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“Tonga Launches New Tourism Marketing Campaign
Tonga launches a new tourism marketing campaign in New Zealand and Australia on 12 May, featuring advertising on television and outdoor billboards in New Zealand, and online advertising for both countries. Using the tagline “the True South Pacific”, the campaign has been designed to show the unique aspects of Tonga and the wide range of holiday options available across the 176 islands that make up Tonga. Running through May and June, the campaign will raise awareness and offer holiday options just as Kiwis and Aussies make decisions about their winter South Pacific holidays.
Tonga’s Minister for Commerce, Tourism and Labour, Hon Dr Viliami Latu said it was an exciting time for Tonga’s tourism sector, and this new campaign demonstrated the Tongan government’s commitment to boosting tourism development. “Tourism is our government’s top priority for economic development and the potential here is vast. But recent market research shows awareness of Tonga as a holiday destination is relatively low, so investing in this profile-building campaign is an essential part of our plans to boost tourism growth”, he said
Dr Latu said over the past two years Tonga had been working hard on tourism development, with the support of the New Zealand Aid Programme and the campaign was a further step-up in activity. “We have focused on improving the quality of the visitor experience, and now have an accommodation grading scheme, Tonga Mark, to give assurance to visitors and to travel agents who sell Tonga holidays he said. This year we will extend the grading scheme into transport, taxis and attractions. A new domestic airline, Real Tonga, has commenced operations and is slowly expanding services to the Outer Islands.
“A variety of changes are being put in place to improve Tonga’s efficiency in managing tourism and to make Tonga a more attractive destination. We are in the middle of developing a Tourism Roadmap, to direct the development of tourism over the next 10 years, and this project is due for completion by June. We are about to pass new regulations to better manage the whale watch sector. Tonga is one of only three countries in the world where visitors can swim with whales so it is vital we manage the visitor experience well and protect the whales themselves. Legislation controlling marriage was also being investigated to see if we can make things easier for visitors and open up the weddings market for Tonga.
Dr Latu said that access to Tonga was easy and inexpensive. “With a flight time of 2 hours 45 minutes Tonga is the closest Pacific destination to New Zealand, and is only a 4 hour direct flight from Australia. Tonga is not as developed as some other South Pacific countries, so we offer visitors a truly authentic South Pacific experience he said. The campaign will show those unique sides of Tonga and will also offer holiday packages at a great price he said.