The Ultimate Oceania Travel Guide

Is this the world’s best island destination?

Voted as the best island destination in Oceania, Aitutaki in the Cook Islands is now in the race to become the world’s best. The World Travel Awards (WTA) final edition will be held soon and winners from each of the region will go head to head to find out who is the best in the world.

Aitutaki won the “Oceania’s Leading Island Destination 2022” beating Bora Bora, French Polynesia which has held the title for the last three years.

Aitutaki is no stranger to the WTA, previously winning the titles of Australasia’s Leading Beach Destination 2012 and 2011, and Australasia’s Leading Beach 2008.

It is an “almost atoll”, with fifteen islets in a lagoon adjacent to the main island. Total land area is 18.05 km2 (6.97 sq mi), and the lagoon has an area of between 50 and 74 km2 (19 and 29 sq mi). A major tourist destination, Aitutaki is the second most visited island of the Cook Islands.

This is Aitutaki Oceania's best island destination. Picture Cook Islands Tourism
This is Aitutaki, Oceania’s best island destination. Picture: Cook Islands Tourism

Aitutaki’s jewel in the crown is no doubt its magnificent lagoon. Its most magical spots are on the remote islets at the lagoon’s edge. WTA is one of the most prestigious and comprehensive awards programmes in the global travel and tourism industry.

The awards aim to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the industry. The Cook Islands Tourism Corporation is looking forward to the WTA and believes this is their opportunity to shine at the world event.

Bungalows over the pristine lagoon. Picture Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island Resort
Voted as the best island destination in Oceania, Aitutaki in the Cook Islands is now in the race to become the world’s best. Picture: Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island Resort

“Tourism is currently the nation’s biggest earner and even with being Oceania’s best, we know people are curious to come over to Aitutaki,” said CITC’s Metua Vaiimene.

Cook Islands is quickly bouncing back as tourists return to the Polynesian state. Aitutaki is dwarfed by its vast lagoon, and offers gorgeous places to stay for all budgets, including the Cook Islands’ only overwater bungalows and many other boutique properties catering exceptionally well for honeymooners or the romantic at heart.

Family-friendly accommodation options are available, with stunning resorts and private villas dotted around the island providing the perfect escape and oozing a sense of casual luxury.

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