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Elite downsizes conference due to credit crunch

The Elite Travel Group has changed the venue of its annual conference from an Atlantic cruise ship to Bournemouth, due to the credit crunch.

The conference was due to be held on Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas, departing from Malaga on November 4. The venue was announced last October and as far back as February, the consortium had been urging members to book their places.

Delegates were to be given the chance to visit Tenerife, Madeira and Portugal during the five-night cruise, which was booked last summer, as well as attend two full days of conference sessions.

Now, however, chairman Wayne Darrock said the cruise conference has been postponed until June 2010. The consortium will hold a more modest two-day event in Bournemouth, kicking off on November 6.

He added: “We booked the original cruise conference long before the credit crunch really took hold, so re-assessing the choice of venue was the sensible thing to do for our membership.

“We have spoken to all of our members in recent weeks and [reacted to] their feedback – reducing the number of nights and changing the location so that we can ensure more members and suppliers will be in a position to attend.”

Delegates will be able to book a one- or two-night stay at the four-star De Vere Royal Bath Hotel, where the conference is being hosted, or even attend as a day delegate.

Elite Travel Group events and marketing manager Wendy Albutt added: “The condensed conference will still give suppliers and members plenty of time for networking, as well as attending sessions that will be very topical with business as it is today.”

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