The head of Tonga's Tourism Authority says he hopes the creation of a local heritage society will lead to better preservation of historical sites.
The Tonga Heritage Society had its first meeting last week amid concerns that developments were being proposed for significant histoical sites.
The TTA has begun focusing on promoting the local culture and heritage to visitors.
The acting General Manager Owen Pau'u says the new society will help the change in focus.
"That's really encouraging for me. From the work that I do, it's very encouraging because that means that there are a lot of people out there taking it seriously to the point that they are formalising groups that advocate in preserving the cultural and heritage sites."