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Tonga tourism sector given ambitious targets

Tonga's government has doubled the earnings goals for the tourism sector in the hope that it will play a bigger part in building a strong economy.

The government's Tourism Roadmap 2014 had aimed for tourism income to reach US$45 million or 30 percent of GDP by the year 2020.

However, the Ministry of Tourism says that target has almost been met already so the target has been adjusted to at least US$90 million per annum.

The new target was given at an industry retreat this month.

CEO Fekita 'Utoikamanu says there are still a lot of improvements that can be made in the tourism industry.

“There are some areas that we are looking at changing some legislation to facilitate easier access of tourists in some areas,” said ‘Utoikamanu.

She added that Tonga tourism is looking at strengthening niche markets and developing niche markets rather than focusing on mass tourism.

Whale-watching,  looking at in the area of meetings and conferences, which is MICE [Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Events] tourism, destination weddings and some other water sports activities, including diving are some niche markets Tonga Tourism is planning to look at said ‘Utoikamanu.

She said the tourism industry has been rather stagnant so it's an attempt to see how things could work out.

Photo: Panoramio / GoogleMaps
Source: Radio New Zealand
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