Four newcomers were welcomed into the fold last week by Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism Henry Puna as he announced the new board of directors for the highly valuable industry.
The Cook Islands Tourism Marketing Corporation Act 1998 stipulates a maximum of seven board members can be appointed by the Minister of Tourism for a term of two years.
Chairman of the board Ewan Smith was reappointed, as was Robert Skews the director of Turama Pacific Group and Emile Kairua, Edgewater Resort’s director of sales and marketing.
The four incoming board members include Rohan Ellis, director of the Islander Hotel, Dianna Clarke-Bates, director of CITC, Potini Regina Potini, director of Blondie’s Photography and Ngaa Kitai Taria Pureariki, director of Punarei Cultural Tour Aitutaki.
PM Puna says he is pleased with the new appointments and is confident that they will contribute toward strengthening and developing the tourism sector.
“It is truly a beautiful country we live in. It is something I see whenever I travel around the Pacific and Asia. The beauty of the Cook Islands is amazing.”
However he says it needs to stay this way, to be maintained, refined and developed.
“Your government stands ready to support you, whatever you need,” he said to the new board.
The PM also acknowledged the hard work and effort of the four outgoing board members, Teresa Manarangi-Trott, Ben Bergman, Stephen Doherty and Teuira Pirangi.
Manarangi-Trott, who served for 10 years, is credited with reviving the financial stability of the corporation and leading the transformation of the corporation to establish robust financial management.
Bergman served for over four years and is said to have provided the vision which resulted a suite of destination development infrastructural projects scooped as catalysts for economic development.
Doherty also served for four years and was actively involved in marketing and the representative of tourism in the Pa Enua.
Doherty contributed significantly to the restructure of the European and North American representation, establishment of representation in China and Japan and the facilitation of various travel and road shows in Australia and North America.
Pirangi served for two years in the destination development sub-committee and is said to have contributed significantly to strategic and cultural management.
The board will bring a wealth of experience covering the management of aviation, inbound travel, hotels, food and beverage, wholesale and retail distribution, culture and creative industries.
Chairman Ewan Smith says he is excited to work with the new board embarking on the next phase of tourism industry development.
Cook Islands Tourism has conducted an orientation programme for the new members, which finishes today at Muri Beach Club.
The first board meeting will take place in mid-November to set the scene for the new calendar year.
Chief executive Halatoa Fua and other corporation staff say they are also excited to take this journey with the new board members to build this very important sector for the development of the nation.