6 Feb 2012

Cook Islands called on to diversify its economy

2:24 pm on 6 February 2012

The Cook Islands has been told it needs to diversify its economy to bolster protection against international upheaval.

The regional director of the Asian Development Bank, Adrian Ruthenberg, who's been attending a summit of the country's main development partners, says the Cook Islands needs to diversify beyond tourism.

Current estimates are that the tourism industry makes up about 85 percent of the Cook Islands economy.

Mr Ruthenberg says this dependence on a single industry leaves the Cook Islands vulnerable to external shocks.

He says the country, which recorded a big boost in tourism numbers in the past year, needs to be prepared for when times are not so good.