Aitutaki a big player in tourism market

Saturday April 30, 2016 Written by Published in Outer Islands
Hotelier Thomas Koteka spoke about sustainable tourism at the Tourism Stakeholders Forum in Aitutaki yesterday. 16042924 Hotelier Thomas Koteka spoke about sustainable tourism at the Tourism Stakeholders Forum in Aitutaki yesterday. 16042924

Aitutaki contributes about a quarter of the total tourism earnings in the Cook Islands.


The latest statistics from the Cook Islands Tourism Corporation reveal that about 25 per cent of the total tourists arriving into the country head to Aitutaki to spend their holidays.

The figures show that in 2014, the island had 27,654 visitors, the number increasing to 29,261 last year.

Corporation’s director of destination development, Metua Vaiimene, said the second-largest island in the Cook Islands group clearly played an important role in the tourism industry.

He said the revelation that about 25 per cent of total visitors in the country visited Aitutaki also highlighted the importance of the island to the country’s economy.

Tourism, which drives the the Cook Islands’ economy, contributes about 60 per cent of the country’s total earnings. This adds up to over $200 million annually.

“As an integral part of the tourism industry it is vital that Aitutaki tourism development is managed at a pace that is economically viable and environmentally sustainable,” Vaiimene said.

“The continued engagement by Cook Islands Tourism Corporation with the Aitutaki community, through the Aitutaki Stakeholders Forum, the ‘Te Vaka O Ru’ community programme, and the Kia Orana Values Project, are processes we believe will help the people of Aitutaki manage such a pace of development.”

The Aitutaki Stakeholders Forum yesterday brought leading stakeholders, community leaders and members of the public to the Aitutaki Games Fishing Club. Aitutaki-based hotelier Thomas Koteka, who spoke on sustainable tourism, was the keynote speaker.

A range of issues were discussed in two panel discussions before participants took part in a group exercise.

Panel discussions focused on issues such as sanitation, water quality, lagoon health, water conservation, cultural heritage, land tour opportunities and event development. Vaiimene said the Cook Islands Tourism Corporation would continue to drive the industry in Aitutaki through various means to ensure it remained one of the most sought-after destinations in the international market.

“The corporation will continue to leverage the pristine environment, the rich cultural heritage and history, and natural hospitality of the Aitutakian people when promoting and marketing Aitutaki and the Cook Islands to international visitors.

“Aitutaki underscores our ‘love a little paradise’ brand and will continue to play a big part in our marketing strategy.”

Cook Islands Tourism chief executive officer Halatoa Fua elaborated on sustainable tourism in Aitutaki and challenged stakeholders to lead the way in sustainable development of the industry.

He said Aitutaki had a potential to become the leading “green destination” in the world.


- Rashneel Kumar in Aitutaki


  • Comment Link Chris Saturday, 24 September 2016 07:57 posted by Chris

    AItutaki is the most beautiful place on the planet. Of course,this does not make you rich in money, but please,do not do anything that upsets the balance of nature. My regards to TeKing


  • Comment Link Thursday, 05 May 2016 22:47 posted by

    Yes its so beautiful befor but now it not. The question is why . Because you people MP is not working to look after your island

  • Comment Link Christopher R. Hall Saturday, 30 April 2016 16:00 posted by Christopher R. Hall

    Beautiful Aitutaki is the bluest GREEN paradise I've ever seen! Outstandingly beautiful!

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