21 Apr 2011

Consensus about tourism's key role at Cook Islands economic summit

8:30 am on 21 April 2011

The chief executive of Cook Islands Tourism says there's consensus following last week's economic summit that tourism remains the country's chief economic driver.

The acting finance secretary says the two-day meeting gave members of the public and business community the chance to meet with Cabinet Ministers and discuss lessening the country's economic reliance on tourism.

The event produced more than one-hundred initiatives, some 60-odd of which are now being followed up .

But Cook Islands Tourism's Carmel Beattie says there's real recognition of both the impacts and benefits of tourism across the country.

"Everybody's realised that tourism is here to stay, this is actually our chief economic driver by such a huge margin that it would take a very large amount to actually come up to that. And even our other important industries are actually feeding, they're really sustained by tourism as well."

Carmel Beattie says the summit identified the environment, sustainability and tourism as the three priority areas for development.