5 Sep 2007

Niue says it has no plan to ditch tourism authority board

2:00 pm on 5 September 2007

The Niue Government says it has no plans to do away with the Tourism Authority Board.

The agency has been largely inactive in the past three years and the industry fears that it will disappear completely when the government has completed its whole of government review.

Don Wiseman has more.

"Niue's tourism industry is undergoing a resurgence. While still tiny, it earned 25 percent more revenue last year than the year before, and operators have regained enough confidence to re-establish their own association. Spokesperson, Patricia Hunter, says they also want the Board to be fully functioning again and not have it absorbed into other departments. The Government review will reduce ministries from 17 to 12, with all of them working from a designated building which is about to be built. The Premier, Young Vivian, who is also Tourism Minister, says any change to the status of the Tourism Board would require a legislative change and he says there are no current plans to do away with it. Meanwhile the head of the Board, Ida Hekesi Talagi, says she wants the Board retained but is encouraging the industry and the government to ensure they are talking to each other about what they want."