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Cook Islands receives Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel Award

The Cook Islands have been awarded the “Best in Travel” for 2022 from leading travel brand Lonely Plant. The announcement took place in October, 2021. Lonely planet is an established and recognized travel guide.

Outgoing Cook Islands Tourism Corporation Chief Executive Officer Halatoa Fua said when the country’s borders closed in 2020 to prevent Covid-19 from entering, the island nation shifted its focus to initiatives and programmes that ensured their primary industry would be ready to welcome visitors back after an extended break, but this time with the advantage of a little more foresight.

“We are honoured to be recognized as the number 1 country to visit in 2022 and receive this accolade from Lonely Planet. The recognition has come as we continue to prepare and look forward to welcoming visitors back to our little piece of paradise and a time when we can once again share our authentic culture and pristine environment.” Mr. Fua said.

The “Best in Travel” award, which was initially known as Lonely Planet’s Bluelist, is entering its 17th year. The judging process begins with a vast, global network of Lonely Planet staff, writers, bloggers, and partners creating a shortlist of destinations, from which a panel of travel experts selects the top countries, regions, and cities to visit the following year.

Recipients for the 2022 awards were selected based on their commitment to sustainability, community, and inclusivity in tourism; preparedness for welcoming visitors in 2022; and general appeal. Recently appointed Cook Islands Tourism Corporation Chief Executive Officer Karla Eggelton adds “Since opening our borders in January this year, we remain committed in delivering exceptional visitor experiences across all platforms.”

The selection panel considered such initiatives as Marae Moana, which became the world’s largest marine-protected area when it was signed into law in 2017, and the Mana Tiaki Eco Certification Programme, which accredits tourism operators based on the environmental sustainability of their practices.

Photo Credit: Cook Islands Travel | Cook Islands Recognised As #1 Country To Visit By Lonely Planet

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