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Hawaii Senator visits Aitutaki

Saturday 20 May 2023 | Written by Supplied | Published in Economy, National

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Hawaii Senator visits Aitutaki
The visiting Hawaii State Senate delegation led by Senator Dru Kanuha, fourth from right, with Cook Islands Tourism director of sales and marketing Noeline Mateariki, second from left, before heading to Aitutaki. (Photo Credit: Maria Maoate/Cook Islands Tourism)/23051973

Cook Islands Tourism played a pivotal role in facilitating the visit of the Hawaii State Senate delegation to Aitutaki, focusing on showcasing the development of the island and its contributions to tourism, as well as its wider economic, social, and cultural benefits, on Thursday.

The delegation’s morning was dedicated to engaging with the Island government and visiting key sites that have a significant impact on Aitutaki’s ability to provide goods and services.

Notable locations included the Arutanga Harbour Project and the Goodway Farm, a family-owned business that received a government Agritech grant for commercial development.

These visits offered valuable insights into the efforts being made to support diversification and economic growth in Aitutaki.

In the afternoon, the delegation had the opportunity to meet with representatives from the local tourism industry, gaining further understanding of the sector’s role in driving economic growth through private initiatives.

The visit culminated with a lagoon tour to One Foot Island which was recently named the fifth best beach in the world, leaving the delegates awestruck and reflecting the sentiments often expressed by visitors to the Cook Islands. Comparing Aitutaki to their own smaller islands like Molokai, Senator Dru Kanuha expressed his gratitude and appreciation to the people of Aitutaki, extending traditional greetings and heartfelt thanks.

Karla Eggelton, chief executive of Cook Islands Tourism, acknowledged the valuable lessons that can be gleaned from Hawaii’s renowned tourism sector to inform the Cook Islands’ own tourism development journey.

In a statement Cook Islands Tourism said: “With both the tourism sector and the wider economy on the path to recovery, it is crucial to establish connections and develop initiatives that optimise access to key source markets, maximising benefits for all involved.”

“In this regard, the mission was further bolstered by support provided from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration. As the Cook Islands prepares to welcome the inaugural flight of Hawaiian Airlines and the return of our North American market, this visit sets the stage for a promising future of collaboration and mutual prosperity.”