Cook Islands : Supporting Safe Recovery of Travel and Tourism

Sovereign Project | 55069-001

The goal of the proposal is to increase Cook Islands economic resilience through a safe recovery of travel and tourism in Cook Islands and the key objective is to strengthen the capacity and readiness of Cook Islands to safely open its borders to support a safe travel zone with New Zealand.

Project Details

  • Project Officer
    Homasi, Lily Anne F.
    Sectors Group
    Request for information
  • Country/Economy
    Cook Islands
  • Sector
    • Public sector management
Project Name
Supporting Safe Recovery of Travel and Tourism
Project Number
Country / Economy
  • Cook Islands
Project Status
Project Type / Modality of Assistance
  • Grant
Source of Funding / Amount
Grant 9225-COO: Supporting Safe Recovery of Travel and Tourism
Source Amount
Japan Fund for Prosperous and Resilient Asia and the Pacific US$ 2.00 million
Operational Priorities
  • OP2: Accelerating progress in gender equality
  • OP3: Tackling climate change, building climate and disaster resilience, and enhancing environmental sustainability
  • OP6: Strengthening governance and institutional capacity
  • OP7: Fostering regional cooperation and integration
Sector / Subsector
  • Public sector management / Economic affairs management

Some gender elements

The goal of the proposal is to increase Cook Islands economic resilience through a safe recovery of travel and tourism in Cook Islands and the key objective is to strengthen the capacity and readiness of Cook Islands to safely open its borders to support a safe travel zone with New Zealand.

Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

In preparation for the safe opening of the Cook Islands borders, government requested ADB grant funding to support targeted activities for a safe travel zone between Cook Islands and New Zealand.

The Cook Islands, a tourism dependent economy has been severely affected due to a halt in visitors' arrivals, as a result of closing of borders due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The closing of borders on March 21, 2020, resulted in contractions to GDP growth estimated at -5.9% for FY2020. Further delays in the travel bubble will result in a contraction 26% of GDP in FY2021, ending June 2021.

The government and stakeholders have been able to progress certain preparatory work, but gaps remain on airport readiness, health facility readiness, testing capacity and contact tracing. Stakeholders agree that these are areas that would be useful for ADB through the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR) to coordinate with government and support.


Cook Islands as a dynamic, resilient, prosperous, environmentally sustainable and inclusive economy sustaining quality of life for its citizens.

Project Outcome

Description of Outcome

Cook Islands readiness for safe recovery of travel and tourism improved.

Progress Toward Outcome
The project has gained momentum with a fully established Project Management Unit (PMU) and its 1st contract for civil works was awarded and signed in March 2023. The 2nd contract for procurement and installation of a medical waste system was awarded and signed in December 2023.

Implementation Progress

Description of Project Outputs

Airport and border readiness improved.

Health readiness improved.

