The little white sandy island floating in the Pacific’s bluest blue Aitutaki in the Cook Islands is the best island destination in Oceania, according to World Travel Awards. Aitutaki outshined Bora Bora, French Polynesia which has held the title for the last three years.
Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island Resort managing director Tata Crocombe said it was a great recognition as resort occupancies have grown steadily since borders reopened in January this year.
“We are delighted at the growing global recognition of Aitutaki as a unique and special destination…other Aitutaki operators are near full occupancy on a fairly consistent basis,” Mr Crocombe said.
WTA is one of the most prestigious and comprehensive awards programmes in the global travel and tourism industry. Fiji was named as the best adventure tourism destination with adventure operators Sigatoka River Safari as the best adventure providers.
French Polynesia also walked away with the leading dive destination for the Oceania category.
Pacific Resort Rarotonga, Cook Islands took home the leading boutique resort while sister hotel Pacific Resort Aitutaki won the leading resort and The Brando, French Polynesia won Oceania’s Leading Private Island Resort category.
Pacific Resort Aitutaki chief executive officer Marcus Niszow said winning these awards of excellence is a testament to the dedication and professionalism of the team.
“All Pacific Resort Hotel Group properties are in the best shape ever thanks to the significant investment into product and people over the past year or two,” he said.
“During our COVID-19 border closures we made the most of the down time to complete renovation projects and upskill and train our staff.
“Since the reopening of our borders this investment has paid off and we are seeing record high levels of customer satisfaction at all our resorts in relation to our product, location and service.”
The Pacific Resort Hotel Group won five awards and was also recognised for their character infused resorts.
“These awards are proof of our award-winning standard of excellence which also helps provide our visitors with the reassurance that we are ready to welcome them to the Cook Islands for a quality stay experience,” Mr Niszow said.
The awards aim to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry.
The online voting process is open for a year, with voting open to qualified executives working within travel and tourism industries and consumer travel buyers. 2021 broke the record with 2.3 million votes cast.
List of 2022 winners – Oceania category
Airline 2022 – Air New Zealand
Airline Brand 2022 – Air New Zealand
Airline Lounge 2022 – Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge @ Melbourne Airport
Airport 2022 – Auckland Airport, New Zealand
Airport Hotel 2022 – PARKROYAL Melbourne Airport, Australia
Airport Lounge 2022 – Aspire Lounge Perth Airport Terminal 1 International, Australia
Boutique Airport Hotel 2022 – Airways Hotel Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
Boutique Hotel 2022 – Huka Lodge, New Zealand
Business Hotel 2022 – Hyatt Regency Sydney, Australia
Car Rental Company 2022 – Avis
Casino Resort 2022 – Crown Perth, Australia
City Destination 2022 – Melbourne, Australia
Conference Hotel 2022 – InterContinental Wellington, New Zealand
Cruise Line 2022 – Oceania Cruises
Destination 2022 – New Zealand
Destination Management Company 2022 – Oceania Travel Management
Executive Club Lounge 2022 – Club InterContinental @ InterContinental Wellington, New Zealand
Family Resort 2022 – The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort, French Polynesia
Green Hotel 2022 – Daintree EcoLodge & Spa, Australia
Hotel 2022 – Millbrook Resort, New Zealand
Hotel Brand 2022 – InterContinental Hotels & Resorts
Hotel Suite 2022 – Presidential Suite @ Tahiti Ia Ora Beach Resort – Managed by Sofitel
Inflight Magazine 2022 – Kia Ora Magazine (Air New Zealand)
Luxury Hotel Villa 2022 – The Residence @ The George Christchurch, New Zealand
Meetings & Conference Centre 2022 – Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Australia
Meetings & Conference Destination 2022 – Auckland, New Zealand
New Hotel 2022 – The Tasman, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Hobart, Australia
Serviced Apartment Brand 2022 – Quest Apartment Hotels
Tour Operator 2022 – Abercrombie & Kent
Tourism Winery 2022 – Jacob’s Creek, Australia
Tourist Board 2022 – Tourism New Zealand
Travel Agency 2022 – Flight Centre
Villa Resort 2022 Eagles Nest, New Zealand