(CMR) Despite having a soft opening recently, the Cayman Craft Market will remain closed until Cayman's borders open to tourists, the Tourism Attraction Board (TAB) has announced.
The CCM had previously been shut down in tandem with the border closures and lockdown that occurred with the onset of the global pandemic.
TAB said the recent soft reopening was intended to prepare vendors for the potential reopening of the country's borders to tourists in March 2021. In his New Year Message, Premier Alden McLaughlin had said it was possible the borders would have been opened by then.
The CCM also intended to solicit business from residents or anyone on the island looking for unique local arts and crafts.
However, with the Premier's announcement that he does not foresee cruise ships visiting the islands in a significant way before 2022, the Tourism Attraction Board decided to close the market and find alternate means for vendors to showcase their arts and crafts at events organized by the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park and Pedro St. James.
“While our vendors are working on developing new products and reinventing themselves as most businesses and entrepreneurs have done over the last year, they have noted the trial period did not prove viable. It is a mutual decision between the TAB and its Craft Market Vendors to once again close our offerings until we can all welcome visitors back to our shores in reasonably large numbers,” said TAB Director, Patrick Thompson.
The CCM, due to its location, depends heavily on cruise tourism and has endured closures along with other waterfront businesses throughout the past eleven months.
The TAB said it would look to host pop-up events for crafts market vendors and other local businesses as the opportunity presents itself, but the Market will remain closed on a daily basis until further notice.