(CMR) The Bahamas and the Cayman Islands are seeking to forge closer ties and share best practices in tourism, cruise destination, and other related areas, Bahamas Information Service has reported. The countries held discussions during a Courtesy Call by the Hon. Kenneth Bryan, Minister of Tourism & Transport of the Cayman Islands, on Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments & Aviation the Hon. Chester Cooper on Wednesday, 16 March.
The meeting was significant as the Bahamas, and the Cayman Islands are dominated by tourism and financial services, accounting for an estimated 50-60 percent of Gross Domestic Product.
According to the Bahamas Information Service, the deputy prime minister, who initially met Mr. Bryan while they were in Opposition in their respective countries, said he was delighted to welcome him to The Bahamas.
“What a difference a day makes,” the deputy prime minister said, adding that he hoped they could continue collaborating on future projects.
He also pointed out similarities between both countries, stating that both boast good beaches and a level of sophistication in financial services.
“We are also delighted to see the growth in tourism in Cayman, and we hope we can create many more linkages…I hope this continues the long-standing relationship between both countries,” the deputy prime minister said.
Mr. Cooper, who said there are many opportunities to form links between both countries, said he envisioned a European visitors stopover in Nassau for two nights before heading on to the Cayman Islands.
He said he hoped the meeting strengthen the countries' relationship.
“I hope this helps to strengthen both tourism products. I think this would be phenomenal for both countries as we move our product forward,” the deputy prime minister added.
Mr. Cooper said while the COVID-19 pandemic has caused both countries to realize their heavy dependence on tourism, there is no need to compete if there is no reason to.
“When we are attacked, invariably Cayman is, and Bermuda is, attacked,” he said of territories dependent on tourism.
Mr. Bryan also acknowledged that both countries would benefit from working together.
“There is only one Bahamas, and there is only one Cayman. But there is benefit in working together to improve each other,” he said.