27 Nov 2008

Cooks tourism chief welcomes Government commitment to underwrite LA flights

8:21 pm on 27 November 2008

The CEO of Cook Islands Tourism, John Dean, says the Government made a wise commercial judgment in extending its underwrite of Air New Zealand's once a week direct Rarotonga/Los Angeles flight.

He says the decision was made on the findings of an economic impact study commissioned by Cook Islands Tourism and funded by NZAid.

Mr Dean says this analysis clearly highlights what the negative impact on the Cook Islands economy would be.

He says the flight delivers annually 19,000 long haul visitors from the lucrative Northern Hemisphere markets,who stay an average 8.6 nights, spend more than 100 US dollars a day and directly contribute more than 17 million US dollars to the economy.

Mr Dean says the underwrite of less than three million US has to be considered an excellent return on investment.