The Department of Tourism is breaking its silence on the controversial BBC documentary, “Britain’s Trillion Pound Paradise.”
The show has made plenty of waves since it aired in the UK last week, and Wednesday afternoon the DOT said despite the negative reaction, it will use the publicity to its advantage.
“It’s unfortunate, we are all disappointed in terms of the tone and what was showcased for the brand and the destination,” said DOT Director Rosa Harris says the BBC programme “Britain’s Trillion Pound Paradise” was pitched by the production company as something else entirely.
“We would never do anything that would be damaging to our brand,” said Ms. Harris.
She told Cayman 27 the same production company completed a programme in 2014 on the Cayman lifestyle, but their motives for this show were more scandalous.
“That’s when the advancement of covering Cayman more came about with the lifestyle platform, which obviously was under the disguise of trying to unearth a tax haven,” said Ms. Harris.
“What we have to do now is understand how we can use this to our advantage,” said Deputy Premier and Tourism Minister Hon. Moses Kirkconnell. He said focusing on marketing Cayman-kindness can overcome any bad PR from the show, and that the production company put Cayman in a tough spot.
“If the Department of Tourism or the government would have said ‘I’m sorry you can’t come and do a story here in Cayman about financial centers, tax havens, whatever it is,’ you could imagine the negative publicity that the Cayman Islands could have gotten from that,” said Mr. Kirkconnell.
“It’s unfortunate that the show ended up in the context that it did,” said Tourism Councillor Joey Hew.
He said even though the show’s message hit a sour note with many island viewers, Cayman’s beauty managed to shine through.
“At least there are positive elements of it,” he said. “There’s positive shots of the beach, positive shots of the water, and the surrounding area.”