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New programme to develop next generation of Cook Islands tourism leaders

Thursday 2 November 2023 | Written by Supplied | Published in Education, Local, National, Travel


New programme to develop next generation of Cook Islands tourism leaders
Tereora College Level 2 tourism students with tourism teacher Christina Ganivatu, fourth from left (standing), meet Prime Minister Mark Brown and Air New Zealand chief executive Greg Foran, third from left (seated). They are pictured with Air NZ, Cook Islands Tourism and Government executives. TAYLA BEDDOES (COOK ISLANDS TOURISM)/23110118

Cook Islands Tourism Corporation (CIT), Air New Zealand, and Pacific Resort Hotel Group (PRHG) have partnered to launch the Cook Islands Tourism Leadership Programme.

The programme provides a unique opportunity for passionate individuals to develop their leadership skills, industry knowledge, and to carve a career pathway for tourism in the Cook Islands.

It is designed to nurture the next generation of tourism leaders, providing them with the base skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the industry, and the opportunity to work with a leading tourism operator in the country.

Cook Islands Tourism chief executive Karla Eggelton in a statement said: “Tourism is the cornerstone and largest economic driver in the Cook Islands, and it is essential that we promote and support clear career pathways for talented individuals to hone their skills and lead the industry into the future.”

“The Cook Islands Tourism Leadership Programme will provide participants with modern day foundation tools and resources they need to develop their skills and knowledge, and to become successful leaders in the tourism industry.”

The programme includes 17-week Leadership and Performance course study at Queenstown Resort College (QRC) Tai Tokerau campus. This will cover topics such as communication, motivational leadership, wellbeing and diversity, performance under pressure, and operational management.

Following the course, participants will return to Rarotonga and be placed in a six-month hands-on tailored management pathways programme with international award-winning Pacific Resort Hotel Group.

The work placement offers participants the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in various departments of the hotel group, providing them with a deeper understanding of the different roles and responsibilities involved in the hospitality industry. This will also allow participants to apply their theoretical knowledge and skills to real-world situations, while also learning from experienced professionals.

Pacific Resort Hotel Group chief executive Marcus Niszow said: “The Pacific Resort Hotel Group is proud to be a partner in the Cook Islands Tourism Leadership Programme.”

“Tourism is essential to the Cook Islands economy, and we believe that investing in the development of our people is the best way to ensure the future success of the industry.”

Air New Zealand’s country manager for the Cook Islands, Addrienne Hosking-Tinirau, said they are excited to partner with the Cook Islands Tourism Corporation and the Pacific Resort Hotel Group to bring this important programme to the Cook Islands.

“Air New Zealand is committed to supporting the sustainable growth of tourism in the Cook Islands, and we believe that this programme will play an important role in developing the next generation of tourism leaders,” Hosking-Tinirau said.

Eggelton said the Cook Islands Tourism Leadership Programme is a great example of government and private sector collaborating to give opportunities to our people.

“We are grateful to Air New Zealand and Pacific Resort Hotel Group for their partnership in this important initiative. While this is the first for us, there is scope for expansion and bringing on other businesses who see value in this work.”

The Cook Islands Tourism Leadership Programme is open to Cook Islands residents who are passionate about tourism, want to develop their leadership skills and pursue a career in tourism and hospitality. The programme will commence in early 2024.

To apply, a CV, cover letter, and a two-minute video explaining why you are a good fit for the programme can be submitted to The application deadline is Monday, November 14, at 4pm.