18 Aug 2016

Cooks needs tourists to stay longer, spend more: academic

2:57 pm on 18 August 2016

Tourism planners in the Cook Islands will have to start focussing on having visitors stay longer and spend more.

That's the view of tourism academic Simon Milne.

Cook Islands

The airport on Rarotonga Photo: Supplied

Dr Milne, from Auckland University of Technology's Tourism Research Institute, has been conducting a long term assessment of the industry.

He said it has been doing very well with approximately 130,000 visitors in the past 12 months but he says the industry is reaching a crossroads.

"What our survey really highlights is that the Cook Islands, moving forward, they can't just focus on building numbers rapidly, they need to actually look carefully at generating more yield per visitor and also to think carefully about how more visitors can be encouraged to spend some time in the outer islands."