LAX to GCM: A travel event

By Maia King

6 February 2023

Two women in bright carnival costumes
International travel writers, advisors and event planners came together at Camana Bay in January to cap off a three-day travel event. — Photos: Davion Cotterell

In early January, the Ministry of Tourism and Transport (MoTT) and the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism (CIDOT) welcomed more than 70 travel and media advisors from Los Angeles via a charter flight on Cayman Airways’ new direct LAX route.

The group — comprising LA-based travel writers, advisors and event planners — spent three days in Grand Cayman, exploring the islands’ hospitality and tourism offerings and staying across five of the island’s premier hotels – Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort, The Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort and Spa, The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman and Hampton by Hilton.

On their final evening, the full group met at Camana Bay for a celebratory dine-around event, hosted by MoTT and CIDOT in partnership with Camana Bay.

The evening began with welcome drinks and mingling under the Christmas tree on Camana Bay’s canalfront Crescent, where the group networked, connected with new friends and shared travel recommendations. Pane & Pasta and The Edgy Vedge served passed canapés, including vegan cauliflower wings, watermelon "tuna" tartare and focaccia-mozzarella skewers with balsamic reduction.

In her opening remarks, Dart Vice President Business Development and Leasing Kristy Rivers welcomed the group to Camana Bay.

“In the time that you have been with us, we hope that you’ve had the full technicolor, surround-sound, 'Caymankind' experience and that you are equally excited for others to share in what we have to offer," Rivers said. "Truth be told, many of us come as visitors to these beautiful shores and many of us have chosen to make Cayman home.”

The drive to share all Cayman has to offer was evident, with one travel advisor saying the trip helped her and her colleagues to visualise Cayman as more than just a cruise port. The experience, she said, opened her eyes to the luxury experiences available on the island. Many cited their chartered boat trip to Stingray City as a highlight of their visit, calling it a truly unique experience.

Group of people clinking drinks

Guests were pre-assigned to dine at one of four Camana Bay restaurants – Abacus, Agua, Mizu Asian Bistro + Bar and Union Grill & Bar – where they enjoyed a choice of signature cocktails, an appetiser and main course. The concept introduced participants to a selection of Camana Bay’s world-class restaurants and allowed them to sample menu highlights for vegetarians and omnivores alike.

Dinner was followed by a relaxed cocktail party on the rooftop terrace of 62 Forum Lane, offering expansive views over Camana Bay and its surrounding landscape. Models displayed Swanky’s bright Carnival costumes, and Gelato & Co. served up two house-made gelato flavours from their portable cart. Guests got dancing with smiles all around as the DJ spun crowd favourites into the night.

The programme appears to have been a success, with overwhelmingly positive participant feedback. Many reported that they were keen to introduce Cayman to their tourism partners, luxury and group travel clients and international event management companies. The programme also connected local hotels and tourism services with key travel and tourism contacts that actively drive traffic via direct visits, promotional articles and activity recommendations.


This article was originally published in the February 2023 edition of Camana Bay Times.

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