Cook Islands News

Winners of the 2018 Air New Zealand Cook Islands Tourism Awards

Alastair Blount | Cook Islands Sun | 25th October 2019

Cook Islands smartest and brightest were celebrated on Friday 20 April at the 2018 Air New Zealand Cook Islands Tourism Awards held at the National Auditorium in Avarua. 

The 2018 Tourism Awards recognised those in the tourism industry that have shown business initiative, excellence, and dedication to quality.

Organised by the independent Cook Islands Tourism Industry Council, the awards are given in three sections: the Special Awards category, the Business Category Awards, and Special Individual Awards.

With almost eighty entrants the two New Zealand-based judges, both industry professionals, visited the Cook Islands in February to interview the 27 finalists in Business Category Awards.

Chair of the awards organising committee, Adrian Hopwood, said there was stiff competition, and that all entrants and finalists should be congratulated.

“The winners in all three sections were revealed for the first time on Friday night, with some surprises on the winner’s list.

“It is especially good to see emerging businesses on the winners list; explore.com not only won the Marketing Award, the judges selected them for the ultimate accolade to receive the Air New Zealand Supreme Award.”

Sponsors

Gold: Bank of the Cook Islands, Bluesky, BSP, CITC, Cook Islands Tourism

Bluesky People’s Choice Award: 
Te Vara Nui Village

Pitt Media Group Family Friendly Award: 
Pacific Resort Rarotonga

Cook Islands News Business Sustainability Award: 
Cook Islands Holiday Villas

CITC Culture Award: 
Highland Paradise Cultural Centre

BSP Business Excellence Award: 
Pacific Resort Aitutaki

Bank of the Cook Islands Adventure/Eco Tourism Award: 
Storytellers Eco Cycle Tours

Outstanding Contribution to Tourism Award: 
Jack Cooper

Supreme Award: Air New Zealand Supreme Award: explore.com

 


 

Cook Islands News

Tourism Award win is testament to hard work

Friday April 27, 2018 Written by Rashneel Kumar Published in Economy

June Baudinet, centre, received the awards on behalf of Explore.com at the 2018 Air New Zealand Cook Islands Tourism Awards last Friday night.

Managing director of Explore.com, Brett Baudinet, says his company’s recent tourism awards are a testament to their hard work and commitment to the industry.

Explore.com, the online booking website, which aims to feature all forms of accommodation in the Pacific, from hotels to BnBs, won the Cook Islands Tourism Marketing and the Air New Zealand Supreme Award at the 2018 Air New Zealand Cook Islands Tourism Awards on Friday last week.

June Baudinet, Brett’s mother, accepted both awards on behalf of Explore.com.

Brett, who is currently on a business trip in the United States with his wife Maya, said they were over the moon to receive these major awards.

“We are deeply honoured and proud of our accomplishments. These awards are a testament to our hard work over the past several years and our commitment to supporting and encouraging tourism in the Cook Islands as well as in the Pacific region as a whole,” Brett said.

“These awards have shown us the amazing support we have from our Cook Islands Tourism industry partners, which is incredibly encouraging for myself and my team.

“We couldn’t have done it alone, so we thank all of our partners and our team across the Pacific region and New Zealand.”

Brett said such recognitions encourage them to further invest in the business to improve their service in the Cook Islands and the region.

“These awards have already helped elevate us, as we secure further partnerships here in Silicon Valley, where we are working this week,” he said.

“We are excited to bring these new technologies to the Cook Islands market soon through Explore.com and Jasons South Pacific.”

Explore.com works in synergy with its parent company, Jasons Travel Media.

Jasons, a marketing company that specialies in South Pacific visitor maps, guide books and online digital marketing, assists in the marketing of Explore.com to travellers, and has been around for the past 51 years.

