20 Jan 2016

Growing numbers of families reunite in Cooks over summer

5:55 pm on 20 January 2016

Returning relatives for family reunions have been driving up tourist numbers in the Cook Islands over the summer.

Rarotonga Airport

Rarotonga Airport Photo: RNZI / Mary Baines

Last year was the biggest year yet for tourism in the Cooks, with visitor arrivals peaking at 124,000 due to growing numbers of New Zealand and North American visitors.

The CEO of Cook Islands Tourism Corporation, Halatoa Fua, says this summer family reunions have been frequent.

"We have noticed a lot of returning relatives, Cook Islanders living in New Zealand and Australia, during December. There's been a lot of family reunions and functions. We have seen an increase in visitor arrivals from returning Cook Islanders and that's another market that we do focus on."

Mr Fua says 2016 looks set to be a big year, with new routes opening from New Zealand to Rarotonga and aircraft being upgraded to bigger planes on existing routes.

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