COOK ISLANDS DEPUTY PM WOONTON WARNS OF TOURISM SATURATION

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AVARUA, Rarotonga, Cook Islands (August 29, 2001 – Radio Australia)---Cook Islands Deputy Prime Minister Robert Woonton says there is a need to reduce the concentration of tourists visiting the main island of Rarotonga and Aitutaki.

Dr. Woonton, who is also tourism minister, says if the number of tourists gets too high, it could have a negative effect -- with visitors starting to be rejected by local people.

He says by developing tourism on the outer islands, the government will not only reduce the industry's current reliance on Rarotonga and Atituaki, but also spread the wealth generated by tourism throughout the nation.

The deputy prime minister says it may also work to stem emigration.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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