The Cayman Islands is well known for its financial services industry, yet there is more to Cayman than a world-class international financial centre. The Cayman Islands’ second economic pillar is seeing unprecedented growth in spend, as the Islands continue to attract high-end tourists. The strength of these two industries is having a knock-on effect on life in Cayman, as indicated by the Economic and Statistics Office as they released the 2019 Q1 results: “Indicators show that the economic performance was broad-based, led by expansions in hotels and restaurants (7.9%), wholesale and retail trade, repair and installation of machinery (5.9%), construction (5.8%), other services (7.1%), and real estate (5.2%)”1.
The Ritz-Carlton Cayman Islands has just unveiled the Caribbean’s largest (undoubtedly luxury) suite, which spans a huge 18,000 feet2, showcasing beautiful design and a commitment to luxury travel. This is hot on the heels of the Ritz hosted Cayman Cookout, a food festival that brings in world-class chefs and tourists alike. This high-end approach to tourism in Cayman is replicated through the services and amenities available on island and the ripple effect is cascading in full motion, for tourists and residents alike.
As the local resident population swells to over 65,000, the design and construction industries are also seeing huge growth in the Cayman Islands, and like the new Ritz suite, the world is watching and approving of Cayman’s high standards and innovative approaches. New urban chic architecture, alongside Cayman cultural heritage (and sometimes the two together), are just two of the emerging styles evident at awards ceremonies such as the International Property Awards, with beautiful developments such as the Residences at Stone Island gaining global recognition. Cayman isn’t just about beauty however, innovative design such as NCBs Cayman Technology Centre utilises novel design queues and off-the grid energy solutions – as a growing focus on sustainability is also emerging in Cayman.
Whilst people who know the Cayman Islands well, know that there is a plethora of things to do on vacation, from paragliding to swimming with the Stingrays, there is another side of the Cayman Islands that is becoming more popular and that is the emphasis on wellness, for the environment, residents and the local fauna and flora. Cayman’s increasing resident population is encouraging the ethos of ‘living well, living better’, and this is replicated in the services and activities available.
The Cayman Islands Department of Tourism has long been promoting the subtle differences between the three Cayman Islands, with Little Cayman rightly being highlighted as an eco-tourists dream due to the low development, focus on the environment and laid back attitude with the ocean at its heart. Cayman is starting to be known for a destination that is more than just (one of the world’s most beautiful) beaches. National Geographic recently highlighted some of the more environmentally engaging tourism opportunities, which are obviously open to residents on a much more frequent basis 3. The opportunities to engage with the greener side of Cayman are aplenty which is good for the environment and the soul, including activities like climbing the Bluff in Cayman Brac, supporting the Turtle Nesting project (on all 3 islands), taking a bioluminescence tour, taking a swimming horse-back ride, hiking the mastic trail or simply submerging yourself in the crystal clear ocean and engaging with what’s around you.
There is also a developing wellness industry, including yoga, Pilates, holistic therapy at one of the outstanding health centres, taking part in one of the many 5ks, 10ks, the Cayman Islands marathon or the sea swims, or simply booking into a world-class spa for the day. Cayman is highly focused on health and wellbeing. Paired with a booming food industry, where fresh vegan food, local fish, Sushi, steak houses, fine dining and everything between, it is fair to say that the Cayman Islands is offering some of the best living conditions in the Caribbean region at the moment. So is Cayman one of the best places to live in the Caribbean right now? We think so!