It’s the highest number of arrivals recorded for the month of October. The New Zealand market was the biggest source of visitors with 68.1 per cent (8,061). A further 17.8 per cent (2,102) came from Australia. These were also record October numbers for the two markets.
Contributing to the increase was a 21.5 per cent (372) increase in the number of Australian visitors. New Zealand visitors rose by 2.5 per cent (200), while US arrivals improved by 25.6 per cent (89). However these increases were offset by declines in the European market.
People arriving for holiday purposes made up 76.9 per cent (9,109) of total visitor arrivals.
A total of 12.2 per cent (1,440) chose the Cook Islands for weddings and honeymoons, while 5.3 per cent (624) came to visit friends and relatives.
Year to date growth is slightly above the figure forecast in the 2014/15 Budget.
Cook Islands Tourism Corporation chief executive Halatoa Fua said he was pleased with the numbers, commenting that the Australian market was a key focus for the Cook Islands as it continued to improve visitor numbers. And it appears a trend is emerging of the peak season for visitor arrivals now extending into October and November.
In 2011 there were five months where visitor arrivals exceeded 10,000. Since that year, the number of months where arrivals have exceeded 10,000 has continued to increase and up until October there were six months where visitor numbers exceeded 10,000 for the 2014 year.