McKeeva Bush has said that he intends to make Cayman the preferred destination in the Caribbean, and while he said he did not have all the answers, he told the industry that he intends to lead the sector to full recovery. The new leader of government business said he will be meeting with local industry stakeholders on a regular basis and next week he had meetings planned with the FCCA in Miami, followed by discussions with airlines servicing Cayman. He said there were a number of immediate needs to address but he was also looking at the long term situation.
Speaking at the Westin last week with members of the Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA), Association for the Advancement of Cruise Tourism (ACT) and the Sister Islands Tourism Association (SITA), along with members of his government, Bush said government would move quickly to help make a positive difference.
The LoGB explained that immediate initiatives would involve Cayman Airways, the cruise industry and particularly the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA). He also said that government would receive regular briefings about the national airline.
“I need to be brought up to speed on the internal budgets,” he said. “Then we will look to prioritise our funds for marketing, promotions and product development, especially customer service and human capital development, to make our three islands the preferred destination in the Caribbean.”
Noting that local tourism has weathered trying times in the past, notably 9/11 and Hurricane Ivan, Bush said that the inbuilt resiliency of a well-organised and inherently talented industry would once again prevail. “I am confident that by working hand-in-hand and sticking together, despite our differences and special interests, we can achieve a full recovery in the years ahead,” he added. “Let’s get to work to make the tourism industry and product better. I don’t pretend to have all the answers but I am here to lead.”
He also spoke about the plans for the airport and port development and the need to maintain a balance between cruise and stay-over tourism, since Cayman, and particularly the industry’s local businesses, both needed to thrive.