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Cook Islands Drumming Up Business In Australia

July 1, 2013 DESTINATION, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59With only a minimal budget the Cook Islands are making a concerted effort to snare more than their fair share of travellers to their shores.

They have banged the bongoes in Australia loudly over the past two years focusing on the many great highlights the 15 islands have to offer.

A new promotion for Agents to become Cook Island Specialists has just been launched by their enthusiastic GM, Kerryn Cook. This innovative program offers insider knowledge about the untouched destination. “Valued Specialist agents will Kerryn Cook GM and Karla Eggelton, Director of Sales, Cook Islandsreceive resources, selling tips and access to ongoing incentives, promotions, and personal travel opportunities. These untapped resources will assist agents to ticket clients to our South Pacific paradise” she says.

Cook Islands Tourism hit the road recently with an awareness campaign to highlight the best of this rising star of South Pacific travel in Brisbane, Melbourne, Newcastle and Sydney.

The evening trade presentations themed ‘It takes a village’ featured an exhilarating cultural showcase of inimitable Cooks’ experiences. The program also included speed training from 12 visiting suppliers, wholesaler networking, a destination update and a spectacular dancing and drumming performance.

A team of talented Cook Islanders was recruited to give cooking demonstrations, tips on pareo/ Tim Swan from Air New Zealand joins the dancers on The Islandsarong tying styles and head garland making, Polynesian tattoo interpretations and samples of the Cook Islands’ new natural skin care range Te Tika. More than 400 agents attended the Road-show events.

“Cook Islands Tourism has always been in the Australian market but since May 2011 we stepped up our investment in Australia and launched direct flights to Rarotonga from Sydney every Saturday. There’s so much to see and do in the Cooks for the meetings and incentives market as well as single and family travellers. Whale researcher for a day, navigation by the stars, outrigger races, sailing, fishing, diving, safari tours, hiking, mountain biking , kayaking , stand up paddle boarding, cruises, waterfall walks, pampering, shopping, markets, breweries, cultural nights, open air bars, safe but exciting nightlife, over 50 cafes and restaurants in Rarotonga, and of course our sister islands – Aitutaki and Atiu.”  Kerryn said breathlessly.

Visitation from Australia is strong tracking 15% up and aiming for 20,000 Australians this year

Tourism is estimated to account for around 75% of GDP and is vital to the Cook Islands economy. Visitor numbers in 2009/10 held up despite the global economic downturn, reaching an all-time annual high in 2012 of more than 121,000. New Zealanders make up the majority of visitors (67.5%). The introduction of low-cost airfares from New Zealand has significantly increased tourist volumes. The Cook Islands Government has revamped Cook Islands Tourism branding and intentionally focused on the Australian and Northern Hemisphere markets.

Within easy striking distance of Australia, the Cooks lie halfway between New Zealand and Hawaii across 2.2 million square kilometres of a seductive, sensual ocean. Boasting rare beauty, an idyllic climate and warm welcoming people, the Cook Islands are set to be re discovered.

Written by : John Savage

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