Thursday 26 November, 2020

Media makes big deal over Global Citizen Concierge income requirement

Readers, if you've been reading the international press over the pass week, the headlines have been a dime a dozen.

"Travelers can work abroad in an island paradise — if they make $100,000+" on CNBC

"Cayman Islands open to remote workers - but only if you earn over £70k" in the Mirror (UK)

"Cayman Islands allowing remote workers earning $100,000-plus a year" in Business Insider

"The Cayman Islands Is Offering Residencies To Anyone Who Makes Over US$100K" in The Boss Hunt

Even Alkhaleej Today news in Saudi Arabia had a say:

"Cayman Islands seek well-paid workers for their idyllic territory"

These are among a variety of headlines with tongue in cheek references to Cayman's Global Citizen Concierge Programme that was launched on October 21st. It is becoming clear: Cayman's Global Citizen Concierge programme, will likely bring with it, some... notoriety.

The Mirror says, "The Cayman Islands have launched a new scheme for remote workers who want a change of scenery - if you've got a high salary," and stresses "the salary requirement will bring you back down to reality," suggesting that the programme is not intended for "regular folks."

The open question here is whether this is such a bad thing.

Like other economies in the world, Cayman has been hit hard by the pandemic and the country is not in a position to provide social services to foreign nationals, but must focus on rebuilding its economy while creating opportunities for locals and maintaining the quality of life that residents and citizens have grown accustomed to.

Other factors to bear in mind are:

- Cayman has long attracted more sophisticated travellers; conversely these travellers are attracted to the sophistication of the country and they typically spend more here

- The objective of the government going forward has been to create more opportunities for its own people (the implication being- fewer senior positions for outsiders)

- Cayman has done a wonderful job keeping the country free of COVID-19 and should capitalize on it

- The hit to tourism is open ended- we have no control over how long it will last

- Short term visitors bring with them, a heightened risk of communicable diseases

- The Ministry of Tourism is looking to cut back on cruise tourism

The strategy? Bring in visitors who make at least $100,000 a year (or even more if they want to bring a companion or a family) and let them ride out the pandemic and spend money in Cayman for an extended period of time while not taking away jobs from locals. It is a win-win: safe, healthy tourists who don't want to get sick and want to be comfortable. We capitalize on the high end tourism and they capitalize on our amenities and CaymanKind.

Cayman has managed to contain the spread of the pandemic with more success than most of our neighbors; it's time we reap the economic benefits. 

Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free: