds like Roy is posturing for a cruise pier again…

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    • Anonymous says:

      Can you imagine a Cabinet of educated professionals. Cayman deserves the best.

      Bernie claim to fame failed bakery and lube business and 7 years of college.

      Kenneth model and news reporter

      Jay Construction business

      Come on Cayman Wake up. Do we really believe this guys can solve our major problems.

      Remember the days of

      Benson Ebanks. Business owner and banker
      Truman Bodden. Lawyer banker
      Vassel Johnson Finance Specialist
      Norman Bodden Business owner

      Can you imagine if we had 4 persons like the above in Cabinet today.

      Remember the Cabinet of the PACT

      Bernie
      Jay
      Kenneth
      Blunders

      Lord help us.

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      • Anonymous says:

        We can’t go back to those days, but we still have other options. There’s my dog for example, who is smarter than most of the current Ministers, and eats much less than any of them.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Vote for Pupper!

          Pupper for Prez!

          Belly rubs and treats for all with manditory 30 minute walks daily.

          Pupper has my vote.

      • Anonymous says:

        If we had people like thsoe 4 great men in office today, the others would find a way to get rid of them. They wouldn’t want anyone stirring their pot.

  6. Sunrise says:

    No idea of what is going on, from both sides. Please, my younger, more intelligent Caymanians, get involved with your government, run for elections and let us put Cayman back on track!!!!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Roy and PPM are puppets for the FCCA and their unworkable pursuit of a cruise pier (with parking for their two favorite ships down from six). Their ambition doesn’t serve our overnight guests. It doesn’t benefit residents. It doesn’t save Hard Rock franchisees. It would create irreversible environmental harm per EIA, in a marine park. Archaic businesses models from the 1990s fail on their own. The DoT has no duty to prop up failing businesses or their owners. The PPM had a chance to action the PIR and failed.

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    • Anonymous says:

      What is the ‘track’?

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Minister Bryan is a good community organiser. However, I have remained sceptical that his ability to solve one-off and uncomplicated issues specific to his constituency would translate to successfully devising, drafting and driving national policy on any subject. My suspicion seems to be well-founded. Kenny needs to let grown-ups take over.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    No mention of the ever increasing costs of living. Far too many restaurants serving the same foods at prices that residents simply cannot afford now.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The market research data suggests that dietary habits and household norms have changed with climate change science and new interest in immune function and personal health, with >25% of some of our sophisticated airlift markets shifting to plant-based eating vs pre-COVID. We might realize that endangered species steaks couldn’t be more offensive to these HNW spenders.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    laughable stuff…what if every government dept follows the same approach?
    upm/pact have done nothing…
    any comment Mrs governor?

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Cokenny Bryan at it again it seems, he too busy putting up posters to impress the GTC folks.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Billboard boy never did have anything of substance to offer.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    But he has put up oversized picture posters of himself all over the place and I am sure the tourists will come to worship him.

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    • YES SIREE says:

      mista Roy are you planning on leading your party to defeat agai, you are so good at it.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Actually, no, 7:53. The PPM did very well in the last election, they just did not have enough candidates challenging for ALL the available seats. That allowed the present bunch of waifs and strays to cobble together a group under an admittedly intelligent guy, Wayne, to form a government based on “slowing down development”. How has that worked out, bobo?

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        • Anonymous says:

          Something wrong with your brain.

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          • Anonymous says:

            I’m not the original poster Mr @9:54 but something just might be wrong with your memory not his brain. I’m not going to do the work for you but go back to the election results and you will see that the PPM did indeed win most of the seats they ran in. So, could you explain what you meant by “something wrong with your brain”? No? OK, thanks, I didn’t think you could.

        • Anonymous says:

          “Waifs and strays” would have been good, at least they might have been humble and honest.
          What we have are uneducated unemployables with dubious pasts and self serving agendas..

    • Anonymous says:

      Folks this is what grass roots looks like. What did we expect when we elected Kenneth and Bernie. Did we really think they could generate real solutions?

      The major problem with these guys is that they think they know it all. Cayman we don’t need grass roots politicians. We need professionals. Dirty jokes won’t help us.

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    • TIME SOON DONE OLE BOY says:

      cant believe this only 3 comments kmn kenny boy impressive. i sayute ya.

  13. Anonymous says:

    No tourism is the way to go. It destroys the environment and pays minimum wage to work permit holders who do their best to send it off island anyway.

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    • Anonymous says:

      You realize we need tourism to have a trade balance right? Every time we buy food or fuel from overseas we send dollars out of our country. The only two major sources of dollars coming back in are tourism and financial services. So if there was zero tourism we will not have enough cash to cover our imports…which are everything basically.

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      • Anonymous says:

        True but tourism is negligible compared to financial services and leaves a dreadful carbon footprint. It employs very few Caymanians and non Caymanians make minimum wage that is below the poverty line. Tourism is labour intensive and the island does not have the infrastructure to house the minimum wage workers

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        • Anonymous says:

          Caymanians could work in tourism if they wanted to. It’s not all minimum wage jobs. Do you see the tips the bartenders pull in? The bellmen at the hotels are not doing bad in tips. Do you ever sit on public beach and see how much money the jet ski vendor is making? The guy renting lounge chairs? There’s money being made and it’s not minimum wage!

      • Anonymous says:

        Tourism is NOT major income. Where were you in the pandemic? The FINANCE industry is our main pillar.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    Three years with Kenny do not appear to have been kind on Stran.

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