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)
1. RFQ for Airport civil works released 12 Oct 2022 and due 25 Oct 2022 (Fiji time), with only one responsive bidder.2. The BER noted that the bid received exceed the budget for this procurement package due to costs escalation in raw materials impacting the construction industry. Government through the BER and an official letter received in December 2022 requested ADB support for additional financing. Due to uncertainty in funding, a decision was reached to defer the rebidding upon securing additional financing.3. ADB Project team secured (in-principle) $2 million from ADF Thematic Pool on 27 June 2023 and this was relayed to government through MFEM addressing action item 1 of the November 2022 MOU.4. Mid-term review in June 2023 facilitated a discussion between ADB, MFEM, PMU and Airport Authority Cook Islands to revisit the design of the extension to ensure it aligns with the Masterplan for the Rarotonga Airport terminal. The general scope remains apart from minor modifications to ensure it is fit for purpose.5. Revised design and costings yet to be finalized. During meeting between a meeting between ADB and government, MFEM advised that an updated design and costs estimates should be ready by end of 2023 or latest February 2024. 6. Revisions to the design and the procurement method to include updated costings and scope to be discussed with stakeholders then relisted by Q2 2024. ADB to keep monitoring!7. Pending additional funding and approval through ADB Thematic Pipeline prior to re-listing the project. Once funding is approved, then the re-listing of the project will commence in Q4, 2024. Non-structural changes only are to be implemented to the AACI design.1. Works has not commenced and therefore, the briefing note was not published as planned.2. A mid-term review was conducted in June 2023, where the target was revised to Q4 2024. The target is to be further assessed during project implementation as it may need to be updated to Q3/Q4 2025 upon securing an extension to the project life of this project.3. Knowledge product - Gender study on the aviation sector to be completed by Q3 2024.1. RFQ for civil works to be finalized by end of October 2022 for submission to ADB for clearance.2. Contract awarded in March 2023 and works commenced April 2023.3. ADB no objections for two contract variations: i) furniture and ii) ICT fit out, have been approved.4. Building works were completed in September 2023. The completion of the furniture and ICT fit out was expected in December 2023 however there were delays with shipment. Completion expected end of Q1 2024.1. RFQ for medical equipment closed on 13 September 2022 and bid evaluation report due to ADB by end of October 2022. Contract award expected mid of November 2022.2. RFQ was relisted in December however due to non-conformance, the package is to undergo revision of technical specifications and relisted.3. RFQ was relisted in April 2023 and BER submitted August 2023. 4. ADB's no objection to CA approved on 7 September 2023. Discussions are ongoing between PMU and supplier. Contract was signed in December 2023 and the product order has been placed with the supplier.
Geographical Location

Safeguard Categories

Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples

Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects

Environmental Aspects
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples

Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation

During Project Design
During Project Implementation

Business Opportunities


Procurement of goods and works under the project will be undertaken in accordance with

the ADB's Procurement Policy (2017, as amended from time to time), Procurement Regulations

for ADB Borrowers (2017, as amended from time to time) and associated Staff Instructions. A

strategic procurement planning exercise has been undertaken to choose the optimal procurement

arrangements. The project will achieve the value for money by (i) using e-procurement technology

to lower the transaction cost and enhance process efficiency and transparency; and (ii) attracting

qualified contractors and suppliers for two works and one goods package following open

competitive bidding.


Responsible ADB Officer
Homasi, Lily Anne F.
Responsible ADB Department
Sectors Group
Responsible ADB Division
Human and Social Development Sector Office (SG-HSD)
Executing Agencies
Ministry of Finance & Economic Management


Concept Clearance
14 Jun 2021
Fact Finding
11 Mar 2021 to 11 Mar 2021
29 Oct 2021
Last Review Mission
Last PDS Update
05 Apr 2024


Grant 9225-COO

Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
29 Oct 2021 02 Dec 2021 09 Dec 2021 30 Jun 2025 - -
Financing Plan
  Total (Amount in US$ million)
Project Cost 2.50
ADB 0.00
Counterpart 0.50
Cofinancing 2.00
Grant Utilization
  Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Cumulative Contract Awards 07 Jun 2024 0.00 0.65 32%
Cumulative Disbursements 07 Jun 2024 0.00 0.77 38%
Status of Covenants
Category Sector Safeguards Social Financial Economic Others
Rating - Satisfactory - - - Satisfactory

Project Data Sheets (PDS) contain summary information on the project or program. Because the PDS is a work in progress, some information may not be included in its initial version but will be added as it becomes available. Information about proposed projects is tentative and indicative.

The Access to Information Policy (AIP) recognizes that transparency and accountability are essential to development effectiveness. It establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced.

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Safeguard Documents See also: Safeguards
Safeguard documents provided at the time of project/facility approval may also be found in the list of linked documents provided with the Report and Recommendation of the President.

Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation

None currently available.

Related Publications

None currently available.

The Access to Information Policy (AIP) establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced in its operations to facilitate stakeholder participation in ADB's decision-making. For more information, refer to the Safeguard Policy Statement, Operations Manual F1, and Operations Manual L3.

Requests for information may also be directed to the InfoUnit.


No tenders for this project were found.

Contracts Awarded

No contracts awarded for this project were found

Procurement Plan

Title Document Type Document Date
Supporting Safe Recovery of Travel and Tourism: Procurement Plan Procurement Plans Dec 2023