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Why Is Grand Cayman So Expensive? (Top 10 Reasons)

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Located south of Cuba and northwest of Jamaica, Grand Cayman is a popular tourist destination.

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This island paradise is also one of the most expensive places for people to live and visit.

Little Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Grand Cayman are the three islands of this British Overseas Territory.

The Cayman Islands is a self-governing territory with fewer than 70,000 residents and a very high standard of living.

This territory has some of the most expensive places to live and visit anywhere in the world, with the highest prices on Grand Cayman.

 

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Why Is Grand Cayman So Expensive? (Top 10 Reasons)

 

1. Tourism Is An Important Focus

Cayman Islands

 

Tourists enjoy visiting Grand Cayman.

Some of the top destinations include Seven Mile Beach, Stingray City, the Cayman Turtle Centre, and diving locations all around the island.

If one had to characterize the primary industry that employs most of the workforce on Grand Cayman, the biggest “factory” would be the sandy beaches, posh resorts, and many other establishments that support the thriving tourist economy.

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In 2007, tourism represented 70% of the gross domestic product of this popular island destination.

The majority of arrivals came from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom back then.

Tourism has continued to grow in importance in the fifteen years since then.

The strong demand for travel to Grand Cayman has led to steadily increasing prices since the ability to expand supply is not limitless.

The coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll since 2019, however.

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Lockdowns and the halting of cruise ship traffic had a strong impact on the local economy.

Many who relied on tourist traffic felt frustrated as the number of visitors declined.

Authorities on Grand Cayman want tourism to resume.

Knowing the value of visitors, Cayman tourist authorities regularly update travel requirements.

As restrictions have eased, more tourists have returned to Grand Cayman.

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They arrive with pocketbooks full of money and credit cards, ready to contribute to the local economy.

 

2. Limited Availability Of Fresh Water

Man drinking water

 

Although water surrounds the people who visit and live on Grand Cayman, they cannot drink much of it in its natural state.

Gulping down salt water will not quench one’s thirst.

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With its highest elevation lower than 150 feet above sea level, there are no hills or mountain ranges to collect fresh rainwater.

Although a few freshwater ponds and lakes exist, there are no long and mighty rivers like the Arkansas, Colorado, Mississippi, or Ohio Rivers to transport potable water to areas throughout the island,

While a few wells may have been dug in earlier years, pioneer settlers often used cisterns and other gutter systems to capture water for their cooking, drinking, and cleaning needs.

Importing bottled water is costly and weighs heavily on the holds of aircraft.

The situation is even more challenging on Little Cayman, a much smaller island that lacks any substantial freshwater resources.

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Those living on the Cayman Islands devised a better solution, one that involved technology and required a substantial financial allocation to get the water flowing.

Much of the water in Grand Cayman not imported in plastic bottles is supplied through desalination.

The reverse osmosis process used to desalinate substantial amounts of the drinking water on the Cayman Islands required an extensive financial investment.

This was a life-or-death decision for Grand Cayman’s economy and the growing demand for fresh water in hotels, resorts, swimming pools, restaurants, and homes.

At the present time, some water is pumped from below the earth.

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Wells deep below the subterranean limestone provide some of the drinking water used today.

The seawater taken from this deep source does not have many of the contaminants found in surface seawater.

Reverse osmosis takes care of any microbial salts, dirt, or organisms that remain.

 

3. Importing Food From Elsewhere

Rice in burlap sack

 

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The Cayman Islands have a wealth of seafood in the adjacent waters.

Some farms provide locally grown crops, dairy products, and meat.

However, this relatively small island lacks many of the manufacturing plants that create most of the processed food products consumed on the island.

Many edible foods arrive by cargo ship.

Some get transported by air or perhaps dropped off by cruise ships and smaller vessels.

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Whether one lives on Grand Cayman or just comes for a visit, they should expect to pay a pretty penny to fill their bellies, cupboards, refrigerators, and freezers.

Tourists can expect high food prices at restaurants, with few low-budget options, even at destinations that are off the beaten path and fast-food franchises.

According to one recent post, tourists should expect to pay approximately $120 in Caymanian dollars for a full slate of restaurant meals each day.

