23 Nov 2010

Cooks eyes doubling of visitor numbers

4:13 pm on 23 November 2010

The Cook Islands Tourism Corporation has unveiled plans to double visitor arrivals to 200,000 a year.

The board chair, Tata Crocombe, told a weekend tourism conference that this is the way to counter depopulation.

Mr Crocombe says the corporation is developing a new brand to distinguish the Cook Islands tourism experience and is speaking with airlines to increase links.

He says the additional numbers will not place too great a stress on the country because tourism will be extended to more islands, with increased promotion already of Aitutaki, Mitiaro, Mauke, and Atiu.

"The northern group is very much more specialised around game fishing but that will receive some attention as well. So I think the first point is that the tourist arrivals will be dispersed across about six different islands. The second point is that two hundred thousand sounds a large number but it's actually 4000 people a week if you divide it out on an average and that's very much comfortably within the carrying capacity of all of the islands."

Tata Crocombe.