New vision for Cook Islands tourism

Tuesday September 22, 2015 Written by Published in Economy
The Cook Islands Tourism finance team from left, chief executive Halatoa Fua, fi nance manager Catherine Healy, director of finance Marcelle Rossouw and finance officer Teremoana Tangirere. The Cook Islands Tourism finance team from left, chief executive Halatoa Fua, fi nance manager Catherine Healy, director of finance Marcelle Rossouw and finance officer Teremoana Tangirere.

Cook Islands Tourism is celebrating a successful emergence from a troubled financial past, and a new marketing strategy that’s unique in the Pacific.


The two notable achievements were highlighted at a media conference on Monday, and in the second volume of their Kia Orana Newsletter released online yesterday. The newsletter will be available in print on Saturday.

In relation to a new era of financial stability and success, Director of Finance Marcelle Rossouw says tourism now has one of the best audit management reports across government.

The audit performance of the corporation has improved dramatically, with only one audit issue reported in 2013/14, a massive decrease from the 15 issues reported in 2010/11.

Rossouw says this is a tremendous financial improvement in just four years.

In the last eight to nine years, Rossouw says the corporation has also gone from a disclaimer audit opinion, which is the worst opinion, to an unqualified opinion which is the best and expresses satisfaction in all material respects.

“That was just amazing and we have continued to build on that by streamlining the way we do our payments, operating in eight different markets with 11 currencies over eight time-zones.”

She says this success is down to having a team who are dedicated and have a spirit of excellence.

“When we’ve got a strong financial system, it just really allows the corporation to flourish because it means they can rely on the back end, and don’t have to worry about all the administration.”

She says it allows the tourism team to operate more efficiently, and with more cohesion, and that’s really what they’re seeing the benefit of now.

Tourism is also excited to announce that their USP discovery and public consultation is now complete.

Last Thursday, Cook Islands Tourism presented for consultation their new communications strategy to an audience of over 60 industry partners at the Edgewater Resort Conference Room.

The new strategy is the outcome of months of workshops, dialogue, due diligence and interviews that created the concept for the branding position.

This will be the first time that Cook Islands Tourism can align international marketing activity and messaging with the domestic work of the Cook Islands community supporting each other through brand awareness.

The new and exciting tag line for the fresh new branding for the Cook Islands was revealed and will be rolled out to the international market and local community this December.

An industry toolkit will be distributed in the coming weeks to all industry partners and will include all brand elements and guidelines to execute them.

Feedback has been “overwhelmingly positive” and the corporation will continue to move forward on the communications strategy and plans.

Director of sales and marketing, Karla Eggelton, says the Cook Islands hasn’t had a consistent message from a marketing and tourism point of view for at least 10 years, so what they’re doing here is something quite strategic and visionary.

“No other island destination has done such a project as this, where we’ve taken our international message and our community message, and made the projects one.”

She says everything they are doing with the Kia Orana Values campaign, and the Vaka Pride competition in the country, is being married with the message they are sending to the world.

“No other island destination has done it, and done it successfully, and we believe we are on the front foot with all our other South Pacific competitors.”

She says herself and her team are excited about what the future holds, for the destination and the communities. 

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