9 Jun 2009

Niue to look to China for tourism help after New Zealand talks sour

3:29 pm on 9 June 2009

Niue's Premier, Toke Talagi, says he is will begin to look to countries such as China and Japan for assistance in developing the tourism sector.

The move follows a break down in negotiations over the allocation of funds earmarked by the New Zealand government for use in growing the tourism industry in Niue.

The manager of the Matavai, the island's only hotel, Hima Douglas, says China especially has made it clear it is willing to support the region with development.

But he says people are cautious about where funding comes from:

"The other donors can be quite generous, but at the end of the day someone has to pay for it further down the line, so the new alliances, though very promising, there's no such thing as a free lunch."

Hima Douglas says boosting the number of rooms available on the island would help to persuade Air New Zealand to increase its service from a weekly flight.