At this year's annual Routes Asia 2018 Marketing Awards, Cook Islands Tourism Corporation was crowned the winner of the Destination Marketing category at a special event on Monday evening 19th March hosted in Brisbane's City Hall.

Routes Exchanges are for airlines, airports and tourism authorities to discuss and share new business opportunities. These are held annually in Europe, Africa, Americas, and Asia. Routes Asia is attended by organizations ranging from Eastern Russia, China, Japan, Asia, to Oceania.

The Marketing Awards are highly regarded in the aviation industry because they are voted for by airlines. They recognize the outstanding marketing services that have supported the launch of new air routes or the development of existing services.

At Routes Asia this year, the panel of judges were from Qantas, Fiji Airways, Air New Zealand, Malindo Air, Philippine Airlines, and Virgin Australia.

Selection of Cook Islands as destination winner was based on the seasonality challenges the Cook Islands faces, and a marketing case study on strategies introduced in North America to help address this, resulting in a 70% growth in visitor arrivals from North America to the Cook Islands over the last three calendar years.

Cook Islands Tourism Corporation’s General Manager in North America, John Petersen, proudly accepted the award and commented, “What is so often overlooked in tourism marketing is the absolute importance of how to work with the operating carrier, or carriers, to ensure an integrated and reciprocal approach. There is quite a portfolio of ways in which this can be and should be achieved, but this has been one of the most important contributors to our success in North America”. 

Cook Islands Tourism North America General Manager, John Petersen accepts the award on behalf of the Cook Islands Tourism Corporation.

The full list of highly commended and 5 Winning Organisations

Overall Winner: Kuala Lumpur International Airport

Over 20 million passengers
Winner: Kuala Lumpur International Airport
Highly commended: Singapore Changi Airport

4 – 20 million passengers
Winner: Adelaide Airport
Highly commended: Auckland Airport

Under 4 million passengers
Winner: Vladivostok International Airport Highly commended: Townsville Airport

Cook Islands Tourism Corporation
Highly commended: Japan National Tourism Organization