Caribbean Islands

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Cayman Islands versus Barbados versus St.Lucia.


Barbados, the Cayman Islands, and St. Lucia are all incredibly popular tourist destinations. In 2016 Barbados had 631,513 stay-over visitors while St. Lucia had 347,872 stay-over visitors that same year. In 2017, the Cayman Islands had 418,403 visitors. Travelers from the United Kingdom visit Barbados most frequently, and visitors from the United States visit the Cayman Islands and St. Lucia most frequently. Barbados offers a range of events and activities and experienced a 6.7% increase in traffic from 2015 to 2016.


Barbados had 631,513 stay-over visitors in 2016. Its top performing months were December, November, February, and January, with over sixty thousand visitors during each of those months. Every month except April saw an increase in visitors in 2016.

Stay-over visitors to Barbados spent an average of $167.41 per day in 2016, compared to $164.40 during 2015. The United States increased its average visitor spending by 18.5% from 2015-2016, the United Kingdom increased its spending by 12.6%, Canada by 7.4%, and the Caribbean by 1.3%.

The United Kingdom accounts for thirty-five percent of all stay-over visitors to Barbados, with 218,638 visitors in 2016, a 2.1% increase from the previous year. The United States accounts for twenty-seven percent of visitors with 168,945 in 2016, a 14.1% increase since 2015.

Barbados boasts a wide variety of activities and sights for visitors to engage in. They offer "beach volleyball, snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, sailing and jet-skiing," as well as forts, the UNESCO World Heritage site Bridgetown, and much more. They also host various events, including the Dragon World Championships, the Barbados beach Wellness Festival, and the Barbados Food, Wine, and Run Festival, among others.


2017 was a record-breaking year for the Cayman Islands, with 418,403 stay-over visitors and 1,728,444 cruisers visiting the Islands. 49,003 stay-over visitors flew to the Cayman Islands in December 2017, an increase of 21.61% over the previous year. Increases in visitors in December from the United States and Canada (27.43% and 22.71% respectively) helped fuel this trend.

Stay-over guests to the Cayman Island spent an average of $183.52 per person in 2017, compared to $175.60 in 2016. Cruise passenger spending increased as well, from $90.05 per person in 2016 to $93.50 in 2017.

The United States had the most stay-over visitors to the Cayman Islands in 2017 with 256,760, followed by Canada (17,282 visitors), the United Kingdom and Ireland (10,871 visitors), Continental Europe (6,649 visitors) and Latin America (5,302 visitors).

Several programs instituted by the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism (DOT) put forth a marketing plan to increase global awareness of the Islands. The "Worry Free Hurricane Guarantee" was launched in June 2017 gave tourists "peace of mind" during Hurricane Season. June 2017 also saw the beginning of non-stop flights from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Grand Cayman. In July 2017 DOT launched the Cayman Vows Magazine to help visitors plan weddings at the Cayman Islands, and DOT also partnered with Chef'D, a meal kit delivery service, to develop "destination inspired meal kits" for visitors. The DOT is crediting these programs and others with bringing more tourists to the Cayman Islands in 2017 than ever before.


St. Lucia attracted 347,872 stay-over visitors in 2016, an increase from 344,908 visitors in 2015. There were 587,749 cruise visitors in St. Lucia in 2016, down from 677,394 in 2015.

Visitors to St. Lucia in 2016 spent an average of $239.80 per day. Visitors from the United States spent the most at $320.81 per day, which makes up fifty-five percent of all spending in St. Lucia.

The United States sent the most visitors to St. Lucia in 2016 with 157,576 visitors. The Caribbean sent 67,226 visitors in 2016, and the United Kingdom followed with 64,514 visitors.

St. Lucia has a variety of unique attractions, including sulfur springs, a drive-in volcano, the St. Lucia Jazz Festival, and Carnival, along with hiking, swimming, horseback riding, snorkeling, fishing, and diving, among others. St. Lucia is also a popular wedding destination.


Barbados had 631,513 stay-over visitors in 2016, compared to 418,403 for the Cayman Islands in 2017 and 347,872 visitors in 2016 to St. Lucia. The United Kingdom sends the most tourists to Barbados, while the United States sends the most to the Cayman Islands and St. Lucia. Barbados experienced growth in visitor numbers for every month of 2016 except April and continued to be one of the most popular holiday destination sites in the Caribbean. These numbers indicate that these will continue to be popular destinations for visitors in the coming years.
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Cayman Islands - PR Campaigns


We performed an extensive research to find out if the Cayman Islands has ever done any big public relation based projects or advertising campaigns to promote tourism. We searched in various credible sources like their website, credible media outlets and business articles to get the information. We focused on campaigns targeting visitors from the US and other countries, and not those already living at the Cayman Islands as requested.

Our findings were that for several years the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism has been running big public relation and advertisement campaigns in the US, the UK, and in Canada. The campaigns have mainly focused on relaxation and highlighting the adventurous side of the Cayman Islands. Since the question is from a historical perspective, some of our sources are older than two years. Below we highlight the campaigns that we found for the three countries.

Campaigns targeting US visitors

Using celebrities

Currently, the tourism department at the Cayman Islands is using real-life Hollywood actors to entice visitors to the island by using Actor Grace Gealey and her co-star husband, Trai Byers. The ad campaign shows the couple enjoying themselves in beautiful locations with activities like snorkeling, boating. The couple is also seen savoring the Cayman nightlife. The campaign which runs up to September 2018 has ads appearing in luxury trade and consumer publications and digital billboards in New York City.

