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Quarantine and Covid-19 free attract Kiwi tourists

Monday 19 July 2021 | Written by Al Williams | Published in Economy, National

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Quarantine and Covid-19  free attract Kiwi tourists
Halatoa Fua. 20102821

Kiwi tourists are embracing quarantine and Covid-19 free travel with the Cook Islands, early indicators show.

Halatoa Fua, chief executive for Cook Islands Tourism released early survey results to Cook Islands News on Thursday - a more comprehensive survey is expected next month.

Fua said the findings were a “glimpse of latest visitor responses to date to understand the new travel norms”.

More concrete findings would follow once tourism obtained the full research detailed in the quarterly Cook Islands Tourism International Visitor Survey, Fua said.

“We’re currently collecting data to assess the latest spend and consumer trends from the first quarter since quarantine free travel resumed in May 2021.”

The snapshot showed feedback from two questions.

The first - How important were the following factors in your decision to travel to the Cook Islands?  

Four factors were given as options. No quarantine requirements on arrival, Cook Islands is a Covid-19 free destination, sufficient health and safety information provided prior to arrival and the availability of health services in the Cook Islands.

From a possible rating of zero to five, a majority score of 4.8 was given to no quarantine requirements and Covid free destination while health and safety received a score of 4.4, and health services availability received 3.6.

Cook Islands Tourism Industry Council president Liana Scott said: “As long as both countries are Covid free, guests are pretty relaxed about having the freedoms that they currently enjoy at home.”

“There is always room for improvement and the more established and savvy operators will have performance review or guest review forms at the end of stays and tours to get some real time feedback on ways to improve.”

The questionnaire also asked how satisfied respondents were with health and safety measures on flights to and from the Cook Islands, restaurants, cafes and bars, tours they participated in, shops and retail stores and Rarotonga International Airport.

Also from a rating of zero to five, flights to and from the Cook Islands scored 4.6 followed by restaurants, cafes and bars (4.4), tours (4.4), shops and retail (4.4) and Rarotonga International Airport (4.2).   

While Scott said tourists appreciated extra sanitisation stations, tagging in stations and other measures businesses had taken to make things as safe as possible, she agreed there was room for improvement.  

“There are bodies who are looking at improvements, for example all the key organisations at Rarotonga International Airport are looking at improvements there.

“Waiting times at the airport are improving.”

Fua said he would be talking to operators and offering feedback and suggestions on how to make improvements once the full quarterly Cook Islands Tourism International Visitor Survey landed, which he expected next month.

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