The list was compiled by a panel of travel bloggers on TravelLemming.com, which promotes travel to evolving nations – and the bloggers were particularly complimentary of the options available to those travelling on a budget.
One of the bloggers, Lauren Juliff, visited Aitutaki and Rarotonga, and said Cook Islanders were perhaps the warmest and friendliest people in the world.
She stayed at Rarotonga Backpackers: “The staff were fun and helpful, it was easy to meet people and make friends, and there was a decent swimming pool, barbecue area, and a gorgeous beach.”
Only Georgia and Nova Scotia pipped Cook Islands for first and second place.
Yesterday at the backpackers’, visiting medical students from Adelaide agreed. Anja Hentschke (left), Morgan Swearvsc and Katherine Lissner have stayed in Rarotonga while doing their final placement at Rarotonga hospital. “It’s lovely, the people are so welcoming, very friendly and warm, more welcoming than back home,” says Lissner.
“And it’s beautiful, we are only a few steps away from the sea,” adds Swearvsc.
Cook Islands Tourism’s Karla Eggelton welcomed the acknowledgement. “It helps to create exposure and awareness for our destination as an idyllic holiday destination.”