29 Sep 2009

Matavai hotel on Niue recommended for major expansion by NZ advisor

10:15 pm on 29 September 2009

An independent assessment on how to develop Niue's tourism industry recommends a trebling of the capacity of the island's only hotel.

The New Zealand government appointed Trevor Hall to look at the best way forward for the island's struggling economy.

He has made a number of recommendations but a key one is that the 22 room Matavai Hotel be expanded to more than 60 rooms and use made of some cottage accommodation in adjacent villages.

Hima Takelesi, the head of the Tourism Authority and manager and part owner of the Matavai, says New Zealand would have to provide the money for the expansion because the local tourist industry lacks the capacity to source funding internationally.

"So the only realistic thing that can happen, if we needed to expand is to look towards some assistance from New Zealand, but the philosophy of the current government is that if we look at that assistance from New Zealand as an investment we may not have to rely too heavily on New Zealand for future assistance when it comes to aid."