1 Nov 2017

Cooks govt says high number of tourists is sustainable

2:12 pm on 1 November 2017

The Cook Islands Minister of Finance Mark Brown is adamant tourism is sustainable and issues that arise are being dealt with by the government.

Muri Lagoon, off Rarotonga, is one of the Cook Islands' tourism hotspots

Muri Lagoon, off Rarotonga, is one of the Cook Islands' tourism hotspots Photo: RNZI / Sally Round

Titikaveka MP Sel Napa had called for measures to slow down tourism in Rarotonga, saying the infrastructure is under strain.

Ms Napa said the Asian Development Bank had warned power, water and sewerage are among the facilities that needed upgrading.

But Mr Brown said the government had a major water project underway and aims to get renewable energy running across the country by the beginning of next year.

He said accommodating the record number of tourists is manageable.

"What we're starting to see now is that increase numbers and benefits flowing down the grassroots levels with the increase number of holiday homes being put for holiday accommodation, so the increase use of Air BnB is seeing direct benefits flow down to home owners, land owners who are putting up holiday homes for short term stays."

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