VISITORS UP, RESIDENTS DOWN IN COOK ISLANDS

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RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (Cook Islands News, Oct. 5) –Visitor arrivals in the Cook Islands were up about 2 percent in the first half of this year, on last year, according to figures released by the Cook Islands Statistics Office.

But residents still continue to trickle out of the country.

A total of 44,649 visitor arrivals were recorded between January and July this year – up from 43,485 for the corresponding period in 2003.

In July 2004 there was a 19.9 percent increase in visitor arrivals (8,472) compared to the previous month (7,281).

In 2003 there was a total of 78,328 visitor arrivals to the country.

But the visitor figures do not include those who visit the country on board cruise ships.

Principal immigration officer, Tutai Toru says that those from cruise ships who come ashore for up to eight hours are not a part of visitor statistics for the country.

"These visitors are not counted because they are considered to be in transit and so therefore are not given any permit to stay here and are not processed through immigration," says Toru.

The number of visitors who have entered the Cooks for the purpose of employment has also increased from 88 in the period from January to July last year, to 129 for the same period this year. Total resident departures for July increased by 13.4 percent when compared to June.

A total of 137 people who left between January and July of this year indicated that they would be leaving the Cook Islands permanently. In the same period last year, there were 80 residents who left on a permanent basis.

Population statistics released for the March 2004 quarter reveal that the Cook Islands resident population is estimated at 13,200.

October 8, 2004

Cook Islands News: http://www.cinews.co.ck/index.htm

 

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