The National Tourism Management Policy (NTMP) was officially launched by the Hon. McKeeva Bush, Leader of Government Business and Minister for Tourism on Wednesday, April 7th. In attendance at the launch were members of the NTMP Steering Committee and of the six sub-committees, and members of the Ministry and Department of Tourism - all of whom are ready to ‘roll up their sleeves and work side-by-side’ as the implementation of this nationally important policy begins.In his opening comments, the Hon. McKeeva Bush remarked upon the importance of this policy, “Today’s official launch of the National Tourism Management Policy marks a major milestone in the Ministry and Department of Tourism’s efforts to: Identify key challenges facing local tourism; Chart a course which will allow us to leverage our limited resources towards achieving the greatest outcomes; Coordinate numerous initiatives which directly impact tourism, and Unite private and public representatives in a joint mission to manage and promote the future development of our tourism industry. “
He continued by emphasizing his commitment to the plan and by reminding those in the audience that the plan would only work if they made it work, “This plan belongs to the Cayman Islands community and from its inception to the completion of each action item; our aim is to keep all stakeholders engaged in the process. This is a distinct advantage of the Tourism Management plan, it was created with widespread input and its implementation will be driven by continued, broad public and private sector participation. :”
The NTMP, which received Cabinet approval in February 2003, provides a framework and clear vision for the sustainable development of the tourism industry.
Since its approval, the Ministry and Department of Tourism have been developing strategic implementation plans and soliciting nominations from the private sector for members of the various committees.
Members of the Steering Committee, appointed to ensure that the NTMP recommendations and action items are implemented in a timely manner, have met twice already to lay the ground work for a successful start; and, at the April 7th launch, members of the six sub-committees met with their appointed Chairperson to begin developing their implementation strategies.
All members of the NTMP committees were commended for their willingness to partake in this initiative as it will entail hours and hours of work - and work they will as there are seven implementation committees (including the steering committee), and in excess of 70 action items to manage.
The seven NTMP committees are: The Steering Committee, Transportation Committee, George Town Port/Cruise Development Committee, Environment Committee, Information and Research Committee, Human Resources Committee, and the Product & Infrastructure Enhancement Committee.
“The National Tourism Management Policy is our ‘Business Plan’ for the next five years,” said Ms. Pilar Bush, Acting Director of Tourism. “It will provide guidance for policy and business decisions made in the coming years, and it will ensure that the development of the tourism industry is a co-ordinated effort where each item undertaken is a deliberate step in a well thought out master plan.” (DOT)
PHOTO: The NTMP Steering Committee stands with the Hon. McKeeva Bush, LGB and Minister of Tourism, ready to implement the Cayman Islands National Tourism Management Policy.