After a strong opening day at Constitution Park, a number of stalls set up showcasing products from the outer islands – such as kikau brooms from Pukapuka and akari pi coconut oil from Mauke – were cleaned out by both residents and tourists alike.
BTIB trade and marketing officer Mona Taio said it was unfortunate that those from the outer islands hadn’t been able to bring over more goods to sell.
“We did pre-warn the groups from the outer islands that they would need to bring quite a lot of their products but it seems to have fallen on deaf ears, with many of them having very little stock left,” said Taio.
“Of course it is pleasing that they have been so well-received, but it would have been even more beneficial for them to bring more to help spread sales right across the week.”
Taio said that the opening two days of this year’s Trade Days had been a great success.
“Monday was jam-packed and today (Tuesday) is no different. We have had solid foot traffic and while a lot of people come through for the food, they are also stopping to check out some of the other vendors we have here on site.”
Learning from past years, Taio said that this year BTIB had been in contact with Cook Islands Bus Services, as well as many resorts on the island, to increase the number of tourists visiting the event.
“It is a first for us to work with the bus service,” she said. “We have asked that they can directly drop off passengers here to make it easier for them to come and see us.
“We have also had more contact with resorts, providing more information regarding the event so they can share it with their guests.”
To help keep the crowds entertained, a dedicated performance hour is scheduled each day from 12-1pm, with different groups taking to the stage each day right through until Friday.
The Ministry of Cultural Development also has a stall set up providing ticket sales for the night-time Te Maeva Nui performances, something Taio said has been well-received.
“We haven’t had Culture down here for at least a few years, but it has been great to have them again and every day that line for tickets remains pretty steady.
“It is also a good opportunity for tourists to come and grab a ticket to see even more of our culture on display.”
Today’s midday entertainment will be the Manea Pacifica dance group from Australia.