CaymanKind TV Commercials

These are tourism advertising campaigns launched in the US that focus on showcasing the core strengths of the Cayman Islands like the ocean, the beaches, and water sports.
According to the director of the Department of Tourism Rosa Harris, the campaigns seek to differentiate the Cayman Islands from all other tourist destinations found in the region. The ads are focused on certain experiences and enable potential visitors to imagine visiting Cayman.

Use of free meal kits

The campaign dabbed taste the Cayman Islands started in June 2017. The department of tourism in the Cayman Islands teamed up with a company called Chef'd to offer meal delivery services to get US travelers to order meal kits containing ingredients of Cayman Island recipes. This way, they would get an idea of the exciting cuisine that the island holds in store for them. The campaign was focused on millennial young professionals who are open to different cuisines.

Use of magazines

The Cayman Vows magazine is a magazine that promotes the Cayman Islands as the perfect destination for holding weddings and honeymoons.

Campaigns targeting UK visitors

TV advertising

In November 2017, the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism released their first TV ad campaign in the UK in twenty years dabbed 'The perfect escape.' The advert is part of a bigger advertising campaign including outdoor digital displays that would appear on London's underground system. Digital posters are now being displayed on escalators in several underground stations.


This source is older but still relevant as the question is from a historical perspective. In 2008, the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism sponsored Channel 4's series, "The Ascent of Money, in a six-figure deal." Channel 4 is one of the major UK TV networks. This was the first time they had done a TV sponsorship deal. A department spokesman stated that the series was meant to attract the targeted visitors to the Cayman Islands.

Use of video — Cayman Adventures

In February 2018, the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism launched a new video campaign focusing on the adventurous side of the destination. Featuring Katia Griffiths, an ex-Olympic fitness model and freestyle skier, the campaign focuses on trekking, horse bike riding, and kayaking. The ads can be seen in London.

Campaigns targeting Canadian visitors

Use of a PR agency

In November 2017, the Department for Tourism in the Cayman Islands welcomed a Toronto based PR company, Aerial Communications Group to help develop the Canadian market. This strategic partnership was aimed at having a wider reach of the Canadian market in order to reach more Canadians seeking to vacation at the Caribbean.

Affinity Marketing

This source is older but still relevant. In August 2012, the Department of Tourism launched a campaign called affinity marketing revolving around topics that their target visitors would find interesting.
The campaign aligned with complementary brands and promoted different products. Two Canadian designers, Carrie Hayes and Tosca Delfino were sponsored to design Cayman Islands inspired collections like swimwear and evening wear. Luxury car brands were also used as partners.


The Cayman Islands Department of Tourism has used various means to reach out to people from other countries including the use of celebrities, TV commercials, use of magazines, free meal kits, sponsorship, use of video, use of PR agencies, and affinity marketing. Some countries that have been targeted are the US, the UK, and Canada.

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LGBTQ American travelers - Caribbean Islands

There is a negligible amount of travel by American LGBTQ travelers to the Caribbean. This trend is considered to be a result of the strong anti-homosexuality laws and cultures which remain on many of the Caribbean islands. However, many reports have shown that such laws and cultures are preventing the development of a market for American LGBTQ travelers valued at $100 billion.
The market for American LGBTQ travelers worldwide is estimated to be worth around $200 billion. Indeed, one report showed that LGBTQ people travel more than non-LGBTQ people and spend more on hotels, restaurants and shopping than any other group of tourists. However, very little of this travel takes place in the Caribbean, with the majority of American LGBTQ persons choosing to travel to destinations in Europe. Such a lack of visitation to the Caribbean is considered to be a result of strong anti-homosexuality laws and cultures present in most Caribbean countries.


Of the top 20 destinations for American LGBTQ travelers, the Bahamas was the only Caribbean destination included, which ranked 14th. Furthermore, in a report conducted in late 2017 regarding American LGBTQ tourism and travel, only 8% of LGBTQ people suggested the Caribbean as a honeymoon destination for their weddings. Such a figure is astounding when the same survey found that areas with natural beauty was an important consideration for 45% of American LGBTQ travelers when picking their next destination.

When focusing on travel companies offering Caribbean destinations there appears to be a distinctive lack of interest in attracting or opening up to the American LGBTQ market. In annual reports published in 2016 and 2017, neither Club Med nor Thomas Cook even mention the LGBTQ market in any derivation. It appears that those operators who have opened up to the American LGBTQ market are cruise liners, who appear to be doing so in order to gain financial means rather than increase their diversity.


There is a large body of evidence to suggest that American LGBTQ travelers do not frequent the Caribbean due to the presence of many anti-homosexuality laws and cultures. These laws, cultures and attitudes have meant that many American LGBTQ travelers have chosen to spend their vacations in destinations which are accepting of homosexuality and offer legal protection to LGBTQ persons. A company called Community Marketing Insights suggested that "the Caribbean is a perfect fit for LGBTQ travel" however it is important to ensure that travelers feel safe and not discriminated upon.


The UN have urged the Caribbean as a whole to change their attitudes and laws to homosexuality for both human rights and economic growth reasons. Such changes in laws and attitudes would open up a market for American LGBTQ travelers to the Caribbean considered to be worth around $100 billion. Indeed, the secretary of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has suggested that "no business can afford to ignore a significant market segment" such as the American LGBTQ market.

To date, there has been a negligible amount of travel American LGBTQ persons to the Caribbean. This is based upon a widely held opinion that many Caribbean islands are not LGBTQ friendly, such a perception has arisen from real problems with anti-homosexuality laws and culture of many of the Caribbean islands which do not favor LGBTQ persons. However, there are increasing calls for changes in such laws and cultures to allow the development of a very lucrative market for American LGBTQ travelers in the Caribbean.