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CAL, Cayman Carnival Batabano and Pirates Week, touted in Tampa

Pictured aboard their Cayman Airways nonstop flight from Grand Cayman to Tampa are (from left): Melanie McField, Executive Director of the Cayman Islands Pirates Week Festival; Donna Myrie-Stephen, Chairperson of the Cayman Carnival Batabano Committee; famous Caymanian professional pirate impersonator, Darvin Ebanks, AKA “Captain Black Terrence”; Fallon Ebanks of Batabano’s Tribal Carnival masquerade band; and Paola Puerto, a Cayman Airways Cabin Crew member.

Two of Cayman’s iconic national events, Cayman Carnival Batabano and Pirates Week, were recently touted in Tampa, Florida, during a special “Cayman Connect Week” with Tampa’s travel trade and dive community.

The initiative was organised by the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism (DoT) in partnership with Cayman Airways Limited (CAL) and the organisers of Batabano and Pirates Week. Batabano is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, while Pirates Week celebrated its 40th anniversary last year. Cayman Airways is also celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Activities during the week included a “Cayman Night” for families in the Tampa area, several informative breakfast and lunch sessions, a BBQ Night with the dive industry, a dinner event with the travel trade and a special meet-and-greet with passengers, media and invited guests at the Cayman Airways Ticket Counter at Tampa International Airport.

At the CAL ticket counter at Tampa International Airport (TPA) are (from left) Ashely Laccarino of TPA, Gary Bromfield of CAL, and Donna Myrie-Stephen of Batabano.

The Department of Tourism said the goal of this initiative was to educate both the travel trade and dive community in the Tampa area about some of the unique events that their clients can experience in the Cayman Islands, particularly Batabano and Pirates Week, and to inform them about how getting to the Cayman Islands is very convenient thanks to Cayman Airways’ nonstop flights from Tampa International Airport.

Chairperson of Cayman Carnival Batabano, Donna Myrie-Stephen, said: “It was an amazing whirlwind week of promoting our beautiful islands, our national airline and national events alongside representatives from DoT and Cayman Airways.  It was wonderful networking with Tampa’s key travel agents and potential visitors, and we’re definitely looking forward to many more exciting years ahead for Cayman Carnival Batabano, and to more partnerships with DoT and the Pirates Week Festival.”

Cayman’s renowned professional pirate impersonator Duke Tibbetts, AKA “Big Cannon Jack”, poses for photos with kids.

Echoing those sentiments, Executive Director for Pirates Week, Melanie McField, said: “As part of our ongoing effort to raise awareness, we are always seeking new and exciting ways to promote the Pirates Week Festival. Direct engagement with major key players is one of the most impactful ways to promote the progress and sucess of Pirates Week. Having the opportunity to do so with our partners Cayman Airways and the DoT offers a fun and interactive way to do just that — showcase a taste of what the festival has to offer.”