After seven-and-a-half years at the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism (CIDOT) Mrs. Rosa Harris has moved into its top position as Director of Tourism.
“I am very pleased that such a qualified individual as Mrs. Harris has been identified for the role of Director of Tourism,” commented Minister of Tourism, Hon. Moses Kirkconnell. “During her tenure Mrs. Harris has played an integral role in many of the Department’s successful endeavours and continuously contributes to the betterment of our tourism product locally, while elevating our positioning globally as the destination of choice in the Caribbean. I look forward to the Department continuing to thrive under Mrs. Harris’ leadership and wish her every success in this next phase of her career.”
Officially assuming the post on 1 July 2014, Mrs. Harris has a long history with the department and within the tourism industry of the Cayman Islands. “Having served as Acting Director previously, Mrs. Harris has a proven record of bringing valuable expertise and organisational skills to the table and that she is an asset to the Department of Tourism,” said Chief Officer for the Ministry of Tourism, Stran Bodden.
Commenting on the responsibilities of the role, the Director says she looks forward to many aspects of the new position. “I am very excited to be leading this organisation to support and drive economic success for the country, being involved with the Ministry of Tourism’s airport and cruise port redevelopment projects, and shaping the future tourism product by collaborating with tourism partners, new developers and sister government agencies.”
The role of Director is one that Mrs. Harris has strived for since obtaining her Bachelor’s Degree from notable Ivy League school Cornell University and her Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from Manchester University.
While she was the acting director, Mrs. Harris was the Interim Chairman of both the Public Transportation Board (PTB) and the Hotel Licensing Board, roles she will continue as Director. She is also the Deputy Chairman of the Cayman Islands Hospitality School Council, Tourism Attractions Board and the Cayman Islands Marketing Professionals Association.
Her DOT career began in 2006 as the National Promotions and Events Manager.
During her tenure, she gained considerable experience in key aspects of the Cayman Islands’ tourism industry. In these roles she established marketing plans for the Islands and led tourism product development in addition to other duties.
Some of her notable achievements include five destination promotions that resulted in annual increases in the number of tourists visiting the Islands.
She first started in the Hospitality industry in 2000 at the old Hyatt hotel property. She worked her way up from the restaurant and in-room dining assistant manager to the position of Rum Point Club Property manager (HOD) in 2005-06.
Her inspiration to undertake a career in tourism came from her sister Deborah McLean who passed on during Mrs. Harris’s sophomore year in college. Deborah worked for the then named Hotel Association and “her love for interacting with people, for travel, and her drive for success, inspired me to win a job as concierge at the former Clarion Grand Pavilion Hotel on West Bay Road,” said Mrs. Harris.
Growing up in heart of George Town, Mrs. Harris continues to live by a quote that she learned at home. Her mother Lucille McLean always told her: “Rosa, you have to crawl before you walk and always do your best, give 100%.”
Mrs. Harris not only applies this to her daily life but also her to her work and ensures that she gives 100% at all times. Described as a hardworking and passionate person, Rosa is also an inspiration to many around her.
She thanks her husband and champion Callroy for his continued encouragement, as well as her mother and “entire family for their support and believing in me.”
“I would like to thank God for blessing me with a successful life and career. I put my faith in God to make prudent decisions for the betterment of tourism and of my country,” said Mrs. Harris.