Cayman Islands Tourism Sector Remains on Alert amid COVID-19 outbreak
The Cayman Islands Ministry and Department of Tourism (CIDOT) remains on alert as the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to make impact around the globe and within the local economy.
“While the economic impact—current and potential—to our tourism sector is unquantified in this early stage of international crisis, efforts are being taken by the CIDOT to collaborate with tourism stakeholders to understand potential business disruption directly linked to the virus and travel restrictions,” commented the Hon. Moses Kirkconnell, Deputy Premier and Minister of Tourism. “As a primary step, the CIDOT has issued an accommodation sector survey to licensed properties throughout the Cayman Islands. This will establish a baseline assessment of the impact coronavirus has had on our tourism sector thus far and provide insight on potential areas of concern for the sector in the coming months. The results will be utilised to create any necessary action plans to support the industry as the virus progresses and enable CIDOT to support partners with responses to the consumer and trade markets.”
In addition to the accommodation survey, a thorough review of the department’s international marketing and promotions plans is being actioned to ensure that marketing activity is scaled in relation to countries now facing significant in-country transmission of COVID-19.
As of Friday, 28 February, the Cabinet of the Cayman Islands Government issued Regulations to control the entry of persons to the Cayman Islands who have a travel history to mainland China under the Public Health Law (2002 Revision). Visitors who have been in China in the preceding fourteen days will be denied entry; this restriction is in line with many of our regional neighbours and countries further afield. As outlined in the official CIG statement (Cabinet approves travel restrictions); at this time, the Ministry of Health recommends only essential travel between Cayman and the following countries because the World Health Organization reports that they have had five or more cases where exposure to COVID-19 has occurred within country:
- Hong Kong
- Republic of Korea
- United Arab Emirates
- Viet Nam
“The Ministry and Department are monitoring all developments related to this threat, and will support appropriate communication, education and prevention initiatives instituted by the Cayman Islands Government,” commented the Hon. Mr. Kirkconnell. "Within the confines of our legislation we are committed to working with our tourism partners to understand and mitigate potential economic impact to the country’s thriving tourism sector while keeping the safety of our residents and visitors our main priority.”
An ongoing education campaign has been launched by the Health Services Authority, with support through official government channels and via social media, sharing best practices for personal hygiene, advice for residents traveling abroad and general infection control measures.
The Ministry and CIDOT will continue to support the official government efforts, public health authorities and other relevant agencies who are leading the charge to educate residents and visitors on associated risks, symptoms, and preventative measures.
“Our tourism industry has demonstrated consistent resilience in the face of past epidemics and disasters that impact this dynamic sector,” commented the Hon Minister. “I am confident that through the efforts of our government, a strong strategic approach to maintaining a prosperous tourism industry, and the commitment from the people of the Cayman Islands to remain vigilant and informed during this crisis, we will continue to see the destination steadfastly succeed in the region.”
We encourage tourism partners and the wider Cayman Islands Community to become familiar with the protocols established to safeguard against COVID-19. Tourism businesses particularly accommodation properties must manage future bookings by disseminating the official information relating to reservations made from regions where the travel restrictions apply. Please visit official websites for the latest updates, advice, and general information such as these suggested links: