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Private sector consortium proposes tourism service

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, March 2, 2012) – There are plans to launch an inter-island ferry service in the Cook Islands involving a consortium of locals, French Polynesians and New Zealanders.

A developer Tim Tepaki, who was involved in the latest failed attempt to complete the Vaima’anga Hotel, says the outer islands are dead and the private sector needs to step up.

He says the Cook Islands has the opportunity to grow its economy on the back of expanding tourism, but few people visit the outer islands because of the cost.

According to the proposal, a ferry capable of carrying 400 passengers and up to 42 cars could service the southern islands of the group.

The vessel the group has in mind is 66 metres long with a two-metre draft and has a cruising speed of 30 knots.

A return trip to Aitutaki would cost just over 200 US dollars, including meals.

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