23 Aug 2011

Cook Islands Tourism not worried about Aitutaki burglary stories

11:04 am on 23 August 2011

The chief executive of the Cook Islands Tourism Corporation says worldwide interest in Aitutaki's bank burglary has left it feeling 'miffed but not worried'.

Carmel Beattie says she does not think Aitutaki's reputation has taken much of a hit from the recognition it has received this week, whether the island wants or not.

She says Aitutaki is still being portrayed in a good light, minus the odd cheap shot being dished out from some writers.

News corporations from around the world, including the BBC, have picked up the story, all of them reporting various angles on it with differing degrees of truth.

She says one incorrect fact being widely reported is that Aitutaki does not allow flights to operate on Sunday's out of religious respect, something her corporation is working to fix.

But the biggest slip-up so far has been by the New Zealand Herald, which ran last Thursday a picture of Rarotonga on the front page, but mislabelled it as being Aitutaki.

Carmel Beattie says she does not think the mistake reveals any identity problems for the Cook Islands and Aitutaki specifically, but suggests a few people in the Herald office had a bad day.