NO EASY SOLUTION TO NIUE AIR SERVICES

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ALOFI, Niue (October 30, 2001 – Niue Economic Review)---Don't expect a quick fix solution to air services. That's the word from New Zealand Pacific Affairs Minister Mark Gosche to Niueans after a three-day visit to the island.

He said the current situation with airlines regionally and worldwide prevents any hope in the immediate future of any dramatic changes to the twice-weekly service to Niue from Tonga.

New Zealand is funding an airlines consultant in a bid to get a dedicated service between Auckland and Niue but so far all attempts have proved fruitless.

Niue's tourism industry is suffering from the lack of direct New Zealand service, with tourism figures well down this year and little hope of the problems being resolved by the next visitor season that starts in May.

The island now has more than 100 beds available, following the re-opening of the Niue Hotel.

Meantime, NZODA is in the processing of hiring a consultant to investigate the expenditure of funds provided to the Niue Tourism Office during the past three years.

For additional reports from the Niue Economic Review, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Magazines/Journals/Niue Economic Review.

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