The one and only tour bus on Mangaia, owned by Maui Peraua and Lynn Martin, took all the participants in a tour guiding course being run on the island on a training tour.
The part-time course is being run over four months by Tourism Cook Islands.
Mangaia Tourism officer Taoi Nooroa says he’s particularly pleased that four students have joined the course.
“It’s important to encourage our young ones to take an interest and be part of tourism here.” Running the classes is Tourism Board director Nga’a Pureariki, who also owns Punarei Cultural Tours in Aitutaki and is a trained anthropologist.
Tourist attractions on Mangaia, to the south of Rarotonga, include deep freshwater caves, two of which, Te Rua Rere, and Tuatina, were used as burial places in ancient times.
Though visitor numbers are relatively low, the island also offers snorkelling, rock climbing – and, of course, island tours.
(Source: Cook Islands News 25 August 2017)