12 Dec 2006

Tourism operators kick-off a major marketing campaign to promote Tonga

11:25 am on 12 December 2006

Tourism operators are to kick-off a major marketing campaign to promote Tonga as again being a safe destination following last month's riot.

According to a government survey 143 businesses were damaged in the riot, and a major clean-up and rebuilding effort is underway.

The police continue to investigate the riot and have now arrested more than six hundred people and are holding over a hundred in custody.

However the visitor's bureau marketing director, Sione Moala, is confident that Tonga is now safe for holiday makers.

"We don't wait until it is rebuild. About eighty percent of businesses are OK. We are talking about hundred and eighty rooms affected out of eight hundred. So we can't wait until it is rebuild."

He says domestic and international airlines and the public transport system are all fully operational.