The project has the slogan, Protect a Little Paradise, and TIS environment officer Liam Kokaua says it’s is not a new idea, but has been successful at different tourism destinations around the world.
“Mana Tiaki programme is an initiative created by the Te Ipukarea Society and it gives visitors to the Cook Islands the opportunity to contribute back to our paradise for conservation efforts throughout the country,” says Kokaua.
“Whether they’re using up loose coins or whether they chose to do it through their credit card charges, they will be asked if they want to make a donation when they check out of their accommodation.”
The new programme enables both visitors and locals to engage with local conservation efforts through supporting the work of TIS and local communities.
All donations received will be channelled into one of the five key areas covered by the programme including youth, eco sustainable development, waste management, biodiversity and climate change.
Alanna Smith of Te Ipukarea Society said the organisation looks forward to getting more support on board.
“We had a pilot programme that’s been running for about three months now, we had some promising results and we look forward to reaching out further to the rest of the accommodators for support towards our programme,” said Smith.
“This is a good opportunity for these accommodators to gain some corporate responsibility goals along with assisting and the upkeep of our sustainable tourism industry,” she said.