GEORGE TOWN, Grand Cayman -- In a retrenching effort, the Caymans Island Department of Tourism closed its Los Angeles sales office, eliminated 17 positions and downsized its Miami office in preparation for the relocation of U.S. headquarters from Miami to New York in the first quarter of 2002.

Sales offices remain open in Chicago and Houston.

McKeeva Bush, minister of tourism, announced the changes during the recent Cayman Islands Annual Tourism Conference.

Bush said post-Sept. 11 efforts "highlight an urgency to critique our marketing efforts and do more with less."

Bush said the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut "remains the largest and most important market source" for the Cayman Islands.

Other actions include:

• The launch of a new ad and marketing campaign early in 2002;

• Appointment of a director of tourism to fill the post vacated by Angela Martins earlier this year.

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