Cook Islands Tourism Celebrates World Tourism Day 2023

Cook Islands Tourism
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Cook Islands Tourism
Cook Islands Tourism Celebrates World Tourism Day 2023 with the launch of Cook Islands People’s Choice Awards and Opening of Regenerative Tourism Experience

World Tourism Day, observed annually on September 27th, provides a global platform to emphasize and celebrate the vital role of tourism in advancing social, cultural, environmental, and economic well being. On this World Tourism Day 2023, we acknowledge the vital role of tourism in our economy. Cook Islands Tourism CEO, Karla Eggelton, highlights how tourism is evolving to foster a balanced approach that integrates cultural, social, and environmental priorities for long- term resilience and sustainability. “Tourism is the foundation of our economy, but it’s more than just business. It’s about recognizing that our prosperity is intrinsic and must coexist with preserving our culture, supporting our communities, and safeguarding our environment”.

Cook Islands Tourism (CIT) is delighted to mark World Tourism Day 2023 with two initiatives: the launch of the Cook Islands People’s Choice Awards and the opening of a new visitor experience developed in conjunction with CIT’s ‘Regenerative Experiences Incubator Programme’ . Aligned with this year's theme, "Tourism and Green Investments," these initiatives represent the Cook Islands contributions to the World Tourism Day 2023 festivities..

Director of Sales & Marketing, Noeline Mateariki says, “while our visitors are undoubtedly drawn to our beaches, lagoon, and warm climate, it's the meaningful interactions and memorable moments they take home with them that we aim to highlight with the Cook Islands People’s Choice Awards. Through these awards, we want to celebrate those industry members and raise awareness about the unique Cook Islands experiences they provide, further reinforcing why the Cook Islands' has been named Oceania's Leading Island Destination 2023, as recently recognized by the World Travel Awards”. .

Alongside the awards, the Regenerative Experiences Incubator Programme supports both private and community organizations that prioritize environmental, community, and cultural wellbeing by helping to develop ways in which visitors can engage and contribute. Launched earlier this year as an initial pilot programme, the inaugural recipients included Muri Environment Care, Cook Islands SPCA, Apii Nikao, Dive Rarotonga, and Circle Cook Islands.

The latest of these to launch is an ‘Ecological Restoration Experience' from the team at Muri Environment Care (MEC), which will provide visitors the chance to ‘Experience the intersection of education, ecological restoration, art, and hands-on engagement’ through their plant nursery and stream/coastal planting activity options. The CIT team are delighted to see the launch coincide with World Tourism Day; “This fantastic project aims to identify and develop opportunities for visitors to have a positive impact on our people and place”, says Director of Destination Development, Brad Kirner..

Cook Islands Tourism extends an invitation to all visitors, industry partners, and community to celebrate today by having your voice heard. Nominate a business or individual that went above and beyond to ensure you received an outstanding experience. Online nominations for the Cook Islands People’s Choice Awards are now open. Simply visit to nominate an individual or business that made a lasting impression on you. For more information on the Regenerative Experiences Incubator Programme visit