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Tourism growth needs investment: Crocombe

Saturday October 04, 2014 Written by Published in Local
Tata Crocombe (at right)  addressing NZ parliament in 2013. Tata Crocombe (at right) addressing NZ parliament in 2013.

“Tourism has the potential to deliver on the aspirations of the Cook Islands people if handled correctly.” 

BUSINESSMAN Tata Crocombe, a shareholder in a number of exclusive resort properties in the Cook Islands, says the success currently enjoyed in the hospitality sector should not be taken for granted.
Crocombe says the country currently holds a “strong, sustainable” position, in what he described as an increasingly competitive international tourism industry.
Significant amounts of the sector’s core business lies in attracting the New Zealand market creating a stable industry that has become the backbone of the nation’s economy, however the success cannot be taken for granted, he said.
Ensuring future success lies in continued investment, he said, including the establishment of cheaper, more convenient air links into the country.
Creating relationships with airlines that service more destinations with increased frequency and greater capacity will contribute to growth, he said.
Crocombe said upgrading public facilities such as walking tracks, nature reserves, marine sanctuaries, historical and cultural sites, markets, and greater protection and enhancement of the environment will also lead to long-term tourism success, along with increased destination marketing efforts.
“Other sun destinations that the Cook Islands competes with directly ... Fiji, Vanuatu, Samoa, Hawaii, Queensland, Bali, Malaysia, Thailand etc are dramatically increasing their investments in all these key areas through effective public - private sector partnerships,” Crocombe wrote in an email to CINews.
He added that policymakers must strive on creating a business environment that is “investment, particularly local investment friendly”. 
Developing the industry should be focused on policies that help create opportunities and improve the lives of locals, he said.
“In developing a long-term tourism development strategy for the Cook Islands, the key question is how to make tourism work best for the Cook Islands people in terms of generating economic development, employment, business opportunities and taxation revenue for public services etc. while enhancing the social and natural environment.” 
“It is an exciting challenge that will require mature, intelligent leadership taking a long-term perspective in both the public and private sectors,” wrote Crocombe.
“Tourism has the potential to deliver on the aspirations of the Cook Islands people if handled correctly.” 
This week, Crocombe announced he is selling all of his business interests in the Cook Islands, including stakes in The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa, Sanctuary Rarotonga – on the beach, and Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa.
Crocombe said he is intending to take time off after liquidating his business holdings.

1 comment

  • Comment Link Gary Price Friday, 10 October 2014 09:01 posted by Gary Price

    As tourists that return to your paradise every August, we, and other tourists have always said how great it would be if we could buy fresh Pineapples, Water Melons, Strawberries, Passionfruit, or even Mango's, etc.
    Would it be possible for somebody to put up a hot house, and grow these out of season ?
    A hot house only needs to be a frame covered by thick clear plastic, and works well for tomatoes in N.Z.
    It would be fantastic to be able to buy those at the market on Saturday Mornings.
    Please put the idea out there and see if someone can try it.
    Thanks, and see you next August for some new Smoothie flavours.

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