12 Aug 2003

Cook Islands tourist industry needs tougher minimum standards says operator

3:51 pm on 12 August 2003

The Cook Islands is formulating a new strategy to control the development of the tourist industry.

Robert Skews, the chairman of the Tourism Council, South Pacific, says that there needs to be higher minimum standards put in place for the construction of new hotels and tourist accommodation.

He says the country has experienced good growth in tourism in the last three to four years but environmental issues, such as the disposal of waster and the provision of power and water, need to be addressed.

Mr Skews says the Tourism Corporation has put together several committees which are working on the new plan.

"That will become the plan that we have to go forward, that will be presented to government and government will be asked to endorse and adopt that as their policy for tourism. And the government people are involved of course in the committees, right throughout,"

with this document.

Robert Skews says the plan will encompass Rarotonga and Aitutaki while the smaller outer islands will develop their own strategies for tourism.