2 Mar 2011

Missing out on Survivor prompts call for Tonga tourism upgrade

2:25 pm on 2 March 2011

An American-based Tongan society says Tonga needs to improve its outer island tourism infrastructure, if it is serious about growing the industry.

The comment follows a decision by the US Survivor reality TV show to drop plans to film on Vava'u island this year, citing inability to secure the necessary accommodation.

The U.S. National Tongan American Society executive director, Fahina Tavake-Pasi, says the government needs to invest more money in tourism and offer more options for tourist accommodation.

She says the Survivor opportunity would have had a huge flow on effect for Tonga's tourism industry.

"I really feel that's an area that Tonga gets to develop, to develop the infrastructure so that people can feel comfortable, and new business can come in. So that the country can flourish, so that the economy can grow. Not only that, but just the whole advertisement that Tonga would've gotten just by being on this show, would've been excellent for tourism."

Fahina Tavake-Pasi from the U.S. National Tongan American Society.