6 Jul 2015

Tonga to triple tourism budget to expand industry

10:29 am on 6 July 2015

Tonga's Ministry of Tourism has new plans to triple it's current budget and expand its industry so it can increase it's capacity for visitors.

King's coronation festivities

King's coronation festivities Photo: RNZI/Indira Moala

An estimated 15,000 overseas visitors to the capital Nuku'alofa last week, meant that the industry was at full capacity.

Sione Moala Mafi, an executive at the Ministry of Tourism, says the government has decided that boosting the tourism industry will be the fastest way for Tonga's economic recovery.

Mr Mafi says the increase of the budget will be sought through aid donors and foreign investors.

"We are trying to open up the airlinks and even to attract investors. We don't have to build hotels ourselves. We can attract investors to build it for us. So we are looking at reclaiming some areas in the front harbour of Nuku'alofa and so that will be most appropriate for some of the, say, 5 star hotels to be built."