Cayman Islands tourism PR reborn in wake of Ivan

The Cayman Islands has restarted PR activity in a bid to bounce back from Hurricane Ivan, which tore a £250m hole in its tourism industry last September.

Its renewed PR has kicked off with promotion of The Cayman Islands Department of Tourism (CIDT)’s Cayman Compliments programme of ‘free extras’, designed to entice tourists back to the islands.

CIDT regional manager Europe Don McDougall said most of the islands’ hotels have reopened for business by May, but the media campaign is timed to reach consumers who are suffering the UK’s ‘cold and wet, long, dark winter nights’.

The PR campaign, by McCluskey International, promotes the programme’s value-added extras, such as welcome gifts and free excursions, through national and regional press and travel magazines, and press trips will resume from April.

A report by the United Nations’ Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean estimated that the hurricane caused £154m in damage to tourism locations and led to £96m in lost revenue during recovery. An immigration embargo was lifted on 1 November, but many larger hotels are still being refurbished.

‘Ivan affected the Cayman Islands quite drastically, but we were spared a lot of the negative publicity that appeared at the time,’ said McDougall.

‘We need to communicate the fact that we still have a fantastic product and reinvigorate the growth there had been running up to the hurricane,’ added McDougall. He pointed out that tourism had grown by 14 per cent year on year before Ivan, with 14,000 Britons

visiting each year.

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