That is over $146 in US dollars, or approximately $180 in Canadian dollars, as of late May 2022.

Budget-conscious tourists have to do their research.

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Others might need to take out a second mortgage on their house if they want to eat like royalty.

To live on Grand Cayman full time, Caymanians may spend anywhere from $600 to nearly $1,200 in their dollars on monthly grocery expenses, or $725 to $1,450 in American greenbacks.

Although prices fluctuate due to tensions in the supply chain, a few examples from 2021 give an indication of how expensive some groceries are if purchased in Grand Cayman.

One liter of milk costs $5.35 in US dollars.

Sounds expensive, until one realizes that one gallon is 3.78 liters.

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That is over $20 for a gallon of milk.

It makes the gas you just put in your car seem like a bargain!

More recently, the price of milk dropped to about $18 a gallon.

Other goods have similarly high prices.

A dozen eggs can cost upwards of $5.50, and expect to spend $4.25 for a loaf of bread in some markets.

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Look at the bright side, however.

Some of the local foods—such as cassava cakes, conch stew, turtle stew, and Johnny Cakes—are quite popular.

You can fill your belly, even if you lose some weight in your wallet.

 

4. Importing Almost Everything From Elsewhere

Container Cargo freight ship

 

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With few manufacturers on Grand Cayman, most household goods, business supplies, and even tourist trinkets, are manufactured elsewhere and brought to the island.

This means Caymanians have to struggle with shipping delays and supply chain issues like the rest of us, but without another superstore or warehouse club a few miles away, they lack a wide variety of shopping alternatives.

Manufacturing represents barely 3% of the gross domestic product in the Cayman Islands.

One thing that is manufactured in the Cayman Islands is the popular Tortuga Rum Cake, though a person probably could not live on it alone.

Much of the “manufacturing” on Grand Cayman involves manufacturing memories for the throngs of tourists who visit.

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Another very large chunk involves the manufacturing of lucrative opportunities for overseas investors.

 

5. Real Estate

Luxury houses on the Grand Cayman island

 

Owning a home near the world-famous Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman is a dream for many.

This is a very high-priced dream, indeed, as opportunities to purchase prime real estate have declined in recent years.

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There are no bargain basement bungalows or inexpensive fixer-uppers in George Town or any other settlement on the island.

Prices rose by 11% in 2020 on the average price of pre-construction projects near Seven Mile Beach.

They have now surpassed $1,400 per square foot.

Expect to have plenty of cash to build your dream home near a dreamy beach.

Homes in high-tone areas such as Crystal Harbour begin at over $2 million.

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One thing to look forward to if a person can afford to purchase a home in the Cayman Islands is that this place does not assess an annual property tax.

No restrictions prohibit foreigners from purchasing real estate on Grand Cayman.

They should, however, expect to have enough disposable income for the higher cost of supplies, services, and that very expensive gallon of milk they have just placed in the refrigerator that has just arrived from overseas.

 

6. Attracts The Super Wealthy

Luxury white yacht on sea

 

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The natural beauty of Grand Cayman, along with its comfortable year-round climate and high-end amenities, has attracted a wealthy class of visitors.

These are not the type of people who think that getting more shrimp and imitation crab on their plates at a cruise ship buffet is a way to save money.

On a per capita basis, the Cayman Islands is one of the wealthiest locations in the world.

Similar to Bermuda, Singapore, Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein, these three Caymans attract a high-class clientele.

The most common imports and exports entering and leaving the Caymans tell the story.

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In recent years, the top five imports into the Cayman Islands have been recreational boats, cargo and passenger ships, refined petroleum goods, gold, and passenger vehicles.

Recreational boats are by far the most valuable import, amounting to over $2.7 billion.

Next on the list are cargo and passenger ships, which amounted to only about $100 million.

Compare these categories with exports.

The top five exports from the Cayman Islands have been recreational boats, gold, refined petroleum products, cargo and passenger ships, and broadcasting equipment.

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Once again, a huge gap separates the value of passenger boats from the runners-up.

Do you see a trend here?

Big water ships for wealthy folk come and go to the Cayman Islands.

Most stay on Grand Cayman, the richest of the three islands.

While staying in Grand Cayman, these wealthy tourists and business people purchase many luxury items and visit very exclusive resorts and destinations.

