28 Jul 2011

Tourism no magic bullet says Niue Tourist boss

12:31 pm on 28 July 2011

The chairperson of the Niue Tourist Authority says tourism offers the country the chance to help pay its own way.

New Zealand is funding development of the sector with a grant of just over 13 million US dollars to be spread over the next three years.

New Zealand budgetary support is the mainstay of Niue's fragile economy, which faces ongoing challenges through depopulation.

Hima Douglas says most Niueans recognise the benefit of gainful employment and tourism provides that.

"Tourism is not going to be a magic bullet but if we can get to the stage where we can meet quite a lot of the local costs by our own efforts on the island and then perhaps look at our traditional partners such as New Zealand and Australia to fund the capital items then I think we're getting close."

Hima Douglas says wages on Niue should be higher but the country can't continue to rely totally on aid.