8 Jan 2015

Calls for new Tonga government to save tourism

2:01 pm on 8 January 2015

The Tonga Tourism Association is calling on the new government to help grow the industry, which it says has stagnated because of the previous government's lack of action.

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Photo: RNZ

Its president, Saia Moehau, says the former government had weak tourism policies and did not effectively work with the sector.

Mr Moehau says the government must form a stronger partnership with the private sector for the tourism industry to grow and the economy to strengthen.

"The previous government, it has just been talking, talking, no action. Most of the tourism businesses are going almost underwater right now, because there are so many problems, interest payments in the banks are too high and most of them cannot afford. The last government, they didn't really care about the tourism industry."

Saia Moehau is also asking the government to appoint a new tourism minister.

He says while he respects the newly appointed Dr Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa, he does not have any experience in the tourism sector.

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