Prime Minister, Minister for Tourism and Minister for Immigration, Henry Puna, said he had been approached in recent months by representatives of the tourism industry to review the process of requiring international passengers leaving the Cook Islands to fill out a departure card. Anyone leaving the Cook Islands now only has to check in and follow the normal security checks before immigration processing.
However, arrival cards will still need to be completed and people will still have to declare monetary values of NZ$10,000 (US$6,549) or more. Puna outlined his Government’s continued efforts to reform areas which will improve the tourist experience.
“Over the previous four years we have included the departure tax in the ticket, removed the need for international visitors to acquire a driver’s licence, and now we will remove the departure card.”
He says these are little things but when added together, their cumulative impact is a large one. Cook Islands Tourism chief executive officer, Halatoa Fua, says the elimination of the departure cards, which took place on August 1, will apply to all travellers, tourists and locals leaving the country.
He says the initiative is to streamline the process, as data on departures is already captured electronically.