 


 

Cook Islands News

Awards celebrate tourism’s best

Monday April 23, 2018 Written by Published in Culture

Queen’s Representative Tom Marsters (left) Tuaine Marsters, Lady Raewyn Henry, Sir Graham Henry, New Zealand High Commissioner Peter Marshall, Pamela Marshall, Air New Zealand Chief Revenue Offi cer Cam Wallace, Air New Zealand Regional general manager Leanne Geraghty, Teupoko Glassie and health minister Nandi Glassie. PHOTO: Creators Hype. 18042205

This year’s Air New Zealand Cook Islands Tourism Awards created an outstanding event, with a large crowd turning out to honour those who deliver excellence in the tourism industry.

Guest speaker, former All Blacks coach Sir Graham Henry was a star attraction who more than delivered with his entertaining speech.

CINews presents pictures of some of the action from Friday night – and there’s more to come, later this week.

Results:

Special Awards: Bluesky Emerging Tourism Leader Award - On the Beach (OTB) Restaurant & Bar,

Bluesky People’s Choice Award - Te Vara Nui Village,

Pitt Media Group Family Friendly Award - Pacific Resort Rarotonga,

Cook Islands Sun Social Media Guru Award - Ikurangi Eco Retreat,

Cook Islands News Business Sustainability Award - Cook Islands Holiday Villas,

Ministry of Cultural Development Pa Enua Award - Punarei Culture Tour and Heritage Trust Aitutaki

Business Category Awards: CITC Culture Award - Highland Paradise Cultural Centre, C

ITC Environment Award - Ikurangi Eco Retreat,

BSP Business Excellence Award - Pacific Resort Aitutaki,

BSP Employer of the Year Award - Edgewater Resort & Spa,

Bank of the Cook Islands Adventure/Eco Tourism Award - Storytellers Eco Cycle Tours,

Bank of the Cook Islands Visitor Experience/Customer Care Award - Koka Lagoon Cruises,

Cook Islands Tourism Community Development Award - Bank of South Pacific (BSP),

Cook Islands Tourism Marketing Award - explore.com.

Special Individual Awards: Outstanding Contribution to Tourism Award - Jack Cooper,

Lifetime Achievement in Tourism Award - Des Eggelton.

Supreme Award: Air New Zealand Supreme Award - explore.com 

 


 

Cook Islands News

Tourism celebrates ‘smartest and brightest’

Monday April 23, 2018 Written by Published in Culture

Aunty Lydia Nga (left) and Aunty Nane Papa (right) lead Sir Graham Henry onstage at the glittering Air New Zealand Cook Islands Tourism Awards, held at the National Auditorium on Friday night. More photos and results, pages 8&9. PHOTO: Creators Hype. 18042204

The Cook Islands’ smartest and brightest were celebrated on Friday April 20 at the Air New Zealand Cook Islands Tourism Awards, held at the National Auditorium.

The 2018 Tourism Awards recognised those in the tourism industry who have shown business initiative, excellence, and dedication to quality.

Organised by the Cook Islands Tourism Industry Council, the awards are given in three sections: the Special Awards, the Business Category Awards, and the Special Individual Awards. A total of 80 entered the awards.

The two independent New Zealand-based judges, both industry professionals, visited the Cook Islands in February to interview the 27 finalists in Business Category Awards. Awards organising committee chairman, Adrian Hopwood, said all entrants and finalists should be congratulated.

“The winners in all three sections were revealed for the first time, with surprises on the winner’s list rewarding some of the smartest and brightest in the industry,” Hopwood said.

“It is especially good to see emerging businesses on the winners list, explore.com not only won the Marketing Award, the judges also selected them for the ultimate accolade to receive the Air NZ Supreme Award.”

 


 

Cook Islands News

Explore targets South Pacific travel

Monday July 10, 2017 Written by Published in Hot on the Rock

Explore.com owners Maya Carroll and Brett Baudinet, who are also Jasons South Pacifi c general managers, with their former graphic designer Tony Fe’ao. Jasons has made a signifi cant progress under the ownership of TikiTour. Now they are hoping for the same success with Explore.com. 17070677

A local boy has made good in a big way with the first ever South Pacific focused online travel agency - Explore.com!

