There have been suggestions by local businesses that an island-hopping travel bubble be established between Niue, Cook Islands, and Samoa.
Local artist and businessman Mark Cross who has been a strong proponent of the island hopping concept between islands posed the question to Common Roll candidate Stan Kalauni who has been in politics for the last 9 years and is also a prominent businessman, during a talking business forum last night.
In response, Kalauni says he is supportive of such initiative
adding that even if he does not make it into the house, he is willing to invest
in such a venture.
Cross had suggested the three Polynesian island countries
as traditionally the three have been linked with previous travel airline routes
which had also included Tonga.
He also said that the three are ideal to link up as there are no current cases of COVID -19 reported in these three island countries.
More than 60 percent of businesses in Niue are tourism based.
The discussion was organized by the Niue Chamber of Commerce Talking Business forum for all the common roll candidates on Wednesday, May 27th.
The forum was organized for the local business community to raise their issues and ask questions to the candidates which were well attended by over 100 people at the Pacific Way Bar.
Concerns were also raised regarding Niue’s Tourism
office as there is currently no CEO.
Since the former CEO Felicity Bollen left the position
earlier this month to take up a regional tourism role with New Zealand’s MFAT,
this has left a void in Niue’s tourism leadership.
The tourism board was disbanded about 3 years ago.
Local businesses wanted to know what the way is forward with the Covid-19 recovery once borders reopen.
Niue’s borders are expected to reopen in August however Minister for Social Services Billy Talagi had told BCN News last month once a new cabinet is formed, the travel restrictions will be reviewed.