As Air New Zealand is phasing out their 767 fleet their Rarotonga-Los Angeles route will be upgrading to the 777-200s in 2015. This upgrade will potentially grow visitor numbers from the United States as the new planes have a 30% greater seat capacity.
This is fantastic news for locals and those of us working in the tourism industry in the Cook Islands. Tourism is the single biggest foreign exchange earner for the Cooks, representing almost 70 per cent of our GDP. The tourism industry supports local growers, shops, businesses, restaurants, accommodation providers and more.
In 2013 Air New Zealand said it carried about 200,000 people to Rarotonga from Auckland, Sydney and Los Angeles. Of these passenger numbers it is estimated about 7,500 came from Northern America, so with the larger capacity planes this number could increase to nearly 10,000 in 2015/16, along with an expected increase in visitor numbers from New Zealand and Australia.
Rarotonga and the Cook Islands are a truly unique destination. Unlike the more populated islands of Hawaii, here you will find almost deserted stunning beaches, quiet roads (there are only 2), and laid back friendly locals who are always smiling and are happy to share stories about their Island paradise.
At Rumours Luxury Villas and Spa you can stay in first class luxury accommodation right on the waterfront, with your own pool, spa and beach to relax on. We often have special deals for visitors staying more than 3 nights, and package deals that include a visit to our award winning Day Spa, airport transfers, complimentary car hire, meals and more.