News Updates from the Tonga Visitors Bureau

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TONGA GOVERNMENT Nuku‘alofa, Tonga

New Release 11th October 2002

News Headlines:

SPTO (South Pacific Tourism Organisation) Regional Tourism Strategy Consultation Meeting, SPTO Headquarters, Suva, from the 18th-19th October 2002

Tourism and Air transportation regional meeting on ‘Connecting the Pacific Islands to enhance growth and development’ Noumea, 6th-7th November 2002

SPTO (South Pacific Tourism Organisation) Regional Tourism Strategy Consultation Meeting, SPTO Headquarters, Suva, from the 18th-19th October 2002

The SPTO Regional tourism strategy consultation meeting will take commence on the 18th-19th October 2002, at the SPTO Headquarters in Suva, Fiji.

This follows the directions implemented from the recently held Tourism Ministers meeting in Rarotonga on the 17th and 18th of September 2002, to continue further consultation meetings with stakeholders of tourism in the region prior to the finalisation of the Regional Tourism Strategy Report for further ratification by members.

To ensure its inclusion in the development plan and strategies for the region in the next few years, the Government of Tonga has approved the attendance of the Director of Tourism, Mr. Semisi Taumoepeau, at the consultation Meeting.

Further funding of the SPTO work programme will depend on the scope and outcome of the regional strategy report.

Tourism and Air transportation regional meeting on ‘Connecting the Pacific Islands to enhance growth and development’ Nouméa, 6th-7th November 2002

A Tourism and Air transportation regional meeting with the theme ‘Connecting the Pacific Islands to enhance growth and development’ will be held in Noumea, New Caledonia, on the 6th-7th November 2002.

In cooperation with planning regional strategies and cooperative programmes by Qantas and Air New Zealand to strengthen longhaul competitiveness, the meeting will attempt to work out achievable solutions for all stakeholders in the South Pacific.

Concurrently, Tourism promoters and stakeholders of the South Pacific need to be cooperative with regional carriers, given the heavy dependence of the tourism industry on the availability and sustainability of air services.

Air services play a significant role in the distribution of tourists throughout the region. In 2002, the SPTO (South Pacific Tourism Organisation) estimated an approximate of one million tourists visited SPTO countries by air. Tonga benefits with 4% from this regional traffic, that is, a total of 35,000 tourists.

For more information please contact:

Government Information Unit Prime Minister’s Office Nuku‘alofa TONGA Tel: (676) 24 644 Fax: (676) 23 888 Email: pmomail@pmo.gov.to or kmatotofine@pmo.gov.to  Website: www.pmo.gov.to 

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