The Prestigious Air New Zealand Cooks Islands Tourism Awards was recently held at Rarotonga. Organised by the Cook Islands Tourism Industry Council, this biannual awards are held to recognise, appreciate and encourage excellence in the country’s tourism industry. The Outstanding Contribution to Tourism Award deservedly went out to the dreadlocked septuagenarian Pa Teuruaa of Pa’s Nature Walks who has made 4388 guided tours of the mountainous interiors of Rarotonga. Conversely the Supreme Award of the night went out to the Pacific Resort Group, along with three other awards.
More than 220 guests attended the awards night and fifteen winners were announced during the event held at the residence of the New Zealand High Commissioner. Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon and the Mayor of Invercargill and popular New Zealand comedian His Worship Tim Shadbolt spoke at the event.
Alister Stevic, Chairman of the Tourism Awards mentioned that – “A record number of entries (47), an increase in the quality of entries, and a 48 hour sell out of tickets clearly indicates the importance and significance the industry places on these awards.”
He also mentioned, “It was fantastic to see a wider range of the industry enter this year, from intimate three person business such as The Mooring Fish Cafe to the luxurious and larger Pacific Resort Group.”
Air New Zealand is the main sponsor of the awards in association with ANZ and the Bond Store. The awards are also supported by Cook Islands Tourism, Pitt Media Group, Telecom, Westpac, Air Rarotonga and the Cook Islands Sun.
Air New Zealand Tourism Industry Support – The Mooring Fish Café, Muri Lagoon, Rarotonga
Cook Islands Tourism Budget Accommodation Award – Puaikura Reef Lodges, Arorangi, Rarotonga
Pitt Media Group Private Rentals Award – Taakoka Muri Beach Villas, Rarotonga.
ANZ Bank Self Catering Award – Makayla Palms, Titikaveka Beach, Rarotonga.
Air New Zealand Customer Care Award – Makayla Palms
Air New Zealand Festival and Events Award – Vaka Eiva outrigger canoe festival, Rarotonga and Aitutaki
Cook Islands Sun Tourism Attractions Award – Highland Paradise Cultural Centre, Arorangi, Rarotonga
Westpac Bank Culture Award – Highland Paradise Cultural Centre
The Bond Store Hotels and Resorts Award – Pacific Resort Group, Rarotonga and Aitutaki
ANZ Bank Environment Award – Muri Beach Resort, Rarotonga
Telecom Internet Marketing Award – Pacific Resort Group
Air Rarotonga Outer Islands Award – Pacific Resort Group
ANZ Bank Outstanding Contribution to Tourism Award – Pa Teuruaa of Pa’s Nature Walks
The Bond Store Lifetime Achievement in Tourism Award – Robert Skews of Turama Pacific Travel Group
Air New Zealand Supreme Award Winner – Pacific Resort Group