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Cook Islands at Indigenous Tourism Summit

Monday 16 April 2018 | Published in Economy


Cook Islands at Indigenous Tourism Summit
Ani Katu will represent Cook Islands at the Indigenous Tourism Summit.

Cook Islander Ani Katu is representing the nation at the current World Indigenous Tourism Summit 2018, hosted by New Zealand Maori Tourism in conjunction with the World Indigenous Tourism Alliance (WINTA).

Katu will be representing the Cook Islands Tourism Corporation at this prestigious event, which is being held from Sunday, April 15, to Wednesday, April 18, in New Zealand.

The 2018 Summit provides a forum for indigenous peoples to discuss tourism and to share collective indigenous wisdom, knowledge and traditions handed down through generations.

“The indigenous voice and presence can guide the tourism industry in a manner that supports mutual respect and new relationships as guardians of our precious lands and waters,” quotes the summit programme.

Katu is excited to represent our little paradise and takes with her a wealth of Cook Islands traditional knowledge.

Her vast experience and dedication to Cook Islands culture, customs and traditional medicine ultimately contributed to her being chosen to represent the Tourism Corporation at this event.

The Indigenous Tourism Summit will introduce a prestigious lineup of speakers to provide unique insights into how they have integrated traditional knowledge into compelling experiences for visitors.

Speakers will outline opportunities that indigenous communities have taken to build and grow tourism, and the challenges ahead for indigenous guardians of ancestral landscapes.

The summit will be opened by the Hon Nanaia Mahuta, New Zealand’s Minister for Maori Development, followed by a keynote address by Norbu Tenzing (son of Sherpa Tenzing Norgay), and will comprise a mixture of panel discussions, keynote speakers, breakout sessions, and workshops.

The goal is to have a range of indigenous speakers – not necessarily just from the tourism industry. There will also be activities available for delegates before, during and after the summit, which will later culminate with a banquet on the Tuesday evening.

This initiative reflects the tourism corporation’s Tupuranga Tangata principle (development of our people), which is a principle under the Kia Orana Values.

Development of our people is about providing the opportunity for self-development, through learning and giving back.

While at the summit, Katu says she would like to learn about successful examples of indigenous tourism in other nations, and how we in the Cook Islands can provide an authentic cultural experience whilst protecting and not compromising our traditions.

Katu believes that the summit will provide a platform for her to network and assist her with developing guidelines and policies for the promotion of indigenous tourism.