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Aspiring leaders tackle tourism challenges

Tuesday 7 May 2024 | Written by Supplied | Published in Local, National, Travel

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Aspiring leaders tackle tourism challenges
Cook Islands Tourism hosted a group of 10 aspiring leaders from the Future Leaders Academy on Thursday, April 25. COOK ISLANDS TOURISM/24050603

Cook Islands Tourism welcomed the second cohort of the Future Leaders Academy students, showcasing a unique collaboration that blends leadership development with innovative tourism solutions.

In a statement, Cook Islands Tourism had the pleasure of hosting a group of 10 aspiring leaders from the Future Leaders Academy on Thursday, April 25.

The visit followed a successful session with the first cohort of 11 students the previous week, underscoring Tourism’s commitment to nurturing the next generation of leaders.

The students, engaged and enthusiastic, delved deep into the operational realms of Cook Islands Tourism, understanding the roles of various departments and the broader vision and mission that guides us.

During the session, Rachel Best and Taylor Story, both digital marketing coordinators at Cook Islands Tourism, shared their personal journeys into the tourism industry.

They spoke about what drew them to a career dedicated to promoting the Cook Islands, highlighting their motivation to share the little paradise with the world.

“Their stories provided the students with real-life examples of how passion and dedication can shape a fulfilling career in Tourism and Destination Marketing, further inspiring the next generation to contribute positively to the tourism sector,” the statement said.

Highlighting the session was an interactive problem-solving activity where students applied their analytical skills to address real-world business challenges Cook Islands Tourism faces, the statement said.

“One of the problems tackled strategies to minimise the impact of seasonality on visitor numbers, aiming for year-round sustainability of the tourism industry. The students suggested leveraging social media and creating events to enhance visibility and attract tourists during the off-peak season.”

Additionally, the cohort explored ways Cook Islands Tourism could use artificial intelligence to amplify its marketing efforts.

Their innovative ideas included developing an AI-powered chatbot for instant visitor assistance and implementing data analytic tools for better understanding visitor booking behaviour.

Daniel Fisher, general manager marketing at Cook Islands Tourism, commended the students, stating, “Engaging with these young minds offers fresh perspectives that are invaluable to our strategic initiatives. Their innovative approaches to problem-solving not only demonstrate exceptional leadership qualities but also significantly contribute to our project development.”

The Future Leaders Academy’s week-long leadership course in the Cook Islands focused on developing leadership capabilities among senior high school students from New Zealand, Australia, and the Cook Islands. It aimed to build confidence, decision-making skills, and cross-cultural connections.

“Looking ahead, Cook Islands Tourism anticipates further collaborations with the academy. We extend our gratitude to Jethro and his team for choosing our beautiful islands as the backdrop for this transformative experience.”