Jamaica and the Cayman Islands have announced that they have "initiated discussions" to facilitate collaboration on tourism, which would leverage the two nations' historical ties and synergies between in an effort to boost their tourism sectors. Among the areas being examined for cooperation are multi-destination tourism, airlift, enhancing border protocols, rationalizing airspace as well as resilience building.
Jamaica's Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett made the announcement during a meeting on 10AUG with members of a special delegation from the Cayman Islands, led by Hon. Christopher Saunders, Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance & Economic Development and Minister of Border Control & Labour and Hon. Kenneth Bryan, Minister of Tourism & Transport.
Minister Bartlett revealed that special focus will be placed on multi-destination tourism adding that he will be meeting with key players in the industry in Cayman next month.
He said he believes “the meeting in Cayman with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), in September, could be the steppingstone for coalescing our position on elements of multi-destination tourism,” noting also that he would be “more so looking at airlift and airline collaboration.”
Minister Bartlett said he is “ready to work with Cayman to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Cayman Islands in relation to multi-destination tourism” adding that “Jamaica has already signed four similar agreements with Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Panama.”
He explained that in developing the framework the Ministry of Tourism is seeking to “include the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, and Belize, from this side of the Caribbean.”
In addition, Minister Bartlett made a call for players in Jamaica's private sector to develop a special tourism package, with an "attractive price," that can be presented to the market to promote multi-destination tourism and enhance the regional tourism product. He said the issue will be further explored at the next meeting of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) taking place from 03-05OCT in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
In describing the concept of a possible package, Mr. Bartlett explained that: “If you buy a trip to Jamaica for US$ 50 that US$ 50 takes you into Cayman and into Trinidad.” Barlett added that he feels that this package could help to fuel the development of multi-destination tourism across the region, adding that it is “not beyond us.”