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Tonga

Nuku’alofa 

The Kingdom of Tonga - the True South Pacific is the last remaining Kingdom in Oceania. A sailor's paradise, it is spread out over 176 islands situated between Samoa and Fiji. The tourism outlook for Tonga remains bright. The tourism sector is currently underdeveloped but presents high potential with tourism arrivals growing from 45,000 in 2011 to more than 51,000 in 2012. The total contribution of Travel & Tourism to GDP was USD60mn (14.2% of GDP) in 2012. According to the WTTC, this is forecast to rise by 5.7% in 2013.

Cruise ship arrivals will contribute to growth in the coming years, thanks largely to the completion of a new wharf in Nuku'alofa in late 2012. Tonga is looking forward to the increased tourist numbers being brought in by the 17 cruise ships arriving in 2013.

In May 2013, Tonga launched a new tourism marketing campaign in New Zealand and Australia, featuring advertising on television, online, outdoor billboards and bus backs in New Zealand, as well as online advertising in Australia, promoting Tonga as 'the True South Pacific'.

Tonga is serviced by regular flights from New Zealand, Australia and Fiji, and has a government that is supportive of tourism. These factors provide a strong foundation for further investment in the sector. Despite its small size and relative isolation, an undersea cable linking the Kingdom with neighbouring Fiji will bring broadband services such as streaming video and high-speed Internet to the Tongan Islands in 2014. The government believes that the project will bring significant economic and social benefits once the cable is in place. Looking ahead, Tonga is presenting opportunities in the energy sector. Its Energy Roadmap is a multi-pronged strategy to reduce the country's heavy dependence on fossil fuels while making the shift toward renewable sources including solar, wind, tidal and non-conventional sources.

Tonga recently introduced a grading system for tourism accommodation. 'Tonga Mark' grades all tourism accommodation businesses annually in four categories; hotel, resort, apartment and guest house against internationally benchmarked quality criteria. Tonga also has the newest airline in the South Pacific region, Real Tonga Airlines which commenced services in March 2013. Real Tonga offers daily flights within Tonga's three main island groups and a weekly flight to the two Niuas.

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