CIG plans to measure pirates’ ‘gold’

| 02/09/2016 | 23 Comments
CNS Business

Pirates Week in the Cayman Islands

(CNS Business): The Ministry of Tourism has announced plans to conduct an economic impact assessment of this year’s Pirates Week to measure how much gold the pirate festival really brings in. The last assessment of the event, conducted well over a decade ago in 2002, identified 11,000 unique visitors, but since then the event has moved from October to November and there have been no further studies to confirm the anecdotal evidence that the event is a genuine boost to the economy during the low tourist season.

Speaking at a press briefing Monday, Ministry Councillor Joey Hew said it was the largest annual event, and judging by increased visitation, the island has benefited from Pirates Week. The economic impact assessment will give a clearer picture and show precisely how much the island has benefited from the festival.

With the need for figures on how many tourists are coming in and how much businesses make during this time period, the Pirates Week Office will be conducting the new assessment in partnership with the UWI, which also conducted the 2011 survey. Hew stated that the results for the economic impact assessment should be ready by the new year.

Executive Director for Pirates Week, Melanie McField, said organisers would be increasing festival promotion this year as Hurley’s Media is the official media sponsor. She said, “The promotional aspect will impact the economic boost that Pirates Week can have.”

The Pirates Week office has also introduce a District Enhancement Strategy to bring back some excitement into the district days and make them more organised. “This strategy aims to streamline the district events, acting as a guideline for the volunteer groups, while still allowing for each district to showcase its uniqueness,” McField stated.

Community support is important to the event and officials encouraged businesses to donate and support the financing of District Days in order to keep them going. Hew pointed out that businesses who benefit from the two-week event should also do what they could to support it. The public is also encouraged to volunteer and get involved in this year’s District Week.

The festival will kick off in Little Cayman on 4-6 November, then it heads over to Grand Cayman on 10 November, continuing through to 20 November before moving to Cayman Brac for 25-27 November.

This year’s Pirates Week theme is the ‘Age of Romance’, aligning with the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s mandate calling 2016 the Year of Romance. Those involved with the production of floats and Festival Queen competitors are encouraged to use this theme in their design ideas.

The Pirates Week Office is currently revamping their website, so for updates and more information you can follow their Facebook page which is CaymanIslandsPiratesWeekFestival and their Twitter @cipiratesweek.

Tags: ,

Category: Stay-over tourism, Tourism

Comments (23)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    Just as batabano advertises for tourists to be involved, why not have the same for pirates week? Fill the streets with floats which include visitors. They get to enjoy a vacation and participate. There are people who would love to do that. Especially with their children. They get to meet locals in a fun setting and have memories of pictures and you tube videos to show everyone at home.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Just like Batabana, boring, lacking any choreography event. Did I say BORING?

  3. Anonymous says:

    t has become VERY BORING NOW I haven’t attended in a few years now it’s all going down hill…I remember when companies took part built floats ..Now its getting to be more of a drunk party like the other vulgar one in may .Heritage days are swamped by NONE CAYMANIANS displaying everything under the sun that is not from here…

    • Anonymous says:

      Presumably you mean ‘non Caymanians’. Odd (but sadly typical) that something that was supposed to bring tourists is criticized for having too may foreigners attending.

    • Anon says:

      Your statement lost credibility once you mentioned that you haven’t attended in years.

  4. caymanian says:

    I personally would like to see some getting back to our roots at our local districts. The bonfires the street dancing. Let’s try to make it less technology and more historic. People don’t come here for that cause they can get that where they come from, they want the Pirate way of doing things without the raping and pillaging.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Ideas for pirates week.

    1. Island wide week long treasure hunts for adults. Treasure hunts for kids. More than one undersea treasure hunt. Eg one on each island.

    2. True package deals for tourists, flight, hotel and a restaurant special.

    3. Every single child on a government scholarship must show that they have brought at least one visitor per year of receiving scholarship funds, preferably for pirates week or batabano or even better both. That tourist brought gets special vouchers.

    4. Have the kids in the parade and the schools compete. I’m seeing less and less involvement of the schools. Every school receives government subsidy of some sort. Well they need to give back by participating in the parade if not then no more govt subsidy. The school receives bragging rights and a prize.

    5. Not only have the vendors sell food. But a competition for the best food and also voting for the best district. Best decorated, most energy, acknowledgement for being involved for x many years etc. create categories.

    4. The crafts people should sell their items on the waterfront and have the artists out there painting or creating whatever craft it is they make.

    5. Singing competitions in each district. Locals and tourists can enter and the prize is a staycation and a round trip ticket to Miami for two.

    6. Best in character pirate/wench costume.

    7. Have the corporates have floats and have them compete. Bragging rights is huge with them.

    8. Pirates rugby float, pirates football float, pirates flag football float, pirates tennis float, volleyball float.

    9. Friendly matches each night in each district playing the various sports games in pirate costume.

    10. The bed race and the cardboard race is absolutely brilliant. Completely thinking out of the box and really draws different crowds of participants and the general crowd. More of those things really will keep new visitors wanting to come and potentially to participate themselves.

