Grand Cayman was the destination for a very special group of tourists back in March.
The group of 20 from the United States stopped in Cayman for several days as part of a multi-island tour. The group also visited Jamaica and the Bahamas as part of their package tour. The difference with this group is that they travelled by air rather than cruise ship.
Cayman has been high on the list of favorite Caribbean destinations ever since tourism first developed in the 1930's. Back then, the airplanes landed in North Sound and passengers were ferried to shore by boats. Today, a new version of package tourism is developing - air cruising. Like regular tourists, the passengers arrive by air at the main airport. But unlike regular tourists, their itinerary while on island is arranged for them, and they also get to visit other destinations while on the tour. Air cruising is the ultimate package for island-hoppers who want to maximize their vacation time.
Air tour packages are finding a niche in the multi-billion dollar travel and tourism market with customers who want to simplify their adventure travel. 'Cruising' by air to three different islands over the course of a week creates more on-island time, giving the visitors a more authentic island experience. More time for activities, more time for shopping, more time for relaxing on the beach. Watching a beaituful tropical sunset from shore while wiggling your toes in the sand is certainly a major advantage over cruise ship touring.
One U.S. company has begun service for this new king of cruising. Mauiva AirCruise, the tour operator visting Grand Cayman, offers private planes and custom service. Cayman has been on their itinerary from the start. As word spreads and customers begin to understand the advantage of more destinations covered with less time in transit, we expect to see even more of this kind of tourism in our fair isles.