27 Sep 2006

Niue tourism authorities worried about future of Matavai resort

10:33 am on 27 September 2006

The Niue tourism authority says it would be very damaging to the nation if its only flagship resort, the Matavai, would not serve tourism purposes in future.

There are claims that some followers of the so-called Vastu Shastra are intending to buy the resort and allow only its members to stay.

Vastu Shastra seeks to harmonise the flow of energy in architecture, and the alleged followers have been staying in the resort for the past five months and pre-booked five rooms until next year.

The tourism authority director, Ida Talagi-Hekesi, says the Matavai provides half of Niue's tourist accommodation.

"If it is sold, that would be a great loss if it doesn't remain in the tourism accommodation room stocktake. It means that the 24 rooms, it will reduce the accomodation right down, and we really really do need our resort."

Ms Talagi-Hekesi also says Niue needs the rooms to keep Air New Zealand flying in.

Meanwhile, the acting premier, Fisa Pihigia, says he will consider revoking the visas of the followers if they do not provide information about who they are and what their agenda is.