Micky Arison, chairman of FCCA and Carnival Corp. & plc, said the agreement 'signifies the return of a premier cruise destination' that has been a longstanding partner.
'We are proud of our recent joint work with the Cayman Islands that facilitated the return of cruise tourism and excited that this agreement will expedite the recovery of so many livelihoods that have been put on hold,' FCCA CEO Michele Paige added. 'Through this agreement, FCCA will fulfill the Cayman Islands’ individualized initiatives, which focus on assisting the private sector, improving employment, fostering cruise lines’ purchase of local goods and more that will help Caymanians prosper from the economic impact that the industry brings.'
Taking ships after two-year hiatus
After not taking cruise ships for more than two years during the pandemic, the Cayman Islands in March opened to calls after a site visit by FCCA and cruise executives and a series of meetings with government and health officials.
'Safely and successfully welcoming cruise passengers back to the Cayman Islands has been one of our top priorities, as it is of significant importance to our local tourism industry and community,' said Kenneth Bryan, minister for tourism and transport. 'We are grateful to have like-minded partners such as the FCCA that not only wish to return to the Cayman Islands but will work strategically with us to enhance the cruise experience like never before.'
According to the Business Research & Economic Advisors report 'Economic Contribution of Cruise Tourism to the Destination Economies,' cruising generated $224.54m in total tourism expenditures for Cayman during the 2017/18 cruise year, in addition to $92.24m in total employee wage income.
Work with government and private sector
With the agreement, FCCA will not only collaborate with the government to enhance the tourism product and increase cruise calls, but also will facilitate new experiences and work with the private sector to maximize opportunities.
'For decades, cruise tourism has been intrinsic to the Cayman Islands identity ... Through this partnership with FCCA, we are eager to further elevate our tourism product and welcome a new generation of adventure-seekers aboard cruise ships,' said Cayman Islands Director of Tourism Rosa Harris.
The agreement will additionally channel FCCA’s cruise executive committees, including new and renewed subcommittees focused on employment and purchasing, for meetings and site visits focused on the Cayman Islands’ objectives.
The Cayman Islands will also have open access to the FCCA executive committee, comprised of presidents and above at member lines, who'll work to realize the agreement’s objectives and the destination’s goals.
Some other features of the strategic partnership include a focus on converting cruise visitors to stay-over tourists, promoting summer cruising, engaging travel advisors, creating consumer demand and developing a destination service needs assessment to detail strengths, opportunities and needs.