TONGA TOURISM STRUGGLES WITH ROOM SHORTAGE

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Half of the country’s 880 hotel rooms are substandard

NUKUALOFA, Tonga (Radio Tonga News, Oct. 28, 2008) - One factor that affects tourism in Tonga is the insufficient capacity of rooms to accommodate foreign visitors.

Director of the Ministry of Tourism Edgar Cocker told Radio Tonga News that the current estimate amount of tourists arriving Tonga per week is more than a thousand, but accommodations with tourism business license can only provide 880 rooms.

Etika says fifty percent of those places are not quality rooms as expected by most visitors.

He also stated that the ministry has received complaints from tourists about those accommodations with no proper facility. It includes the bathroom, warm water, towels and bed sheets among other things.

Meanwhile, tourism director added that there was an increase in the number of air visitors to the kingdom during the first nine months of the year compared to the same time last year.

The Ministry of Tourism record shows that more than 34,000 tourists arrived in Tonga by plane. Most of them are from New Zealand and Australia.

Meanwhile, Tonga wants to negotiate the operation of Air New Zealand flights to the U.S. mainland. Air New Zealand has informed the governments of Tonga, Samoa and the Cook Islands that it will require subsidies to continue its weekly flights between Tonga, Samoa and Los Angeles and Rarotonga and Los Angeles next year.

Tonga Broadcasting Commission © Copyright by Tonga-broadcasting.com

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