Survivor Swamps Cook Islands

The U.S. television reality show Survivor was filmed on Aitutaki recently, and on September 14th the first episode will be seen over CBS by millions of Americans. The show has provoked controversy after the 20 contestants were split into four racially-segregated tribes of Whites, Asians, Blacks, and Hispanics. General Motors has pulled their advertising off the show.

Of more significance to Cook Islands visitors is the fact that the Survivor hype has generated a flood of inquiries and advance bookings at many Cook Island resorts. Elliot Smith of Shangri-La Beach Cottages on Rarotonga reports that for some nights to May 2007 his "partial lagoon-view cottages" are already booked solid. It's mostly the island's middle and top end properties that are being booked out. The backpacker camps are never full.

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