July 26, 2021 – ReopenCayman.com acknowledges the success of the initiative created and sponsored by two local tourism entrepreneurs, Dr. Michael Tibbetts and Capt. Kel Thompson. Dr. Tibbetts and Capt. Thompson developed the website to educate the Cayman public about the COVID-19 pandemic by reporting insights from the medical literature and sharing best practices developed in other destinations. Once vaccination became widely available, the effort shifted to encouraging Caymanians to be vaccinated through a social media campaign emphasizing its safety and effectiveness and the importance to safely reopen the Islands to visitors. The targeted digital strategy reached over 40,000 Cayman residents per month through social media platforms and Google search ads. Over 180 posts were published through Facebook with high engagement which prompted dynamic conversations among residents. In addition, the ReopenCayman.com website averaged 3,000 users per month, the vast majority from the Cayman Islands.
“The Pandemic thrust the world into a vast unknown and we felt it was imperative for us to clearly present the facts about COVID-19, the risks and the options available to help chart a safe path forward for our islands, the tourism industry and those whose livelihood is dependent upon us,” said Michael Tibbetts.
“We believe that ReopenCayman.com has played an important role with the provision to Caymanian residents of pertinent information regarding the SARS CoV-2 virus, the pros and cons of vaccinations and has encouraged our populace to become vaccinated. With more than 86% of adults having received at least one jab (based on a Cayman Compass analysis), Cayman has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world. Children and teens for whom the vaccinations are not currently recommended by the UK’s independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), are excluded from the 86%” said Kel Thompson.
Michael and Kel believe that unless the Government provides disincentives for those not vaccinated there is unlikely to be a significant increase in vaccination rate as positive incentive programs and educational campaigns have run their course. They do not feel that ReopenCayman is the right forum for these Government policy discussions. Michael and Kel further note that in light of the extensive marketing and communication efforts by ReopenCayman and the Cayman Government, those who are resistant to vaccination will likely continue to exercise their right to remain unvaccinated. And thus, the objective of ReopenCayman, to inform and persuade has been largely achieved.
As the Cayman Islands enters the next phase of the reopening plan, the ReopenCayman.com website and social media channels ceased adding new content on Friday, 30 July 2021.
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