by Marie Kauna – EMTV Online, Port Moresby
With a slow start experienced for the first quarter of 2015, Cook Islands have gradually seen an increase in tourism. Tourism makes up roughly 60 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Cook Islands Tourism Corporation is now working on its budget to increase its GDP.
According to the corporation’s Chief Executive Officer, Halatoa Fua, the corporation receives financial support from the Cook Islands government, and the New Zealand aid programme.
Cook Islands Tourism Board Chairman Ewan Smith said “they are doing their best to improve tourism figures in the country with the budget they have”.
Smith added that the significant financial support given by the government through the corporation every year is recognised and doesn’t go unnoticed.
In addition, CEO Halatoa Fua added that they are grateful to the government for providing the financial support, however despite this there is still more to be done to scale up to Fiji and Tahiti’s tourism industry standards.
While there has been good progress in the countries tourism, Fua says they need more growth to compete effectively with the leading tourism destinations in the Pacific.