New 777 aircraft to boost tourism

Monday November 10, 2014 Written by Phillipa Webb Published in Economy

Tourism continues to be the key to Cook Islands economic success, with the recent Budget highlighting its importance.

Finance Minister Mark Brown estimates that around 65 per cent of Cook Islands GDP comes from tourism.
“On average every tourist that comes into this country spends around $1600 a visit.”
But with Air New Zealand offering cheaper deals to the likes of Hawai’i and Bali, the Cook Islands needs to hold onto its comparative tourism advantage, says Secretary of Finance Richard Neves.
As New Zealand and Australia are both reviving diplomatic ties with Fiji more tourist numbers will see the Melanesian country as a holiday destination, he said.
“Fiji is back in everyone’s good books.”
But as the Budget was passed on Thursday, Cook Islands tourism will have from the Government a total of $2.25 million for this 2014 Budget and another $2.25 million for the 2015 Budget to assist with the new 777 aircraft which will serve the Los Angeles and Sydney routes.
Neves said the aircrafts will boost tourism numbers from the Northern Hemisphere during off peak season.

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