(CMR) The Cayman Islands' Government will be seeking to cap the number of cruise tourists visiting the country when the country's ports reopen, Premier Alden McLaughlin said.
“We are trying to diversify the whole tourism industry. What I foresee is… less focus on growing cruise tourism,” Premier McLaughlin said recently.
He also said plans for a new cruise port which was to be financed by several cruise lines, would not proceed.
The premier said the country's economy should be less vulnerable to external shock, which factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic can cause.
McLaughlin said that the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that the country can survive without the large numbers from cruise ships.
The country has to create a balance and not overwhelm the systems with the large numbers from cruise tourism, the premier added.
McLaughlin said residents and business owners have expressed that they did not want to go back to hosting a large number of visitors from cruise ships.
Four cruise lines, MSC, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Disney, committed to financing a cruise dock in George Town in 2019.
For the 2017/2018 cruise season, the country generated $224.5 million from cruise passenger spending and $34.9 million from cruise lines for port fees, taxes, and other expenses.