Cook Islands plans to leverage natural resources, boost tourism
The Cook Islands Economic Summit Taskforce has made a number of recommendations to the government for incorporation into this year’s budget.<!--more-->Among these are shoring up tourism with better airline connections between its island destinations, a new cruise ship facility and improving the country’s overall tourism offering.
The flavour of the season in the islands is natural resources and the task force has recommended the expansion and diversification of offshore fishing with licensing arrangements. Reviving the famous Manihiki pearl production, boosting small-scale fisheries and aquaculture are also among the recommendations as is better managing the manganese nodule seabed resource.
The Commonwealth Secretariat is in the process of recruiting a manager for natural resources to oversee a Seabed Minerals Authority that is soon to be formed. New Zealand Aid will fund a new cruise ship jetty in Rarotonga.