Roger and Kura Malcolm with their staff from Atiu Villas. ATIU VILLAS/ 21120614
A number of people have received their annual tourism dividend pay-out, which aims to help support the people of Atiu who receive no income from tourism.
Villa’s owners Roger and Kura Malcolm have been paying locals a dividend from
their hotel earnings since 2013.
According to the couple, the people of Atiu play an important role
in providing their guests with an unforgettable Atiu experience, with every
Atiuan becoming a partner in their tourist business.
“The people of Atiu play an extremely important part in giving our
guests an unforgettable Atiu experience, the couple said.
“It is not fair that only we and some others in the tourism
business make an income from tourism.
“We wanted to
say thank you for their help in running Atiu Island as a tourist destination.”
In appreciation for their fellow residents, the couple have
contributed $5 for each night a tourist stays at Atiu Villas for 2020 and 2021,
with the pay-out for 2020 carried forward.
The total amount generated for 2021 is $8945, which works out as $25.70 per person.
the couple say this is only up by a small amount from previous years due to
“The year of 2020 was a terrible year where the world went into
lockdown due to Coronavirus and no tourists or visitors could come onto our
shores to see our beautiful island of the birds.
“Although 2021 is the same as 2020 (at least) this year we saw our
island fill up with our local visitors from Rarotonga, Aitutaki, Mangaia, and other
Pa Enua islands, and this has allowed us to have a dividend for this year.”
couple says most of what has been collected already has come from the Southern
Group’s 6-night tours initiated by Island Hopper Vacations and other brief
periods when the international border was open.
return for the $25 dividend, the people of Atiu have agreed to continue
welcoming Atiu Villa’s guests and allowing them free access to all their land,
caves, beaches, and lagoons.
the couple says that certain conditions needed to be met before residents could
receive the pay-out.
“The dividend will only be shared
evenly among every adult, child, and baby in a family that is not making any
money from tourism, and who is a resident on Atiu for at least half of 2021,”
“They must also allow Atiu Villas guests to walk over their land without
charging, and assist guests around the island as necessary as well as be
friendly and welcome them to the island.”
According to the couple, the people of Atiu that do not meet the
criteria for receiving the dividend are those who do not help make Atiu a
desirable tourism destination and who already make money from tourism.
These include accommodation and restaurant owners, tour
operators, and any person making more than $1000 per year from tourism.
It also includes landowners who are unfriendly and charge tourists
for walking over their land, beaches, the lagoon, and lake, as well as the Marae
and visiting their cave.
People who litter or throw rubbish on the side of the road will
also not receive the dividend.
The dividend from Atiu Villas can be collected from the Tourism
Information Office on Atiu between the hours of 8.00 am and 12.00 pm, from
December 1, 2021, until January 31, 2022.
Every person over the age of 12 must sign for their payment, and
those under the age of 12 or incapable of signing themselves must have a parent
or guardian sign on their behalf.
Payment for the dividend will be made by cheque and can be banked
into the Bank of the Cook Islands (BCI) or used for purchases at the Aria Mai
Store, Ezra Store, and Vodafone or Kura’s Kitchen.
Those receiving the tourism dividend pay-out include Piri Ratouna, Mayor Nooroa Paratainga, Ezekiela Patukura of Atiu Upoko Kanga fame, Kimiora George, and baby Moana George. At the desk are Ana Katu (Atiu Villas), Mareta Atetu (Tourism Officer) and beaming above, General Manager of Atiu Villas, Jackey Matakino.