cook islandsCOOK Islands Tourism launched its brand new destination campaign ‘Love a little paradise’ last month, a new brand strategy aiming to “differentiate the idyllic South Pacific nation from its key competitors”. Offering a variety of experiences beyond the confines of a resort, light adventures, as well as authentic interactions with locals, Rarotonga is a destination perfect for the “Soft Explorers” market, says Cook Islands Tourism Corporation general manager, Kerryn Cook.

“Unlike other islands, we can’t keep adding new resorts indefinitely. Sustainable growth for us has to come by attracting tourists who spend more on-island without alienating our traditional market base,” she said.

Despite its paradise status, the Cook Islands is a destination relatively unknown to the Australian market. However, the introduction of Air New Zealand’s direct flights from Sydney through to Rarotonga in 2010, has steadily increased the island nation’s reputation; with the destination recording 22,033 Aussie visitors in 2014 – up from 18,538 in 2011.

“The Cook Islands’ point of difference is we truly deliver on our visitor promise by offering the people, product and place where the rest of the world can experience a moment of freedom,” Cook said.

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