    It’s a lot of work to organize and have a variety of fun things. But it is possible. There is a pirates week office and they only have one week of the year for showtime. Honestly what does Melanie get paid to do? Il take the job.

    • Anon says:

      I’m down for the adult treasure-hunt! I didn’t even read the rest of your list. That alone would have me out there.

    • Anonymous says:

      Several of these ideas are already being held throughout the festival and in past festivals. Had you been involved or even attended any of the festival events over the years, you would know this. Clearly you’re all about criticism and not part of the solution. The Pirates Week Office has very limited funds and staff to work with. Yes it’s a short period, but if you have any sense or understanding on how events of this magnitude are executed, you would know it takes months of planning. Furthermore, as a pass committee member, a lot of what happens i.e. float parades is community based. Maybe you and the others that have so much to say should give the committee a helping hand. But I’m sure the answer to that will be a long, drawn out and combative response resulting in a big fat NO; great at complaining and making suggestions but have no intention to assist with solution – how typical!

      • Anonymous says:

        I totally agree. Get off your high horse and do something to help. Stop the wining.

      • Anonymous says:

        Im sure the original poster was aware of the past events but obviously they were not done well enough to draw the large crowds. Nor in an innovative way to truly retain interest.

        Anyone can open a coffee shop but Starbucks did something right. The Pirates week committee needs to do something right.

        The salaries if only for a few months are 6 figures plus. Shall I post a copy of the advertisement from the compass? I think the original poster’s comments should be taken into consideration and new blood should be hired. You will keep getting the same old if you keep the same old.

      • Anonymous says:

        Pirates week can be so much more than what has been happening. Hire young fresh hungry marketing experienced group of 20 something’s and put them in charge. Get rid of Melanie and the other old folk on a steady salary. Retain them only as volunteers or to provide feedback and are paid to attend meetings.

        Let the young bucks take over and truly reinvent the idea.

        The creator of this festival came out of nowhere and started something wonderful. Let’s improve each year by getting individuals with bright ideas.

        • R. Miller says:

          Wasn’t this one of the things that the E&Y report said government should get rid of…oh yeah, a report that is not followed just like the myriad of them before. Its a waste of time and has run its course…One week festival…how many full time staff making good bucks.

          Caymanitis…and that is coming from a Caymanian.

      • Anonymous says:

        If many of these were implemented, it wasn’t done very well if it wasn’t repeated.

        No one works for free. Put advertisements out for ppl to join.

        Regardless of the small budget, the free ideas do not cost anything to contact companies by the paid staff to implement.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Isolating one factor of the economic equation is a consistently faulty methodology of CIG. We should look at the total cost of this event in terms of DoT and CAL spending, street closures and business interruption versus the total measurable benefit and determine the net gain or loss. That would be more useful statistical analysis.

    • Anonymous says:

      Extra policing, DOEH clean up crews, NRA,PWD putting up closures, the list goes on.
      At the end of the day its only a statistic. At least we now know why Cayman Airways exists. Nothing to do with tourism but just for snouts in the trough.

  7. Anonymous says:

    There is nothing special for tourist to come here to spend money on. If there is a deal then they spend money. Cost of living not only effects us but tourists who have many choices all over the world. Why come here and spend $6 for a beer? $10 for a mixed drink? The prices are ridiculous and we will eventually crash and burn as our economy faces competition.

    • Anonymous says:

      Have you travelled to other countries? Aside from third world countries, the prices in most major cities are quite similar to Cayman and other Caribbean countries have prices significantly higher. I do think the prices are high but it is not ridiculous.

  8. Anonymous says:

    its better than nothing. end of story.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Pirates Week has for some considerable time been a tired, embarrassing juvenile spectacle put on for and by foreigners and doing nothing except provide an excuse for some tourists and locals to grind in the streets and drink too much….as if any excuse were needed. Even the district “heritage” days which long ago had some quaintness to them are stale and unimaginative and merely an excuse for some more drinking, eating of West Indian food available all the year round at one restaurant or another and fireworks.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hey lets change it to Christian Heritage Week. We can stone members of the LGBT community, Dress up as Nuns and Priests, play around with each others wives.
      That should attract plenty of right wing neo fascists.

    • Anonymous says:

      I enjoy pirates week. I look forward to it every year. What I would like to see is all local bands to play live every night and have them all come together on the final evening into the night to play in town to finish it off.

      Show off all the local talent. Every single musician should have an opportunity to be there and have some spotlight time.

  10. Anonymous says:

    They might start off with this simple fact – during Pirates Week 2015 you could find plenty of hotel deals on two of the most popular online booking sites. I won’t name it but one popular hotel that’s within walking distance of GT was even offering room rate specials that week. It should be quite clear from that Pirates Week isn’t packing the tourists in any more.

Please include your email address in the form below if you are using your real name. You can use a pseudonym, with or without leaving an email address, or just leave the form blank to be "Anonymous". All comments will be moderated before they are published. The CNS Comment Policy is at the top of this page.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.