Cooks Working On Improving Services For Chinese Tourists

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Tourism gradually increasing, need to tailor signage

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 8, 2015) – The Cook Islands Tourism Corporation says it's working on improving services for Chinese tourists, as visitor numbers from China gradually increase.

A total of 1025 visitors from China visited the Cook Islands in 2013, increasing to 1267 the year after, with that number expected to rise this year.

The chief executive of the Cook Islands Tourism Corporation, Halatoa Fua, says the goal is to attract high-end Chinese travellers.

Mr Fua says they are doing their best to improve on challenges like ensuring Chinese tourists to access mobile roaming.

"Chinese visitors, when they get here, they'd like to get onto their mobile roaming straight away. The telecommunications company here does not have a roaming agreement with the mobile service providers in China. If we can't get this sorted at their level, then we'll probably take it up to the political level and see if they can facilitate this."

Halatoa Fua says there needs to be more signs in Chinese and food choices better tailored to Chinese tastes.

Mr Fua says as a market, China sits well with the Cook Islands.

"Manily because the low and shorter season sits around the high season of travel for the Chinese, especially around the Chinese New Year in February. So February is one of the lowest month of visitors to the Cook Islands, hence a strategy to increase visitors from China during that month is quite fruitful for us."

Halatoa Fua says an Air New Zealand safety video filmed in the Cook Islands, as well as a photoshoot with a Chinese celebrity, has also helped raise the country's tourism profile in China.

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