There’s an app for that!

Friday 31 March 2017 | Written by Rashneel Kumar | Published in Local

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There’s an app for that!
Hika Tourism Cook Islands Ltd shareholder Sela Miller shows the demonstration Hika Kia Orana tourism app which will be launched tomorrow. 17033010

Local tourism industry is set to receive a shot in the arm following the launch of an app that will give visitors basic information about the Cook Islands.

Hika Kia Orana tourism app to be launched tomorrow at the Te Ara Museum in Muri will promote the Cook Islands language, culture, tourism industry and local businesses.

The app will be launched by Hika Tourism Cook Islands Ltd, part of the New Zealand-based Hika Group.

Hika Tourism Cook Islands Ltd is 70 per cent locally owned by shareholders Louis Enoka, Robert Skews, John Webb, Greg Stanaway and New Zealand-based Cook Islander Sela Miller.

Sela’s husband, Greg, who has designed the app, is the chairman and co-founder of leading shareholder the Hika Group.

“Hika Group, the head office in New Zealand has developed e-learning language apps for public use, for the education sector in New Zealand and a Mandarin business app,” Sela said while explaining the origin of the latest app.

“As I watched the development of Hika Lite and Hika Explorer, both e-learning language apps (featuring) English-NZ Maori, I said when the time was right, as a passionate Cook Islander, I would like to introduce this concept to the Ministry of Education and tourism in the Cooks.

“In 2015, we met four individual Cook Islands tourism operators and from there we set up our Cook Islands business Hika Tourism CI Ltd and developed Hika Kia Orana.”

Sela said the Hika Kia Orana tourism app provided everything visitors needed to know about the Cook Islands at their finger-tips on their smartphone or tablet.

It includes authentic translations in 11 chapters with over 8000 phrases, covering tourist activities that the creators of this app have researched.

“Our first release coverts authentic English, Chinese, Japan, Italian, German to Cook Islands. Once you create a phrase you can hear in either male or female voice.

“Hika Kia Orana allows your phrases to be shared via TXT, email and Messenger.”

The app has a culture section providing information on Cook Islands history, the 15 islands, the language, flag and the national anthem which the visitors can hear sung in male or female voices.

Sela says the “find” section is where tourist operators, retailers and service providers here can advertise to visitors.

“As part of our prime partnership with Bluesky, they will allow free wi-fi access to all visitors arriving in the Cook Islands.

“On arrival, the visitors will receive a welcome notification ping from Bluesky and Hika Kia Orana to download our free Hika Kia Orana tourism app.

“It will provide everything they need to know about the Cook Islands at their fingertips.”

Hika Kia Orana’s digital platform will run over iOS and Android, on smartphone and tablets.

The much-anticipated launch, to be held from 6.30pm to 8.30pm, is expected to include representatives from the tourism and global telecoms industries, Cabinet ministers, company chief executives, and friends and families.

“We have approached Tereora College asking for eight senior students, the generation of technology today, to be our device officers. They will demonstrate and teach people at the launch how to use the app,” Sela said.

“After our launch, we have been asked by our partners Bluesky to present Hika Kia Orana at the PITA Conference hosted next week from Monday to Friday.”