Infrastructure Cook Islands working on the Mitiaro airport runaway a week ago. Photo: LOSIRENE LACANIVALU. 20112507
With visitors from Rarotonga and Aitutaki heading to Mitiaro, the island’s mayor believes domestic tourism is what they need for much-needed economic development.
has been reaping the benefits of an initiative to encourage domestic travel in
the Pa Enua.
the island’s mayor Makara Murare wants tourism to pave way for economic
development on the southern group island.
visits are part of the Southern Group Tour Package being promoted by Cook
Islands Tourism and Island Hopper Vacations.
said: “We are benefiting from the last three planes that arrived with local
tourists. The island council benefits from the landing fee, the landowners also
get a bit from the fee and the mamas can see the benefit from tourism.
who took over the mayor’s role two
months ago, said they have been off tourism for a while but they understand the
importance of the industry to local economy.
worked in tourism for a couple of years at the Edgewater Resort and I know it
is one of the best income sources for the island.”
instead of focusing on international visitors, Murare said they want Cook
Islanders living abroad to return to their roots and help revive the local
economy which has suffered massively due to Covid-19.
the people who can drive things forward and especially those who are now in
Australia, New Zealand and even Rarotonga can return to their islands and build
something on the islands. They would feel great having done something on their
said Mitiaro had undergone infrastructure development in the last 30 years and
their plan now was to focus on economic development.
they needed to think economically – “an area not only Mitiaro but most of the
Pa Enua need to look at”.
the plan we’ve got now, around Mitiaro we have done a lot of infrastructure
development and for now we are just maintaining it,” Murare said.
our focus onto economic development like tourism, because we all know that
tourism is something that can help boost economic development on the island.
The idea is not to get rich but something to support our people.”
also hopes through tourism they would finally see a major upgrade of the
Nukuroa Airport. He said the “big project” for the island would start early
been here (airport) since 2001, the upgrade is timely so we can get more planes
and more visitors.”