Travel Agent met Wednesday with representatives of the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism as well as the Westin Casuarina Resort & Spa and learned of both the destination’s and resort’s ongoing success in 2012.
Thomas Ludington, general manger, USA, for the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism, told us that the destination has already seen a roughly three percent spike in arrivals from this time last year. Ludington attributes the increase to a very busy June and May. And the destination is no stranger to successful arrival numbers. In 2011, the destination saw an impressive 11 percent bump in arrivals compared to 2010.
And with a strengthening market coming out of Canada as well as an expected hike in business in both New York and Boston when JetBlue Airways launches direct flights from those cities to the Cayman Islands in November, the destination could be poised for an even larger increase before the end of the year.
“We give a lot of credit to agents,” Ludington says. “We’ve always had a great relationship with agents. That’s an area we have always been very strong in. We try to monitor agents' bookings to the island as much as we can and they really do a lot of business.”
Meanwhile, one of the destination’s most popular resorts, Westin Casuarina Resort & Spa, is looking to completely redo all of its rooms starting next week and lasting until the first week of November,
David Krech, director of sales and marketing for the resort, told Travel Agent that the complete makeover of all of the rooms will be done floor by floor and will not require the hotel to close for any time. Krech said everything from new carpets to new furniture to new art and more will be added to every room. This comes on the heels of a $1.5 million renovation, in which a new pool, spa and restaurant were added to the property last year.
“We just feel it important to keep things fresh for the guests, to keep improving what we have at the resort,” he says, noting that he expects by year’s end the hotel's average occupancy to increase by eight percent from last year. “The hotel is doing very well, the destination is doing very well. We need to make sure it stays that way.”