Getting to the Cayman Islands is Easier Than Ever
PHOTO: Enjoying the water is just one part of a wondrous Cayman Islands vacation. (Courtesy Cayman Islands Department of Tourism)
With an airport expansion underway and the addition of nonstop flights, getting to the white sandy beaches and turquoise waters of the Cayman Islands has never been easier. Toss in the grand opening of several new properties and the Islands should be on your list of must-see destinations in the near future.
Although the Owen Roberts International Airport (ORIA) project won’t be completed until 2018, the improvements will make the Cayman Islands even more appealing to tourists than it already is. The airport serves the island of Grand Cayman and the Cayman Islands capital George Town and is centrally located five minutes from downtown and within close proximity of Seven Mile Beach, the heart of the islands' tourism industry.
READ MORE: New Cruise Port in Caymans is Approved
The runway work will look to accommodate the arrivals of large 777 aircrafts, which can hold as many as 550 passengers, to the area. This is vital for an airport that has seen a two percent growth in travel traffic every year for the last decade. The $55 million project will also double the size of the facility, from 77,000 square feet to 207,000 square feet, allowing it to accommodate close to 2.5 million passengers. It will also include additional retail and restaurant concessions, larger departure and arrival lounges, expanded immigration and customs areas and additional check-in gates.
This isn’t the first enlargement project for ORIA. Just a few years ago, it expanded the check-in area and the airport's car parks. This current expansion is estimated to cover the airport’s needs for at least two decades before additional work is needed.
SEE MORE: Welcome to Caymankind!
There has been other good news for travelers who are eager to tour the destination. Last year, United Airlines announced nonstop service from O’Hare International Airport (ORD) and expanded service for visitors traveling from Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) until at least April, 2016.
In addition, there are even more accommodations opening up or undergoing major renovations. The Brac Reef Resort renovated and re-opened as the Cayman Brac Beach Resort and includes such enhancements as a freeform resort pool, upgraded accommodations, and resort-wide renovations.
The Margaritaville Beach Resort, which will open in December on Seven Mile Beach, includes 280 guest rooms, several bars and restaurants, meeting space, a spa, two pools, kid zones and a two-story water slide.
Also opening on the Seven Mile Beach district is Kimpton Seafire, a 266-room Kimpton Hotel resort and spa that debuts in November. Located at the highest end of Seven Mile Beach, Kimpton Seafire will offer diving, tennis, a botanic park, and three restaurants and two ocean-view pools. Dart Realty revealed a $300 million expansion plan for Camana Bay, which includes the construction of pedestrianized and vehicular links that connect Camana Bay to other Dart properties.
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