Saturday, May 15, 2021
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Cook Islands To Welcome NZ Visitors With Open Arms


Cook Islanders are “waiting with open arms and big
smiles” to greet their first visitors in over a year, said
the General Manager of the Cook Islands Tourism Corporation
for Australasia, Graeme West.

Responding to today’s
announcement that quarantine-free travel between New Zealand
and the Cook Islands was starting on 17 May, Mr West said
this was long-awaited and very exciting news.

He said
that visitor numbers to the Cook Islands “hit zero” when
borders were closed in March 2020. “Because tourism is the
mainstay of our economy, this has caused significant
financial hardship for many people,” he said. ”We are
looking forward with much anticipation to welcoming Kiwis
back to our beautiful islands.”

Noting that New
Zealanders comprise two-thirds of all visitors to the Cook
Islands, Mr West said there was a special relationship
between the two countries. “Kiwis are always welcomed very
warmly and I think this will be even more evident as Kiwis
return to our tropical paradise. We’ll be doing everything
possible to ensure people have a fantastic holiday. We’re
ready to go and to showcase everything that we’re renowned
for – our warm tropical weather, stunning natural beauty,
friendliness and hospitality and our great
food.”

The Cook Islands is very fortunate to have
remained COVID-19 free and has made the health and wellbeing
of its citizens its top priority. Mr West said the safety
and wellbeing of visitors was also being taken very
seriously.

Contact tracing will play an important part
in ensuring that quarantine free travel continues; and
visitors will be encouraged to use Cooksafe and Cooksafe+ to
assist. The Cook Islands Tourism Corporation has also
produced a Cook Islands Promise, a short
list of what is needed to keep locals and visitors safe.
Information on this promise and FAQs detailing what
travellers need to know before departing NZ can be found on
www.cookislands.travel

Quarantine-free
travel

The new rules mean that people who have been
resident in NZ for the previous 14 days can travel to
Rarotonga and return home without having to isolate or
quarantine at either end of their trip. This travel corridor
is only open between NZ and the Cook Islands, and the Cook
Islands maritime border remains
closed.

© Scoop Media

 



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