The corporation, which has facilitated workshops with Air BnB and Expedia, will today facilitate a formal presentation from Booking.com to the tourism industry and community partners. Cook Islands Tourism director of sales and marketing Karla Eggelton said these digital platforms continue to make real gains in market share against traditional selling channels.
In particular, she said they were widely used by wholesalers and travel agents in the industry.
“The e-commerce and digital business continues to grow exponentially. It is the way of the future and for tourism, it is no different,” Eggelton said.
“Booking.com is one of the biggest and most widely recognised travel brands globally. It is focused on selling accommodation direct to the consumer using a digital platform.
“Whether we like it or not, we need to embrace this change and capitalise on the opportunity.”
Eggelton said both Air BnB and Expedia – also large contributors to Cook Islands visitor business – have been to Rarotonga in the past month to execute their workshops.
She said it was important to ensure Booking.com avail themselves to the industry too.
“While there are a lot of companies that are already engaging in this space, we want to ensure everyone – including new, existing and intending holiday home and accommodation owners – are given the opportunity to learn more,” said Eggelton.
“Booking.com is here to do just that. It is extremely crucial that those accommodators wanting to gain direct business and not be left behind come to these workshops and determine for yourself its fit with your business. Everyone is most welcome.”
The Booking.com workshop to be held at the Edgewater Resort conference room will start at 8am.
Company account manager for the Cook Islands, Guillaume Wolf, will provide an introduction followed by a digital marketing update by Eggelton.
The Booking.com team will wrap up the presentation by showing new and prospective partners how to improve their listings and understand the services available.