Despite the islands’ lack of funding, space and other resources, tourism in the Cayman Islands is booming.
Among the many obstacles facing tourism in the British territory is simply access to the islands. The region lacks a modern cruise ship terminal, which forces passengers to ferry in from ships anchored offshore. The Owen Roberts International Airport provides some ease of access to the island, but remains notorious for its outdated structure and issues with overcrowding, and public infrastructure across Georgetown – Grand Cayman’s main street and the center of its downtown tourist district – has long been both overcrowded and inadequate.
And yet, none of those obstacles have inhibited the destination’s booming tourism industry.
In just the first four months of this year, air arrivals into the islands totaled over 150-thousand travelers, a 4,4 percent increase since the same period in 2014, the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism reports. Arrivals by cruise ship were also higher this year, totaling 719,298, a 6,14 percent increase since 2014.
According to the report, tourism has been growing quickly and steadily in the region for the last decade.
“I am very pleased to see the continued successes of our destination maintaining a competitive level of growth that will undoubtedly set us on the right path to end the year positively,” said Rosa Harris, the Cayman Islands’ director of tourism.
“The ongoing mission of the Cayman Islands is to keep the destination at the forefront of the mind of today’s savvy traveler, which requires a constant evaluation and review from a strategic level,” said Moses Kirkconnell, the Cayman Islands’ deputy premier and minister of tourism.
According to Kirkconnell, the Cayman government has already begun to address issues with overcrowding at the airport and in Georgetown, as well as the development of a cruise ship pier and terminal for incoming tourists.