6 Jan 2006

Calls for Cook Islands to survey tourism spending

8:41 am on 6 January 2006

Officials in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management of the Cook Islands are calling for a survey into tourism spending patterns.

This follows complaints from those in the country's dominant business sector, that tourism marketing is being focused on the wrong countries.

In their half-year financial update released today, finance ministry officials say tourists from New Zealand are considered to spend less than those from the northern hemisphere.

The financial secretary Kevin Carr says the government should carry out a visitor expenditure survey as a matter of priority.

New Zealanders make up as much as two thirds of the Cook Islands tourism market today compared with a third two years ago.

The government has however long ignored calls from the ministry of finance for surveys into various areas including labour, migration and now tourism.