This one comes to ITKT via the Cook Islands Tourism Corporation. As with many of the releases we get, readers should be wary of the fantastical language tourism boards and pr firms use to promote their homes and clients, but the news is always reliable — it has to be. I chose this release because I seldom hear from the Cook Islands, which means most travelers hear about them even less. This is a good opportunity to get the Cooks on the radar for a possible vacations. A fellow travel writer and friend lived there for several years and loved the place. I have yet to make it there. Now for the news…
Editor ITKT

With three prestigious accolades, the idyllic South Pacific islands of the Cook Islands (www.cookislands.travel) have come up on top at the World Travel Awards held in Sydney on 10th June 2008. Recognised for its outstanding beauty, One Foot Island, or Tapuaetai Motu on Aitutaki, has been crowned as having ‘Australasia’s Leading Beach’. Awarding the outstanding Polynesian accommodation, Pacific Resort Aitutaki has won ‘Australasia’s Leading Resort’ and ‘Cook Islands Leading Resort’ and Little Polynesian has the title of ‘Cook Islands Leading Boutique Hotel’.

These accolades firmly position the Cook Islands as one of Australasia’s and the World’s finest holiday destinations. One Foot Island or Tapuaetai Motu is a must on visitor’s itinerary when holidaying in Aitutaki. With glittering stretches of pure white sand and Aitutaki’s pristine turquoise lagoon packed with an abundance of marine life, it is a paradise that should be on everyone’s list to visit in their lifetime.

Aitutaki’s beauty is also supported with Pacific Resort Aitutaki (www.pacificresort.com) winning both the Australasia and Cook Islands leading resort award for the second year running. It has held the ‘Australasia’s Leading Boutique Hotel’ title since 2007 and ‘Cook Islands Leading Resort’ since 2006 and it also was a finalist in 2007 for the ‘World’s Leading Boutique Hotel’. A member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World Collection, Pacific Resort Aitutaki is perfect for the most discerning traveller, with 27 absolute beachfront bungalows, suites and villas which all have a personal view of Aitutaki’s stunning lagoon.

Winner of the ‘Cook Islands Leading Boutique Hotel’, the Little Polynesian’s (www.littlepolynesian.com) beachfront and garden thatched Ares (bungalows) ooze Polynesian charm and utilise traditional Polynesian methods of construction and design. Delicate and intricate weaving from Mangaia (an island in the Cook Islands) called ‘Sennit’ is beautifully crafted over mahogany beams and brings Polynesian tradition into the forefront of design. Guests can relax by the stunning infinity pool and eat gastronomic wonders from the chef – Carlos Bachler.

The World Travel Awards are the most comprehensive and prestigious in the global travel industry. Established in 1993 and hailed by the Wall Street Journal as the ‘Travel industry’s equivalent to the Oscar’s’, they seek to acknowledge and celebrate excellence in the world’s travel and tourism industry. With thousands of votes cast by travel professionals from travel agencies in over 190 countries across the globe, winning a World Travel Award has become one of the highest accolades a travel product can receive. Nominations are based on the previous year’s voting and recommendations made by travel industry professionals. Please see its website for further details www.worldtravelawards.com.

Cook Islands Tourism Corporation would like to congratulate all winners and nominees for recognition in these world-renown awards!

For further information on the Cook Islands visit www.cookislands.travel