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Although a few of them most certainly purchase Tortuga Rum Cakes, that homegrown specialty appears nowhere in the top 10 export commodities.

 

7. Cayman Currency Is Tied To The US Dollar

New one hundred dollars banknotes

 

The Cayman Islands dollar (CI$ or KYD) came into existence in August 1972.

This currency replaced the Jamaican dollar that was previously in use on the islands.

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For most of the 50 years of its existence, the Caymanian dollar has had a parallel relationship with the United States dollar.

Under the Currency Law of 1974, the CI$ was set to be valued at US$1.20 on April 1, 1972.

This is no April Fool’s joke.

The value of the American dollar has a direct impact on the value of their dollar, which is the legal tender in the Cayman Islands.

This means that $1 in Cayman Islands currency has the same value as $1.20 in the United States.

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Thus, $1 in American currency will get you approximately 85 cents in Cayman coins.

If all of this seems confusing, one can take comfort in knowing that nearly all establishments gladly take American dollars.

They will do the math and figure out the exchange rates on their own.

This direct relationship can become a problem for the Cayman Island economy and prices on these islands.

Unlike most currencies that have fluctuating values, this direct connection means that when the value of the American dollar increases, the same thing happens to the Caymanian dollar.

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It also means that in times of inflation, adverse fluctuations that affect the value of the United States dollar will have some level of impact on the currency of the Cayman Islands.

Rather than taking a different course than the American dollar, they share a similar fate.

Exact values may briefly fall a penny or so above or below this proportional rate, but they quickly correct themselves.

Thus, the already high prices for all of the items purchased on the island will escalate even higher due to inflation.

Residents will have to pay more to other nations for the food and supplies that they need as well.

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8. High Import Duties

Closed up finger on keyboard with word IMPORT DUTY

 

One of the biggest selling points about life on the Cayman Islands is that this British Overseas Territory does not assess sales tax (Value-Added Tax, or VAT), along with taxes on income, property, capital gains, corporate earnings, or inheritance.

Until 1985, there was a modest CI$10 head tax on adult residents that continued until they reached the age of 60, though it has been repealed.

People born and raised in Grand Cayman do not have to fret about preparing and filing income tax returns each year.

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Instead, they can spend their mid-April enjoying a tropical drink and a Tortuga Rum Cake.

While their economic system lets them eat their cake, many Americans spend that time of the year worrying about whether they should file an extension.

If the government functions so well without these forms of taxation, one might wonder how Grand Cayman collects enough revenue to maintain its infrastructure.

After all, the Caymans have incredibly good infrastructure, clean settlements, low crime, and great mass transportation.

Parking meters are almost as scarce as winter cold fronts.

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There are no casinos like those found throughout the United States, either.

In fact, commercial gambling is illegal throughout the Caymans.

Leave the scratch-off tickets and bingo cards at home, though a wager over a game of dominoes may be permissible.

Tourism taxes exist, which explains in part why tourism is expensive.

The main source of taxable revenue comes from business registration fees and import duties.

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This helps to explain why products are so expensive in Grand Cayman even though no sales tax is levied on them.

Since importers have to pay a handsome fortune to get them into the Cayman Islands, these importers then pass along this expense to consumers and tourists in the form of higher prices.

Import duties and tariffs usually range from between 22% to 27%, very high by global standards.

Many countries impose import duties to protect domestic manufacturers.

Since few things are manufactured in the Cayman Islands, this duty is not to protect home-grown businesses.

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Instead, it is a way to get the revenue necessary to fund many governmental functions.

Even with these high duties, the Cabinet understands the long-term effects of coronavirus on the population.

For that reason, in December 2021, a waiver on duties for some essential products for children and adults with some medical issues was put into effect.

 

9. High Financial And Banking Fees

Fees written on a wooden cubes

 

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Since many wealthy people enjoy Grand Cayman as a preferred place to vacation, this destination understands that fees on certain transactions will generate a lot of revenue.

If a person banks at a Cayman Island financial institution, they should expect frequent maintenance fees.

Checking fees are very common.

Loan rates and other banking fees are disproportionately high when compared with other countries.

In addition, the government levies a 7.5% stamp duty on most “immovable property.”

