News 21 Jun 2018
Malo ‘aupito to the Tongan Ministry of Tourism which successfully ran a great Tongan Tourism Product Update event on Monday June 18. The Kingdom of Tonga may have been severely struck by Cyclone Gita in February, but it hasn’t dampened the spirits of its local hotel, airline and whale swimming operators, whose presentations attested that the ‘Friendly Islands’ still has its paradise intact.
In fact it’s reflected in an increase in annual tourist numbers according to the latest SPTO (South Pacific Tourism Organisation) report. It showed visitor numbers of 59,130 in 2016, rising to 62,434 in 2017.
Tonga’s Ministry of Tourism CEO, Sione Finau Moala-Mafi, says Tonga is on its way to becoming the ideal holiday hotspot alongside neighbouring island nations Fiji and the Cook Islands because of its unique history of non-colonisation and its long-standing monarchy.
“Tonga is the only nation in the Pacific to have a monarchy and it has never been colonised,” he says. “As a result, Tonga is unspoilt and visitors, whether they come for a business trip or a holiday, will be able to experience the real South Pacific, from interacting with our people, to sight-seeing.”