In the first seven months of the year, 92,766 visitors visited the country compared to 87,404 in the same period last year. This represents an increase of about six per cent for the calendar year to date, from January to December, 2018.
For the month of July this year, visitor arrivals increased by a massive 12 per cent compared to July last year.
A total of 18,332 visitors were recorded in the country for July this year the highest monthly figure so far, compared to 16,408 last year.
The increase is said to be mainly due to Te Maeva Nui celebrations which attracted tourists to Rarotonga, as well as a large number of Cook Islands residents from New Zealand and Australia. The surge is also attributed to the school holidays in the leading market for Cook Islands tourism, New Zealand.
New Zealand dominated the most incremental visitors for the month of July, 2018, with an increase in visitor arrivals of 1688, followed by Australia on 230 and South Europe on 71.
The highest percentage growth for the month was held by Nordic visitors on 98 per cent, followed by South Europe on 34 per cent and China on 15 per cent.
New Zealand also maintained its stronghold on the most incremental visitors in the year to date from January to July, 2018, with 4330 visitors. This was followed by Australia on 716 and South Europe on 304.
However, the highest growth in terms of percentage for the year to date is held by South Europe on 39 per cent, followed by New Zealand on seven per cent and Australia on six per cent.
In an earlier interview with CINews, the chief executive officer of Cook Islands Tourism, Halatoa Fua, said July and August were peak months for the tourism high season in the Cook Islands.
He said the tourism industry was seeing similar trends to last year which showed a healthy growth during this period.
“The ability to maintain visitor growth and sustain the economy can be difficult considering it is a highly vulnerable industry, cyclical growth patterns, tough competition in the market place and turbulent global markets,” Fua said.
“The government officials and the tourism industry are doing their best to manage the increase in visitors and locals alike during this time.”
An all-time high of 161,362 visitors was recorded in the Cook Islands last year and if the current trend persists, then the country will bag another record this year.