Cooks' Aussie challenge continues

Cooks' Aussie challenge continues
By admin

The challenge for the Cook Islands remains the fact that it is still "a relatively new destination", according to the destination's tourism boss Carmel Beattie.

Speaking to Travel Today at a function in Sydney last night, Beattie said the tourism body was still trying to show Australians that the Cooks were within easy reach, following last year's launch of direct flights from Sydney, and that it offers something different to other island destinations.

Interacting with the people of the Cooks was the destination's main point of difference, Beattie said, while its nature and beaches remained major drawcards.

While the tourism body would welcome an increase in the frequency of Air New Zealand's current once weekly direct service from Sydney, Beattie admitted it was unlikely.

"We need to fill the flights first," she said.

But she claimed the last year had gone "gangbusters" in terms of arrivals from Australia, reporting a 40% increase from the market over the last two years.

A television commercial, cinema advertising, and a roadshow in April 2013 are all on the agenda.

In addition, the tourism body is running an incentive in conjunction with wholesalers to offer travellers pre-loaded payment cards to spend on their holiday.

"It's an incentive to get people coming to the Cooks in the low season, but gives back to the community as well," Beattie said

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