By: Lindsay Thompson/Bahamas Information Services
The Commonwealth of The Bahamas and the Cayman Islands are seeking to forge closer ties and share best practices in tourism, cruise destination, and other related areas. This was discussed during a Courtesy Call by the Hon. Kenneth Bryan, Minister of Tourism & Transport of the Cayman Islands, on Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments & Aviation the Hon. Chester Cooper on Wednesday, March 16, 2022.
Also present were: John Pinder, Parliamentary Secretary, MOTIA; Senator the Hon. Randy Rolle, Global Relations Consultant/Sr. Advisor, MOTIA;
Reginald Sunders, Permanent Secretary, MOTIA; Latia Duncombe, Acting Director General, MOTIA; and Dr. Kenneth Romer, Deputy Director General, MOTIA.
The economies of The Bahamas, and of the Cayman Islands are dominated by tourism and financial services, accounting for an estimated 50-60 percent of Gross Domestic Product. The deputy prime minister, who initially met Mr. Bryan while they were in Opposition in their respective countries and are now both ministers of tourism, said he was delighted to welcome him to The Bahamas.
“What a difference a day makes,” the deputy prime minister said and hoped that they can continue to collaborate on future projects.
He also pointed out similarities between both countries; both boasting of good beaches and a level of sophistication in financial services.
“We are also delighted to see the growth in tourism in Cayman, and we hope we can create many more linkages,” the deputy prime minister said. One such linkage being that British Airways services both areas, which further impacts the tourism products. “I hope this continues the long- standing relationship between both countries,” he added.
The deputy prime minister also envisioned a European visitors stopover in Nassau for two nights before heading on to the Cayman Islands. He concluded that are many opportunities to form links between The Bahamas and The Cayman Islands, a self-governing British Overseas
Territory in the western Caribbean Sea.
“I hope this helps to strengthen both tourism products,” the deputy prime minister said. “I think this would be phenomenal for both countries as we move our product forward.
He also acknowledged that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused his ministry to do things differently. Additionally, whilst the pandemic has caused both countries to realize heavy dependence on tourism, there is no need to compete if there is no reason to.
“When we are attacked, invariably Cayman is, and Bermuda is, attacked,” he said of territories dependent on tourism.
Mr. Bryan too acknowledged the similarities between both countries: the tourism industry is seeking authenticity and hence “we won’t compete,” he said. “There is only one Bahamas and there is only one Cayman. But there is benefit in working together to improve each other.
Mr. Bryan sees this as being great for future cooperation. He then said he is anxious to visit “off duty” because he thinks “The Bahamas is pretty amazing.”
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