1 Feb 2011

New Zealand provides aid to boost tourism in Tonga

8:07 am on 1 February 2011

New Zealand has committed around 3-point-8 million US dollars over three years to support the development of tourism in Tonga.

The aid funding will be distributed through Tonga's Ministry of Tourism.

The money is earmarked to help improve marketing, especially to the Australian and New Zealand markets, and to go towards improving the standard of accommodation.

Funds will also be set aside for developing and improving key tourism sites, and for hospitality training and mentoring.

The New Zealand High Commissioner in Nuku'alofa, Jonathan Austin, says Tonga has untapped tourism potential.

"It's a part of the Pacific which isn't as visited as it could be, and people who come to Tonga really enjoy seeing as the Tongans say, the real Polynesia. And we'd like to encourage more tourists to come here and to help Tonga develop its industry. Our experience is that tourism brings real benefits for ordinary people and it spreads those benefits around the country."