CIG’s Honduras day-trip paves way for deals

| 19/08/2016 | 15 Comments
Cayman News Service

Cruise ship at Town Center, Roatan (Photo by James Tibbetts)

(CNS Business): The government is hoping Honduras could serve as a new source of imports for the Cayman Islands and a new gateway for Cayman Airways. On a day trip to Roatan on Tuesday, the premier led a delegation to discuss future trade deals between the Central American country and Cayman. Alden McLaughlin and Deputy Premier Moses Kirkconnell went to look at the cruise facilities there as well as talk about the potential for increases in trade. “There are great opportunities for shipment of Honduran products to Cayman, including meat, seafood and produce,” the premier said.

“It would mean a tremendous savings to consumers in the Cayman Islands as goods would not have to be shipped to Miami from Honduras and then forwarded here,” he added.

Investment Minister Luis Mata and Roatan’s Economic Minister Arnaldo Castillo, two of the Honduran delegates that met with McLaughlin and Kirkconnell said they planned to bring a group of government and private sector investors and producers to the Cayman Islands soon to discuss the ramifications of doing business directly with the territory.

Emilio Silvestri, the director of the Honduran Institute of Tourism, said Roatan would be a special market for the Cayman Islands as the two countries share culture and language.

CNS Business

Cayman and Roatan officials meet (Photo by James Tibbetts)

The Cayman delegation also discussed a direct flight from Cayman to Roatan and looked at the two cruise birthing facilities there, at the Town Center and Mahogany Bay.

“We wanted to come and see what you have and talk to you about your own personal experiences with cruise berthing,” McLaughlin said, speaking at a meeting with Honduran officials. “We are a long way down the track to start construction of cruise berthing on Grand Cayman.”

Kirkconnell, who is Cayman’s tourism minister, said that talking with public and private sector stakeholders and visiting the cruise-berthing facilities in Roatan gave the Cayman delegation a first-hand learning experience. He said Cayman has visited other cruise berthing sites in the Caribbean and believes that all countries in the region need to be up to the same standard to make the cruising experience in the Caribbean worthwhile.

“We’re here to gather information. The more we work with our regional partners the better it makes us and the product,” he added.

Kirkconnell also told the group that Grand Cayman would be the perfect connection destination for travellers from Roatan going to Miami, Florida. The Cayman Islands is already an in-transit facility, meaning passengers traversing to another destination are not required to clear immigration.

The deputy premier also promoted the modernisation of the Cayman Airways fleet with the new 737-Max planes. The national airline already has a route to La Ceiba, Honduras, and the expansion to Roatan would be good for both countries, Kirkconnell suggested.

As the premier and DP touted for business, Roatan’s economic minister, Arnaldo Castillo, said his government would create a group to begin working on what needs to be done to get Cayman Airways into Roatan.

Officials said a brief discussion was also held about creating a consular office for the Republic of Honduras on Grand Cayman. Many Caymanian families can trace their roots to Roatan, where more than 250 Caymanians had moved to by 1844. Today, many Caymanians know or are related to someone in the Bay Islands. About 7,500 Hondurans live and work in the Cayman Islands.

The Cayman Islands delegation included representatives from the Ministry and Department of Tourism, Cayman Airways, the Cayman Islands Port Authority (including Chief Financial Officer James Parsons Jr, Manager of Cruise Operations Joseph Woods and Roylee Moore), Senior Political Advisor to the Premier Roy Tatum, Press Secretary to the Premier Tammie Chisholm and International Affairs Analyst Jamaal Anderson.

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Category: Caribbean Business, Local Business, World Business

Comments (15)

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  1. Sunrise says:

    I, personally feel the best location will be at the Spotts Cruise facilities, where no one can swim or scuba dive, due to strong currents. Perfect location for tours, to go east or west. Less congestion in the downtown area, giving visitors a pleasant shopping experience. No anchor destruction of the corals, at the harbour, as all ships will go to Spotts. No berthing facilities at the harbour, no damage to the corals there. Taxis and tour operators will have an increase in earnings. Build the dock at Spotts and enhance that area. Win, win situation if you ask me. But what do I know? Just a local, with no business interest downtown. Only needed on election day, with no say after!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Not to mention, and most importantly.. Spotts is ALL WEATHER!

      Where do the cruise ships go when they can’t anchor in George Town?

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s always rough on the south side dumb dumb. That’s why ships come to town.

        • Anonymous says:

          In the summertime the winds and therefore the seas are predominantly from the southeast accordingly it is often rough in the Spotts area this time of the year.

          Around the wintertime the predominant wind direction is more northeasterly but it is still possible to have significantly easterly winds so again that tends to make both the north ad south coasts rough depending on the wind speeds.

          For this and a number of other reasons, Spotts is a completely inappropriate location for a harbour

          The only place that is usually calm for the vast majority of the year is the west side so no surprise then that George Town has been the traditional harbour!


      • Anonymous says:

        Prevailing winds in Cayman tend to be Easterly hence Spotts is usually rough and GT smooth. That’s why Spotts is only used when the winds change making the sea in town rough and the sea in Spotts smooth. Spotts most certainly is not all weather!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Been there done that didn’t work. Stop wasting public funds on useless trips. Panama was all the rage a few years ago and we had no return on investment.

    • Jah Dread is back says:

      It is sadI indeed when a Government is seeking alternatives to reduce cost of food and there are whistling ducks whistling off key. Leave dem be lets see what will come out of this fact finding mission. If nothing happens they will get kicked sound , if something fruitful comes out of it, bunch a na got nothing to do people will still complain. Go de Premier go de PPM.

  3. World-traveller says:

    “….the Cayman Islands is already an in-transit facility….”

    You could have fooled me: all of the Cubans coming and going from/to Havana and Miami have to clear immigration.
    Ask anyone in Immigration or Airports Authority and they will tell you there is no in-transit system.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I think what might be most significant about this trip is the fact that they used a CAL Saab 340B to get to Roatan. What this clearly demonstrates is that regional services can be provided by similar aircraft in the future and it raise serious questions about the decision to go for the 737-Max. If this really is the direction CAL wants to go would it not make more sense to invest in aircraft like Dash 8/Q400 for local services, forget the jets and code-share the longer routes with the major US carriers.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Wait, is that top photo a painting by Guy Harvey on the bow of ship berthed at a cruise terminal? Is that the same Guy Harvey who is so opposed to Cayman having a cruise terminal?

    • MM says:

      Guy is not opposed to cruise ships or cruise berthing – he is opposed to destroying the Cayman reefs for the purpose of berthing a cruise ship.

      Like many opposed to the planned cruise facilities, it is not that we do not want a cruise berth, we would just like to know all efforts were exhausted to find another location that will not involve destroying acres of underwater life.

    • ANONYMOUS says:

      Next time put your brain in gear before hitting the keypad – Guy Harvey’s concern is damage to the environment – not the “concept” of cruise ship piers

      • Anonymous says:

        I’m glad to hear that Guys’ concern is the environment. Could he or you tell us where is the best place to put a cruise ship facility? Where in Grand Cayman could he suggest that we wouldn’t impact the Environment ? Then everyone will understand who is for and who is against

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