WASHINGTON -- Caribbean meetings and conferences at ministerial levels and higher will be consolidated in 2009, according to Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, secretary general of the Caribbean Tourism Organization.

"By reducing the number of conferences and focusing on the key issues facing the Caribbean for both CTO and the Caribbean Hotel Association under the umbrella of the Caribbean Tourism Development Co., we will be able to limit the travel time involved, the duplication of delegates attending and be able to host some of these meetings in the smaller islands that have not been able to handle large conferences," Vanderpool-Wallace said.

The annual Caribbean Tourism Conference (CTC) is no more. Usually it is held in October but it now will be combined with the annual CHA Marketplace. The event, to be held each January, will be called the Caribbean Marketing Conference. The 2009 venue is St. Lucia.

The annual Sustainable Tourism Conference, Human Resource Conference, annual Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Investment Conference and Information Management & Research Conference are also on next year's calendar.

An anomaly occurs this fall. The Caribbean Marketing Conference dovetails with the Florida Caribbean Cruise Conference in Trinidad, Oct. 26 to 31.

"It just happened this way this year, but from now on it will be separate from FCCA and combined with Marketplace," Vanderpool-Wallace said.

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