Founder and managing director Brett Baudinet has always been an ideas man, always thinking of new ideas and how to implement them.

Having been around the travel and hospitality business his entire life, it was a natural fit for Baudinet to start thinking about the impact of technology on the local tourism industry.

“After spending several years overseas, I saw how technology made everyone’s lives and their businesses run so efficiently,” Baudinet said in an email.

“I loved that concept and I’ve always enjoyed working with computers and information technology.

“I started building websites 15 years ago and it’s just evolved from there. So when I moved back to the island five years ago, I instantly saw so many opportunities to help local business through technology.”

The idea for Explore.com (formerly TikilTour.com) was born of interactions with tourists, who had to go to various websites to book accommodation, travel and activities.

This is where Explore.com steps in, providing a streamlined process for those planning trips to the Cook Islands.

“I came up with this concept for a truly seamless booking experience. The vision is to walk the visitors through every step of their journey with a mobile app that sends notifications for upcoming tours and keeps them engaged through social media.”

Getting the site up and running involved a somewhat arduous two and a half years of work, due to the amount of planning that was invested in making sure Explore.com was a reputable online travel agency (OTA) with staying power.

Acquiring the domain Explore.com was a crucial part of this, as it provides a way to stand out amongst the crowd to international viewers, says Baudinet.

“To compete against well-recognised brands such as Booking.com and AirBnB.com, this was a strategic move to build trust and recognition with travellers browsing for booking options online.”

Brett wasn’t the sole undertaker of the ambitious project, receiving a great deal of help from his wife Maya, who has a degree in journalism and advertising.

Before joining Brett in Rarotonga, Maya worked at large ad firms in Chicago, helping global brands like McDonald’s with their marketing strategies and creative communications.

The immediate goal for Explore.com is to recruit over 500 partners from around the South Pacific, so that any visitors will have a great variety of options to choose from.

Achieving this goal would be a great accomplishment for Baudinet, who is incredibly proud that his local business could have an impact on people around the world.

“We are from the Pacific and we understand the Pacific.

“We’re very proud to represent the Pacific and to have our business based here in Rarotonga!”

 


 

Cook Islands News

Explore.com - We are live in the Cook Islands

Published by  Rohit Rex at  July 26, 2017

TikiTour.com are proud to announce that they have rebranded as Explore.com. Why the switch? Explore.com carries greater recognition globally, with ‘Explore’ you think, adventure, journey, discovery, already you associate Explore.com with travel. To add further legitimacy to their brand, securing the .COM domain was an important step to catapult their brand awareness with the international traveller. To compete against well-recognized brands such as Booking.com and AirBnB.com, this was a strategic move to build trust and recognition with travelers who are browsing for booking options online.

Explore.com caters to all accommodation types, from your spare room, all the way through to the big resorts, luxury villas, and everything in between. They aim to be the most comprehensive source for accommodation in the South Pacific, and through Explore.com, want to give our South Pacific family the exposure you deserve, as with other OTA’s, the South Pacific is under represented, and being the first OTA that is owned and operated in the Cook Islands, and the region, they aim to share the many South Pacific Stories through their website – Explore.com.

With tourism visitors at an all time high, prospering as an accommodation provider shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg, and offer the lowest commission rate around; with rival OTA’s charging between 15% – 30%, our commission rate is just 10%.

As an introductory special, enjoy a $500 CREDIT for all bookings sent to you, if you activate your listing by Wednesday 26th July! So we encourage you to signup today and get a head start straight away.

To sign up – just visit www.Explore.com, and at the top right corner of the page, click the green – LIST YOUR PROPERTY button.

Explore.com also featured in BCI’s Business Report segment on Cook Islands Television, if you missed it – you can watch the interview right here.

For more information about Explore.com, do not hesitate to email sales@explore.com, or call +68222088.