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Tourism targets French travellers with Paris event

Wednesday 19 June 2024 | Written by Supplied | Published in National, Travel

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Tourism targets  French travellers with Paris event
Nick Costantini, the Cook Islands Tourism (CIT) representative in Southern Europe

Nick Costantini, the Cook Islands Tourism (CIT) representative in Southern Europe, spearheaded an event in Paris earlier this month aimed at raising awareness and educating the travel trade about the Cook Islands.

Hosted by New Zealand Ambassador Caroline Bilkey and her team at the New Zealand Embassy in Paris, the event comprised two key sessions.

According to Cook Islands Tourism, a lunchtime training session was held with eight of France’s leading travel wholesalers.

“This session included senior staff from Air Tahiti, who are looking to collaborate in promoting the Papeete-Rarotonga route to French travellers, whether as an extension from their vacations in Tahiti or as a standalone destination.”

In the evening, Tourism partnered with France’s leading tour operator, ASIA VOYAGE, and Singapore Airlines to promote the destination to 30 of the Paris region’s top-selling retail agents.

“We are delighted to have found this opportunity to showcase our destination with such prestigious partners. The quality of the participants and the endorsement offered by the New Zealand Embassy and our partners will be priceless in elevating awareness and increasing the number of French visitors to both Rarotonga and the Pa Enua,” Costantini said.

“Feedback from the events has been hugely helpful in identifying our target audience, with repeat visitors to the South Pacific and extended travel from New Zealand being primary areas of focus for us. The precious support from our local representatives and consultant, Ludivine Buyer, will ensure we reap the benefits of our efforts in this market.”

Trade media attended the events and responded positively, with several media articles already generated, positioning the Cook Islands as a new South Pacific frontier destination, Tourism said

Tourism is currently in negotiations with local airlines to bring a top journalist from a leading French travel magazine to the Cook Islands, supporting the ongoing consumer awareness campaign.

During her welcome address, Ambassador Caroline Bilkey recalled not only New Zealand’s links with the Cook Islands, but also those of the Cook Islands with France.

During the First World War, three soldiers from the Cook Islands were among the New Zealand tunnel boring machines who dug the underground galleries under Arras for the Allied attack of 1917. One of the soldiers left behind a conch (shell) whose discovery almost a century later at the Wellington Quarry inspired the design of the Pacific Monument at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington.

The soldiers were part of the 43 Māori Pioneer Battalion members send to assist the New Zealand Tunnelling Company at Arras, France during WWI (28 July 1914 – 11 November 1918). The tunnellers in the lead up to the Battle of Arras in 1917, developed caverns under the city of Arras and prepared 12 miles of tunnels.

  • Cook Islands Tourism