The Tongan government has announced a 32 million US dollar project to reconstruct the capital's wharf in a bid to attract up to a 100 cruise ships a year to Nuku'alofa.
The Matangi Tonga website reports the Prime Minister Fred Sevele envisages a bustling tourist centre, which will include Vuna Wharf, a yachting marina, a shopping mall and the Royal Palace.
On Friday a sub-contracting agreement was signed between the China Civil Engineering and Construction Corporation and Fletcher Construction to dredge the entrance to the wharf and to reconstruct it.
The 6 million dollar extension of the Royal Palace has also been subcontracted to Fletcher Construction.
Dr Sevele says when Vuna wharf is completed in 2011, the palace will be part of the whole establishment.
Both projects will be funded from a 180 million dollar government loan from the Exim Bank of China for the reconstruction of Nuku'alofa.