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This includes real estate, something already mentioned as being particularly expensive.

Stamp duties also extend to mortgages on real estate.

Mortgages under CI$300,000 have a 1% fee.

Mortgages for more than that will have a 1.5% fee.

Since most mortgages have higher values, most people are responsible for the higher fee.

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10. Expense To Travel Elsewhere

Pile of coins, glass jar with dollar banknotes

 

While it is expensive to vacation or to live in Grand Cayman, those who live there have another expense to consider.

They need to get on a boat or plane to go anywhere away from their island home.

While a flight to Miami or Atlanta might not be incredibly expensive in comparison with the cost of living on Grand Cayman, residents of that beautiful island do have to set aside funds to go anywhere.

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Coronavirus travel restrictions have thrown another wrench into this situation.

Enhanced travel restrictions, fewer flights, and a decline in boating traffic have limited travel opportunities during the last couple of years.

Residents of Grand Cayman can expect one other expensive travel-related matter.

When they return to the Cayman Islands from their overseas trip, they have a relatively low duty-free allowance to avoid taxes.

In most cases, this duty-free allowance is CI$500.

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Anything above the duty-free limit is subject to a tax, usually at 22%,

They should carefully organize their receipts before returning.

When they arrive, they will need to make declarations to the island’s Department of Customs and Border Control.

If they are wise, they will drink all of their milk before getting back to Grand Cayman.

We already know how expensive milk is!

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The post Why Is Grand Cayman So Expensive? (Top 10 Reasons) appeared first on The Cold Wire.



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MLB Analyst Reveals A New Shohei Ohtani Pitch

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Despite the Los Angeles Angels’ late collapse on Monday night, there was one silver lining to take away from it.

Shohei Ohtani, the famous two-way star who constantly draws comparisons to the great Babe Ruth, had himself a night on the mound, throwing six innings of two-run ball against a powerful Seattle Mariners lineup.

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Ohtani also struck out eight batters as he earned a no decision.

But he also did something on the fly last night.

Out of nowhere, the Halos ace started throwing sinkers, which averaged at about 97 MPH.

They may have been a little inconsistent, as Mike Petriello mentioned on Twitter, but they had three inches more drop and two inches more break than others at that velocity.

He also did it on the fly.

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Ohtani Tries Something New

We all know about Ohtani’s ability to hit homers and pitch like an ace, but he added another layer to his dominance on the baseball field.

He randomly started throwing sinkers and Mariners hitters were swinging and missing.

That’s the sign of a crafty pitcher who knows how to paint the corners and find ways to keep hitters off balanced.

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Ohtani gave the Angels everything he had last night while also trying something new in the process, which at the end of the day, worked.

You can never count out Ohtani, even in the midst of a poor season for the Angels.

Ohtani is still one of the best players in all of baseball and cannot be overlooked.

While the Angels have struggled, he has had himself a solid season.

But it’s impressive that he was able to just start throwing sinkers on the fly and make it work for him, especially against a tough lineup.

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The post MLB Analyst Reveals A New Shohei Ohtani Pitch appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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Josh Johnson Continues To Be A True Journeyman

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Though making it to the NFL is challenging, staying in the league is even tougher.

With a new wave of talent coming into the league every year, some older players are in danger of losing their spots to the younger athletes.

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However, there are those who found a way to stick around like Ryan Fitzpatrick, who suited up for several teams before retiring.

But even Fitzpatrick’s count doesn’t match that of Josh Johnson.

The 36-year-old play-caller has suited up for nearly half the league’s teams.

It’s not his choice to switch teams practically every year.

Yet for some reason, he finds a way to sign with a new team so often.

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The league’s official Twitter account called Johnson the ultimate journeyman before saying, “Never stop grinding.”

After being selected in the fifth round of the 2008 NFL Draft, he stayed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers until 2011.

Since then, his career took him to different stops around the league.

After playing in Tampa Bay, Johnson also played for the San Francisco 49ers, Cleveland Browns, and Cincinnati Bengals.

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Johnson also suited up for the New York Jets, Indianapolis Colts, Buffalo Bills, Baltimore Ravens, and New York Giants.

From 2017 to 2018, he also played for the then-Washington Redskins, Houston Texans and the then-Oakland Raiders.

