Tuesday 11 August, 2020

Global media refers to Cayman's opening plans as "innovative"

"Cayman Islands may possibly have the most innovative reopening plans as it prepares to begin a six-month phased reopening of its borders on 1 September," says miles, points, aviation and travel guide, "The Points Guy." This is but one of a variety of positive global reviews of the Cayman Islands' phased reopening plans. 

Cayman's plan to reopen borders, as articulated in the The Road Back to 500K (RB5) plan builds upon the highly successful tourism strategy that was employed during 2019-- albeit with a number of conservative measures and safeguards to keep locals and visitors safe.

Loop caught up with Minister of Tourism, Moses Kirkconnell last week to discuss what "the road back" would look like.

Mr Kirkconnell explained that, outside of outgoing travel being "eased" and the use of a medical tracking bio-button that will make the 14-week visitor quarantine unnecessary, replacing it with a 5-day geo-tracked home isolation contingent on a negative PCR test, processes will resemble to the management of borders during the pandemic.

Given the additional costs involved in implementing these measures, coupled with the limited economies of scale, it will initially become more expensive to visit the Cayman Islands. Incoming travelers should expect to pay $100-$200 simply to register to enter.

"120 days ago we were having the best tourism year that we ever had," said Kirkconnell. "But we have to do this in a balanced way."

For the time being, Cayman Airways and British Airways alone will be servicing the Cayman Islands and preference will be given to incoming residents, citizens and work permit holders who will still have to register with Travel Time to organize incoming travel. 

According to the minister, the Cayman Islands expects to see about 600 travellers per week in September after which it will re-evaluate its border opening strategy.

The Ministry of Tourism will make use of the slower period to train tourism employees, boost the staycation market and launch a global tourism campaign. The objective is to provide an authentic experience, with value for money and safety for all. 

"We don't want to have to open and close," he said.

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