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Promoting Cook Islands to the world

Monday 24 October 2022 | Written by Al Williams | Published in Local

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Promoting Cook Islands to the world
Chantal Napa and Hayden Adams are promoting the Cook Islands around the world. PHOTO: AL WILLIAMS/22102302

An American who has played a key role in bringing Cook Islands to the world is on Rarotonga for the next month to continue assisting his business partner in connecting the nation to dozens of countries.

Haydn Adams has helped tourism operator Chantal Napa build an international audience for more than two years after travel bans forced her to look at other options.

Napa, alongside Adams, set about taking the Cook Islands to the world through the Kia Orana Podcast launched in May of 2020.

Adams landed in Rarotonga on Thursday and will assist in expanding the operation through the introduction of a QR code which takes users directly to services, including website, directions and direct call option.

Napa through sheer persistence, has been successful in attracting funding after failing in her first attempt.

She made a successful application through the Cook Islands Chamber of Commerce and has invested the money back into the business, subsequently giving her website users a more “one-stop shop” experience.

“It’s a moving challenge,” Adams said of the operation.

“I think the main challenge here (Cook Islands) is digital, if you are coming here it is ok, but if you are already here you can easily pick up information, such as magazines, at your accommodation.”

It is the fifth time Georgia based Adams has visited the Cook Islands.

“I love it here, it has a Polynesia love energy; it is so friendly and the people are really accommodating.”  

The pair are continuing to upgrade Napa’s website.

“They (visitors) want information and they want it all in one place; they don’t want to have to go to different places,” Napa said.

Napa is looking for local buy in from accommodators, retailers, and food outlets.

Since launching her podcast, Napa has interviewed close to 100 people including artists, entertainers and Prime Minister Mark Brown, among others.

The podcast was initiated by Adams who wrote a book about the Cook Islands – How I Fell In Love With an Island.

Napa discovered the book while on holiday in Aitutaki and reached out to him. A friendship was formed and not long after that the Kia Orana Podcast was created, with Napa offering a local perspective on various parts about island life and Haydn offering the visitor’s lens on the many beautiful islands of the Cooks.

The podcast is devoted to advocating what visitors will and will not find in the Cook Islands and delving into all the aspects of local life.

Since starting they have covered a number of genres including current affairs, education, youth, agriculture, government departments, non-government organisations, society and culture, business, the creative arts, literature, artists, musicians, performers, sports, as well as the pa metua community.

The podcast is currently available on platforms including Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcast, Overcast, Amazon Music, Stitcher, Castro, Castbox, Pocket Casts, Podfriend and RSS Feed.