Johnson also played for the Detroit Lions in 2019.

 

Johnson’s Current Team

His NFL journey continues as the joins the Denver Broncos for the 2022 season.

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It’s not yet certain if he will stay beyond the upcoming campaign, especially because Russell Wilson is their starting quarterback.

But in terms of finding a way to stay in the league, Johnson defeats his contemporaries by a mile.

It also gives him an extensive collection of jerseys from almost half the league.

The post Josh Johnson Continues To Be A True Journeyman appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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PSG need Kylian Mbappe and Neymar on the same page to reach their full potential

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Paris Saint-Germain beat Montpellier HSC 5-2 at Parc des Princes on Saturday to open an early two-point lead at the Ligue 1 summit. Neymar scored twice while Kylian Mbappe opened his account for the season, despite missing a penalty. Yet, the post-match focus was on the hints of tension between the superstar pair.

The Brazilian currently tops both the Championnat goal scoring and assist providing charts with three apiece after an opening day 5-0 win away at Clermont Foot 63 was followed up by the Montpellier drubbing. The Frenchman has taken longer to get going after a domestic suspension from last campaign kept him out of the Trophee des Champions before injury ruled him out against Clermont.

Now that both are back on the pitch along with Lionel Messi, who has also returned to action this term looking focused and in good shape, we are getting our first competitive look at the new balance of power in the capital. The hope, obviously, is that year two will prove to be more harmonious than the big tree’s uneven first go-around. But, no sooner had Mbappe extended his stay with PSG, then reports surfaced suggesting that Neymar was on his way out as part of a major cleanup operation.

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Once Luis Campos was appointed sporting advisor after Leonardo’s departure as sporting director and Christophe Galtier replaced Mauricio Pochettino as head coach, the door was left open to Neymar to play his way back into favor. However, it was abundantly clear that Les Parisiens would field offers for the €225 million man — assuming any arrived.

Despite links with Manchester City, which Pep Guardiola shot down himself, it was always going to be difficult to find any suitors capable of paying a fee for Neymar and covering his PSG salary without this sort of uptick in form. Whether it is enough to convince a club to go all in for the South American this month is doubtful, but his form and conduct so far have been impeccable under Galtier.

“Since July 4, Neymar has been beyond reproach,” said the 55-year-old. “He behaves well, came back ready and prepared well. He is performing very well in all our games. He is happy during those matches and plays for his teammates. He is opportunist with his goals. He works well for the team and in this system that is a must. Regarding what happens between now and the end of the transfer window, I see what is being written. Everyone is satisfied with Neymar regarding his investment.”

Factor in his two-goal haul against FC Nantes in the Trophee des Champions in Tel Aviv before the Ligue 1 season got underway and Neymar has five goals and three assists already this campaign. Two of those strikes have been penalties, admittedly, but it is not just his stats which have impressed Galtier — it is his overall work rate and attitude matching the expectations set upon arrival.

“That he must work for the team,” said the Frenchman of the challenge he set the mercurial No. 10. “We know that he is talented and a world class player. He is one of the best and he performs very well when he is physically and mentally well. He works for the team and puts in good displays. This system needs balance, and he is responding to that. You must be demanding defensively when you lose the ball. Collectively, he knows how to play with his teammates.”

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The worry for PSG is that this is part of Neymar’s 2022 FIFA World Cup preparation phase, with his hot form just as likely to dry up post-Qatar and midway through the current term, instead of lasting for the duration of the season. The same could be said of Messi who has three goals and an assist from three competitive outings so far.

Ultimately, if nobody makes an offer for Neymar which PSG would be willing to accept, debate is futile as he will remain in Paris. Mbappe’s early tensions are understandable given his suspension and injury-hit opening, but there can be no doubting that the team are much better off having two of their three attacking stars firing this early in the campaign while he gets up to speed.

Besides, given Mbappe’s ability to carry this PSG side of the past 12-18 months, getting the best out of him will have been the least of Galtier’s worries. Finding the best way for Mbappe, Neymar and Messi to coexist will now be the key as Campos continues to rebuild the squad with further transfer activity expected this week as the atmosphere within the group receives fresh oxygen.



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