Earlier this week, Cayman Islands Premier Alden McLaughlin spoke on the future of cruise tourism in the popular Western Caribbean port of Grand Cayman. First, the government decided not to proceed with what has been a controversial plan to develop a proper cruise berthing facility in George Town. The development would have reduced the need for ships to use tenders as there would be actual berths as common in other ports of call around the world.
Furthermore, McLaughlin said the government is considering limits on cruise passengers to offer a better balance in tourism in the country. Over the last year the Cayman Islands have adapted to life without cruise tourism and the consensus is that businesses and locals do not want to go back to the pre-pandemic visiter numbers. According to the coverage in the Cayman Compass, there were more than 1.83 million cruise ship passengers who visited Grand Cayman in 2019.
Below is a video clip where Premier McLaughlin discusses the cruise berthing project and the potential cap on cruise passengers.
McLaughlin insisted that he was not suggesting that Cayman entirely abandon cruise tourism, “but we cap the numbers so that our current system can accommodate them in a better way and the experience for those who do visit can be better”.
Again, please remember, the Cayman Islands are only considering capping the number of cruise passengers so their current system can accommodate cruise passengers in a better way and provide a better overall experience for those who do visit come ashore, they are not looking to outright ban cruise tourism as is the case with Key West.
We will continue to monitor the developments on cruise tourism in the Cayman Islands.