National Geographic : 1985 Jun
of 28 handle roughly 15,000 divers a year, about a third of the annual total who visit the Cayman Islands. "I think that only three things can stop this place," Ron said. "A really bad hurri cane, if Fidel Castro closes the air corridor over Cuba-increasing the airfare from Florida-or the unlikely event of a really stupid act of terrorism. "In fact," he added cheerfully, "if I had to predict, I'd guess that in eight or ten years the Cayman Islands will be receiving about half a million visitors a year." SOME government officials believe, however, that Ron's rosy forecast fails to take into account the islands' scanty population. "We have 2,000 rooms here," said Eric Bergstrom, the American-born Caymanian who serves as the islands' director of tour ism, "and to accommodate more people we would need many, many more rooms. The accepted ratio is one service person for each new room. Right now we're three islands of 19,000 people with full employment. We can't grow like that."