Cooks Islands famil for advisors pre travel ban

Six days of sunshine in paradise for 10 travel agents

A group of 10 travel agents managed to enjoy a famil on the Cook Islands in the South Pacific, before border restrictions were put in place, soaking up six days of sunshine, while exploring both Rarotonga and Aitutaki.

The troupes were hosted for six nights by Cook Islands Tourism Sales Ambassador, Matt Brookfield, who guided the agents on a variety of island activities. Highlights on Rarotonga, the hub of the Cook Islands, included a Night Paddle Tour with Ariki Adventures snorkelling in Muri Lagoon and a cultural night out with Te Vara Nui’s overwater night show and buffet.

Expanding onto Aitutaki, renowned for honeymooners, couples or solo travellers wanting to be secluded in paradise and luxury, the agents boarded Air Rarotonga for a scenic 45-minute flight from Rarotonga across to the outer island. Arriving with views over the world’s most beautiful lagoon, agents continued out onto the waters of Aitutaki with Bishops Lagoon Cruise, for a full day exploring the outer motus including the famed One Foot Island.

Back row: Paul Morris, Flight Centre Chatswood; Eloise Moore, Universal Traveller Indooroopilly; Olivia Gutensohn, Flight Centre Rose Bay; Afton Bockelberg, Port Lincoln Travel and Cruise; Natasha Melhuish, Holiday World Salamander Bay; Chelsea Doughman, Flight Centre Elwood and Kaylee Salzke, Helloworld Travel Revesby. Front row: Cailtin Potts, Omniche Holidays; Matt Brookfield, Cook Islands Tourism; Chloe Vendt ,Flight Centre St Kilda and David Evans, Universal Traveller Belconnen.

“A key highlight for the agents was definitely swimming in the crystal-clear lagoons,” said Brookfield. “Yet it is hard to pick one thing the agents thought was a key highlight, as they also really enjoyed meeting the locals and learning about their culture, plus trying the islands famed Ika Mata, a raw fish signature dish with lime, ginger, coriander and light leafy greens covered in coconut milk.”

Expanding the travel agent’s property knowledge on the Cook Islands, agents stayed at Tamanu Beach Resort in Aitutaki, while on Rarotonga nights were split among the Edgewater Resort and Spa, Pacific Resort and Moana Sands Lagoon Resort. Knowing the agents would be under work pressure on their return to Australia, General Manager of the Moana Sands Lagoon Resort, Wayne Sheard treated each agent to an upgrade, giving them all their own private rooms, to relax before returning to work.

Amid the COVID-19 global challenges, direct flights from Australia to the Cook Islands have been temporarily suspended. Cook Islands Tourism remains dedicated to the Australian travel trade and will continue with their travel agent hosting program once air access returns to normal. “At this time Cook Islands Tourism, would like to thank all the travel agents in Australia, for working so hard to see our bookings rescheduled vs refunded,” said Crystal Kranz, Marketing Manager Australia, Cook Islands Tourism.

Agents seeking trade support can reach out to Cook Islands Tourism at office@cookislandstourism.travel

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