The TV Broadcaster & creative with a focus on the Caribbean travel scene is reminding globetrotters & holiday-goers why the Cayman Islands is one of the world’s must-visit vacation spots. Monica Walton – whose extensive experience has taken her career internationally – shows the world that the Cayman Islands is more than a sugar-white sand, crystal-clear water haven.
When Monica Walton’s tourism channel, This is Cayman TV, was halted due to the effects of the pandemic, the Cayman-born journalist, TV Broadcaster, and founder of Vagabond MediaGroup was well-connected globally that she could step away from the Caribbean lens and focus on her various endeavors, such as filmmaking and journalism.
When the borders to the island opened up and business began taking-off once again, Monica knew it was the right time to relaunch her channel.
This is Cayman TV, the official tourism channel in the Cayman Islands, is a comprehensive guide to all things Cayman. With a focus on culture, food, and entertainment, the tourism channel guides visitors to the best places on the island. From world-class diving and snorkeling sites to lavish high-end resorts and a thriving culinary scene, there’s more to Cayman than just beaches. With Monica’s expertise, she guides you through everything the island has to offer.
As a native, she knows all the go-to spots and has been working around the Caribbean extensively for ten years, creating digital content for tourism boards, tv networks, and lifestyle brands.
To learn more about the TV host, we sat down with Monica to discuss her show This is Cayman, getting the inside scoop and behind-the-scenes details.
The first thing I want to know is, what’s the best meal to order at the local fish fry?
“If it’s in season, then for sure conch soup. For tourists you have to try fried snapper, rice, and beans. Oxtail or salt beef and beans is popular too. You can’t go wrong with the local fish fries to be fair. I’m half Trini so it’s a doubles and roti diet.”
What do you want viewers of This Is Cayman TV to walk away with?
“It’s about having a great experience while you’re on the island. When you travel somewhere it takes a minute to get your bearings and figure out where to go. We take away that problem and showcase and guide you in the right direction so you don’t waste any time. No one wants that on vacation. We also hit tourists before they arrive online & then while they’re here on the island, so… no escape!”
What about the Cayman Islands – from a videography perspective, inspires you?
“Blue ocean, sugar white sands. It’s something you see on a postcard… but real life. There’s a community of insanely talented creatives in Cayman too, so that’s inspiring. It’s also the people, the culinary scene, the safety, the exclusivity, and the culture. I’ve been to a lot of Caribbean islands and on some, you can feel like an outsider. Cayman’s different. My family are from the Brac – the smallest of the three islands. To me, that tranquility is paradise, but I need action for inspiration, so being somewhere new or in the city helps.”
What’s the most difficult shot in the Cayman Islands you’ve captured?
“Anything with dogs or kids, ha. Using drones can be tough, getting it in the air and avoiding birds, and launching from a boat with a drone is always a mission – you’re under intense pressure to not lose the shot or sink it. Serious problems here.”
What’s the production like for This is Cayman?
“It’s a small and effective team, part of being an entrepreneur is knowing your strengths and weaknesses and surrounding yourself with a great team that compliments that, and outsourcing when you need. When we launched, seven or eight years ago now (I forget!) I would actually go around and shoot all the segments and then have someone help me film my on-camera parts. It’s been through ups and downs like any business, but we stay agile, yet dedicated and it’s grown into a thriving TV channel & brand, and keeps growing and growing. Right now it’s at its best: lean and efficient, but it took a while to get here. It’s not just about having a camera & filming nice places, it’s entrepreneurship to its core and it’s hard, hard work.”
Walk us through a typical day of filming.
“It’s usually thoroughly planned out and organized ahead of time. We stick to a schedule and we’ll start production. It usually takes a few days and we work closely with businesses to ensure their messaging is in there, while still being of value to our audience. That balance is key to our content.”
What kind of wildlife can people expect in the Caymans?
“Chickens, iguanas, lizards, and maybe a goat?”
What can viewers expect from the upcoming videos?
“The island continues to grow, so we monitor that. They’ve launched direct flights from LA and other international markets, so we’re putting in the work, strategizing, investing our time where we need to. Yes, TV is traditional advertising, so we’re pushing our digital platforms in Q3 & 4, but traditional media isn’t going anywhere and shows no signs of slowing down.
How does it feel watching people interact with the island and engage with it again after the halt from the pandemic?
“It’s incredible to see the island’s energy back and businesses thriving again. It’s been a nice break from the intensity of running a business to be honest, and an opportunity to explore other endeavors, but I can’t sit still for long.”
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