AMERICAN TRAVEL AGENTS VISIT TONGA

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Eleven-member group on familiarization tour

NUKUALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, March 14, 2008) – An 11-member group of North American travel agents arrived in Tonga on March 13 on a six-day familiarization tour of the Kingdom.

The group will visit various islands resorts and tourist attractions in Tongatapu and Vava'u.

In Tongatapu they will visit Fafa and the Royal Sunset Island Resorts. In Vava'u they will tour Neiafu and visit the islands of 'Euakafa, Ovaka and Vaka'eitu.

The visit, the first by North American travel agents in more than a decade, was made possible by the Tonga Ministry of Tourism, and Air New Zealand's Lost Angeles Office.

Edgar Cocker, Director of Tourism, said in a statement that the familiarisation visit was a direct result of the Ministry's participation at the South Pacific Fest-40 (SPF-40) in Los Angeles in October last year.

"It is vital for the Kingdom to host agents on trips such as this, as it enables them to update their product knowledge and experience Tonga first hand, thus effectively promoting Tonga as a peaceful and attractive tourist destination".

The six-days visit is jointly hosted by Air New Zealand, Airlines Tonga, the Ministry of Tourism, and the Tonga and Vava'u Tourist Associations.

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