6 Feb 2017

Tonga's tourism sector raises goals

4:17 pm on 6 February 2017

Tonga's tourism sector has been given the goal of earning the country at least $US90 million a year by 2020.

Sun sets behind Tonga Island in the Abel Tasman National Park.

Photo: RNZ / Tracy Neal

The government's Tourism Roadmap 2014 had aimed for hitting the $US45 million mark, or 30 percent of GDP by then, but the Ministry of Tourism says that goal has almost been achieved and a new one is needed.

CEO Fekita 'Utoikamanu said the new target was given at an industry retreat.

Ms 'Utoikamanu said the government is now working on rebranding, boosting hotel occupancy rates which are below 50 percent and concentrating on developing niche markets.

"Whale-watching is an important one, a growing one for Tonga. And then we are also looking in the area of meetings and conferences, which is most tourism. And then we are also looking at destination weddings and some water sports activities, including diving."

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