The Cayman Islands Tourism Association entered this year’s annual general meeting with the wind at its back so to speak. With air arrivals and cruise passenger figures both up, high spirits prevail throughout the tourism sector.
However, the challenge becomes holding on to and building upon that success.
“The great thing about stats that are going up, yes it does create a positive mood,” said Kenneth Hydes, who was voted in for another year as president of CITA Wednesday night (20 April).
“It doesn’t really matter whether it’s up or down, generally, we are shoulders to the wheel, we are driving the product of the Cayman Islands forward,” said Mr. Hydes.
“Our strategy has been very clear from the start, we’ve tried to incorporate everybody in it,” said Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell.
The Kimpton hotel and Cayman’s first new room stock in a decade, new planes for Cayman Airways, and upgrades at Owen Roberts International Airport. Mr. Kirkconnell pointed to these as the building blocks for future tourism growth.
“If you look at what happens in parallel, when you realize that if you increase your room stock by 25%, that means you have to increase your airlift. Airlift is extremely important to get the guests to fill up the rooms,” said Mr. Kirkconnell.
Passenger experience at the airport is also a priority. CIAA CEO Albert Anderson told Cayman 27 CITA’s member input was instrumental in getting the project off the ground.
“CITA has been intimately involved, gave us some great feedback, and challenged what we were doing in a good way, and we managed to change things up and I think we got a product that they’re in full support of,” said Mr. Anderson.
Mr. Hydes told Cayman 27 the future looks bright for the industry’s success.
“Tourism is not just a pillar, it’s slowly getting to where I predict that in a few years we are going to be the stronger pillar of the economy because there is so much positive energy in the industry,” he said.
CITA Executive Committee:
President – Kenneth Hydes – Dart Realty (Cayman) Ltd.
Vice President – Theresa Leacock-Broderick – Plantana Condominiums
Secretary – Joanna Boxall- Acorn Publishing
Treasurer – Brian Krug- Budget/Apex Rental Car
Immediate Past President – Harry Lalli – Treasure Island
CITA 2016 – 2017 Board of Directors
CRUISE RELATED BUSINESS DIRECTOR:
Ken Hydes (Dart Realty (Cayman) Ltd)/President (Serving two years*)
ALLIED MEMBERS & LAND BASED ATTRACTION DIRECTORS:
Joanna Boxall (Acorn Publishing) / Secretary
Matthew Bishop (Active Capital) (Serving two years*)
Theresa Broderick (Plantana Condominiums) / Vice President
Gaetan Babin (The Wyndham Reef Resort)
Marc Langevin (The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman)
Danielle Wolfe (Caribbean Club)
TOURISM TRANSPORT OPERATORS/AIRLINES DIRECTORS:
Brian Krug (Apex/Budget Rent A Car) / Treasurer
David Carmichael (Caribbean Marine Services) (Serving two years*)
RESTAURANT & NIGHTCLUBS DIRECTORS:
Julie Allan (Rackam’s Waterfront Bar and Grill)
Steve Shienfield (JLC Holdings: Duke’s, Mizu, Waterfront Restaurants (Serving two years*)
Ash McKnight (Go Pro Diving)
Keith Sahm (Sunset Divers/Sunset House)
Neil van Niekerk (Southern Cross Club) – appointed by the Sister Islands Tourism
IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT:
Harry Lalli (Cay Direct)