With a collection of world-class resorts in the Cook Islands, Pacific Resort Hotel Group is an industry leader in running upscale boutique resorts in remote locations.
Having been recognised on a number of occasions by the World Travel Awards, the brand is considering potential expansion plans while also looking to China for potential growth. Here Breaking Travel News finds out more.
Breaking Travel News: Could we begin with a brief overview of the properties presently operated by the Pacific Resort Hotel Group? What is on offer from the brand?
Marcus Niszow: Pacific Resort Hotel Group owns and manages a collection of three award-winning properties in the Cook Islands, each offering a unique holiday experience to our clientele.
Pacific Resort Rarotonga is Rarotonga’s premiere boutique accommodation, situated on 5.5 acres of pristine beachfront grounds right on the famous Muri Beach.
The property features 64 tastefully decorated studios, suites and villas to suit every need and is the ideal location to explore the legendary beauty of Rarotonga.
Te Manava Luxury Villas & Spa offers luxury accommodation for the most discerning traveller.
The property offers 13 stunning one, two or three bedroom villas that are completely self contained – perfect for families looking to spend quality time together, couples travelling together as a group, or couples on a romantic escape from the hectic pace of day-to-day life.
Pacific Resort Aitutaki, the jewel in the PRHG crown, is one of the world’s most secluded boutique island resorts.
Each of the resort’s 27 beachfront bungalows, villas and suites are beautifully decorated and appointed with high quality luxury amenities that illustrate exactly why Pacific Resort Aitutaki is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World.
BTN: Is the portfolio of properties complete? Are there plans in place for any further expansion moving forward?
MN: We certainly have plans for expansion in the future.
Having owned and managed resorts in the Cook Islands for the best part of three decades, we have considerable experience running upscale boutique resorts in remote locations.
As a growing South Pacific boutique resort management company, we feel that we have the right formula to successfully operate in the South Pacific.
We currently have a number of management and partnership agreements in the pipeline that will likely come to fruition sometime in 2015/16.
Furthermore we are in the process of completing feasibility on upgrades and expansion of our existing resorts.
BTN: Where does Pacific Resort Hotel Group tend to welcome guests from? Is Australia your key source market? Is China growing in significance?
MN: PRHG welcomes guests from all over the world; however Rarotonga and Aitutaki’s source markets are quite different.
Our Rarotonga properties source 80 per cent of business from the New Zealand & Australian.
Pacific Resort Aitutaki is on the other hand has an equal share of business from Australia, New Zealand, Europe and North America.
We feel there is great potential for growth out of Australia and North America in the next 12-24 months, primarily due to increasing awareness and Air New Zealand’s direct services from Sydney and Los Angeles.
We are working closely with Cook Islands Tourism to ensure we engage with the general public and travel trade on a regular basis in these markets.
China is an emerging market for the Cook Islands and there is great potential, we are actively supporting Cook Islands Tourism with business development initiatives out of China.
This market is showing some encouraging signs with strong growth anticipated over the next five years from this region.
BTN: How has the market changed over the past 12 months? Do you feel a sense of optimism has returned to the hospitality sector during that time?
MN: The market certainly has changed globally in the last 12 months.
There is renewed economic optimism in North America and certain parts of Europe, long haul travel is improving and airline prices to the South Pacific are as reasonable as they have ever been.
Travellers are looking at exploring unknown destinations again, venturing outside their comfort zone and experiencing all the magic and allure Polynesia has to offer.
We have great confidence in our product offering backed with a long list of accolades to show for it, the Cook Islands in most cases is an unheard of remote location that few have ever thought of visiting and we believe this is an important unique selling point.
We are continually working on improving destination knowledge, awareness of our brand and making sure we offer competitive pricing and value for our customers.
Pacific Resort Hotel Group has been recognised by the World Travel Awards. Can you tell us how important these trophies are for the brand and you plan to leverage your relationship with World Travel Awards to the advantage of the group?
MN: Pacific Resort Hotel Group has been recognised by WTA as a leading regional player though its success in the awards program dating back to 2004.
We work hard to be market leaders not only within the Cook Islands travel industry but also on a regional South Pacific level.
The recognition provided by award programs such as the WTA provide our team with a great level of pride and reward for all the hard work we put towards providing an ultimate guest experience and continually improving our standards of service.
At Pacific Resort Hotel Group we aim to provide a ‘world class’ experience not just the best in the Cook Islands.
We feel the WTA program provides us with a solid independent barometer on our performance and success in achieving the high standards we strive to deliver.
There is more on Pacific Resort Hotel Group on the official website.
Interview: Chris O’Toole