28 Oct 2013

Premier of Niue says plans to boost accommodation capacity moving slowly

2:45 pm on 28 October 2013

The premier of Niue says plans to increase the accommodation capacity on the island are moving slowly.

Toke Talagi says he hopes an additional 20 to 30 rooms will be built by June to cater for additional visitors if Air New Zealand adds a weekly flight to Niue.

The airline agreed to make an extra trip each fortnight from April until the end of this month, on top of the existing weekly flight, and tourism operators say passenger arrivals have grown by a third.

The Premier, Toke Talagi says the government is helping accommodation providers.

"What we're doing at the present moment is for accommodation developers is creating a speedier process for the getting the money, making the money available. But it's not a subsidy, it's not a grant. It'll be a loan just like any other loans that we provide for businesses here, with the same interest rates as they pay in the Development Bank."

Toke Talagi says the tourism sector also needs more workers to cope with increasing visitor numbers.