Find Tourism and Travel partners in Tonga
The total contribution of the travel and tourism sector in Tonga was 13.2% in 2011 according to a World Travel and Tourism Council estimate (WTTC). Consequently the WTTC ranks Tonga 58th in the world (out of 181 countries) in terms of the relative contribution of tourism to GDP, only 0.8% less than the world average. This is expected to rise by around 2.5% by 2012. The industry is directly and indirectly supporting about 12.2% of total employment, a figure which is due to rise by 7.0% in 2012 and carry on rising to 2022 (2011). In real terms this means that the 4,000 jobs supported by the industry in 2011 would rise to 7,000 in 2022. In 2010 there were over 45,000 air visitors, along with around 900 yacht tourists in 2009. Visitor exports accounted for 49.1% of total exports in 2011, which was expected to grow in line with the development of the industry.
The Tonga Visitors Bureau is Tonga’s national tourist office run under the Ministry of Tourism. Tonga’s tourist industry was limited but it is now growing substantially, with tourist facilities and infrastructure being concentrated in and around the main island of Tongatapu. The main market is other Pacific islands, the United States, New Zealand and Australia which all offer direct flight to Tonga. Tonga was named the ‘Friendly Islands’ by Captain James Cook and their rich history and culture is a great attraction to tourists. They are the only Pacific Islands never colonised and still have a monarchy. Adventure and eco-holidays are very popular with a wide range of activities from whale spotting, sailing and fishing to surfing and trekking being the main focus of tourism marketing from the country. The Tonga Visitors Bureau has also been keen to put forward the family friendly nature of the islands’ resorts and markets it as a low cost way to discover the Pacific.
Investment in the travel and tourism sector in 2011 was TOP15.4mn, constituing 8.9% of total investment. This was expected to rise by 4.5% in 2012, and then continue to rise by 4.9% pa over the following ten years, reaching TOP26.0mn by 2022.