Regenerative Tourism

Cook Islands Tourism is committed to ensuring a more sustainable and regenerative approach is taken when it comes to our tourism offering. We want to empower our visitors, our tourism industry, and our community to help improve the holistic well-being of our people and island homes, both now and for future generations.

We can achieve this by finding ways in which we can help our visitors not only have a fulfilling experience during their time here, but that also provides them the ability to leave our little paradise better than they found it.

The idea of sustainability and regeneration is nothing new for the Cook Islands people - it is something that we have been practicing naturally for generations. What has changed is the mindset and interests of our visitors.

Travel has always been about seeking adventure, learning opportunities, and connection with others. On top of this, travelers are now more than ever wanting to use their travel experience to help make a positive difference to the people and places they are visiting. It is up to us as hosts to make the most of the opportunity to improve everyone's wellbeing through regenerative travel.

Examples of Regenerative Travel Experiences:

Eco-tourism: Involves visitors enjoying areas of environmental significance with the aim of learning about and helping conservation efforts for that environment.

  • Marine Conservation: Boating, diving or snorkel trips combined with conservation efforts (e.g.,species identification, invasive species removal, population surveys)
  • Forest/Land Conservation: Guided hikes learning about or participating in conservation efforts (e.g., native species replanting, invasive species removal)

Community-based tourism: Involves visitors interacting with the host community with the aim of benefiting the local economy and preserving cultures and traditions.

  • Agro-Tourism: Visiting rural farmers/produce operations to learn about local sustainable production methods (e.g., farm visits, factory tours)
  • Traditional Arts & Craft: Learning about, experiencing and/or buying items from local artists or suppliers (e.g., village markets, museums, cultural performances)
  • Community Development: Interaction and cultural exchange with local communities (e.g., visits to local villages, schools or retirement homes)

Regenerative Travel Experiences Programme

Cook Islands Tourism are pleased to announce a new programme designed to help develop the Cook Islands regenerative travel offering. This project aims to assist both existing tourism operators and community projects in identifying, designing, promoting and delivering exceptional visitor experiences that have a positive impact on our people and place. Being a pilot programme, we will use this initial work to identify opportunities available in this space, and to hone our approach as we learn and adapt to what works best for the Cook Islands.

  • Funding:
    • 5 business/groups will be given the opportunity to access funding to support and assist with development of the travel experience.
  • Timeline:
    • Developmental Stages: April - May
    • Activation Stage: June - August
  • Criteria:
    • Must offer an on the ground travel experience
    • Cook Islands Quality Assured or willing to become accredited
    • Commitment to 6 months programme rollout
    • Committed to regular communications with Cook Islands Tourism
    • Invested in providing visitors fulfilling experiences that will leave our little paradise better than they found it

Not sure if this applies to you?

Please feel free to reach out to [email protected] for guidance.

How to get involved

We are currently accepting applications of interest, apply below and we will be in touch. Applications will close Sunday 30 April.