Tourism boosts interest from Asia

Thursday April 14, 2016 Written by Published in Economy

In a bid to boost its Asian market, Cook Islands Tourism Corporation took part in the China Outbound Travel and Tourism market (COTTM) this week.


The event which was the biggest annual trade show in Beijing provided the corporation with an excellent opportunity to promote the destination.

Cook Islands Tourism Corporation in its weekly update said the destination proved a hit among the Chinese.

The mesmerising Cook Islands Ura performance by Sieni Tiraa from Cook Islands Tourism added to the corporation’s drive during the event.

“The Cook Islands stand was certainly popular with the drums of the Cook Islands in the background and the vibrant and attractive colour of our stand,” the update said.

“At the end of the show, most of the collateral was gone and according to our market reps, there was a consistent interest in the destination from the travel agents.

“Most travel agents were keen to sell the Cook Islands because it is a relatively new and unique destination for the Chinese market. “

As of February this year, Chinese visitors recorded the highest growth percentage year to date of 57 per cent.

The corporation said this was equivalent to an increase from 325 visitors last year to 510 for this financial year.

“With the rising interest from the travel agents, we are sure to see an increase in visitors from the Chinese market.”

Apart from the Asian market, the corporation remains steadfast in its approach to maintain the gaining momentum in their North American market.

Earlier last year, Cook Islands Tourism in North America worked with the chief executive officer of Seattle-based tour company Down Under Answers on a new programme to entice “Vistage”, an association of chief executive officers, to visit the Cook Islands.

Vistage members meet regularly in various locations to solve problems, evaluate opportunities and work on an assortment of strategic and operational issues.

“The Cook Islands seemed an ideal escape as a new venue. We were successful in securing a small group of Vistage members at this time last year,” the corporation said.

“Last year’s visit was such a success that Vistage returned again this year. In the week of April 4, a much larger group of 45 visited the Cook Islands, who also booked out the entire business class cabin for the visit. We are delighted to see this now becoming an annual event!”

Cook Islands Tourism is also taking part in a new roadshow, which started last week, in Canada’s five major cities.

It was represented at all shows with a booth, distributing especially prepared training material.

Air New Zealand is also assisting at their booth with a promotional piece explaining why the Cook islands is the “top pick” destination for a Pacific Island stopover when booking Australia or New Zealand.

Cook Islands also featured on Newstalk770 Radio in Calgary, Canada where general manager North America, John Petersen, conducted a 10 minute interview.

“The interview focused on why the Cook Islands is so different from other South Pacific destinations, including the direct flight to Rarotonga’s lagoon-side airport enabling visitors to be in a resort in no time, the ease of getting around, interacting with locals, and great value for Canadians.”        

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