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Easter weekend provides timely boost for Aitutaki

Thursday 6 April 2023 | Written by Matthew Littlewood | Published in Economy, Local, National


Easter weekend provides timely boost for Aitutaki
Between Thursday and Tuesday, there would be about 22 flights to Aitutaki, about six more than usual, said Air Rarotonga general manager Ewan Smith. Air Rarotonga/ 23040542

Tourism operators in Aitutaki are preparing for a busy Easter break, with locals taking advantage of the long weekend.

Air Rarotonga general manager Ewan Smith said between Thursday and Tuesday, there would be about 22 flights to Aitutaki, about six more than usual.

“Easter is usually the time when we see local travel return,” Smith said.

“People have a big burst over Christmas, then it dies right down as people go back to work and we enter the low season for tourism. From here, you start to see a bump in travel numbers.”

Smith said the influx of people to Aitutaki was good not only for the resorts, but also for restaurants and car rental firms.

“You see quite a bit of money pumped into the Aitutaki economy,” Smith said.

Nick Henry, of Tamanu Beach Resort in Aitutaki, said it was looking to be a “pretty good” weekend.

“Certainly for our hotel, we’re at 80 per cent capacity for the weekend, which is great considering it has been a slow start to the year,” Henry said.

“There’s a volleyball tournament on Monday, which has returned after being away during Covid-19. We got a lot of people who come to participate in the tournament, especially from Rarotonga. It’s one of the big-ticket items on the Aitutaki calendar.”

Henry said some restaurants were closed on Good Friday, but those that will be open were “sure to do well”.

Henry said he was optimistic for the coming few months, especially when Jetstar commences non-stop flights from Sydney on June 29, with three flights arriving in Rarotonga per week.

“If you look at a city like Sydney, that has more than five million people. Realistically, we need only a fraction of that market to see a difference here,” Henry said.

“I’ve been told that Jetstar expect an extra 30,000 people to come through Rarotonga per year, that would be a big difference.”

Henry said Australians were good customers.

“They’re consistent spenders and they’re always determined to have a good time. For many of them, this will be a different and new destination,” he said.