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'It's tough for operators to break even' Cook Islands tourism council says

Cook Islands tourism operators are struggling with an unusually tough off-season, with some worrying they will lose their local population as staff are put on reduced hours.

The low holiday season started in December and will last until the end of February.

The Government-subsidised flights from Los Angeles - which are no longer running - had previously brought in North American tourists keen to escape winter during the quiet period.

Cook Islands Tourism Industry Council president Liana Scott said her accommodation, Muri Beach Club Hotel, was around 70 percent full in January 2019 and now is just half that.

"On the ground at present, it's pretty quiet, I would say in some instances it's tough for operators to break even," Scott said.

"I would imagine that a lot haven't caught up from having almost two years of no customers.

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