Mr Lolohea said the purpose of the Summits was to update those who sell Tonga and to provide information on future plans including the Tonga Tourism Support programme funded by NZAID, to discuss ways to gain higher profile for Tonga, to gain higher levels of sales and more visitors from the key markets of New Zealand and Australia.
‘We outlined our strategic direction, the latest market research findings on the Tongan holiday experience, our marketing programmes and new ways we can support those who create and sell holidays to Tonga. We then asked for their feedback; what they thought of Tonga as a destination, customer feedback they had received and where we could improve' said Sakopo Lolohea.
‘While the feedback gave us a clear message that there are areas where we need to improve both our profile and the quality of tourism experiences in Tonga, it's fair to say we had an extremely positive response about the growth potential Tonga has, and the new programmes we are rolling out.
We gave a clear message that tourism in Tonga is on the rise and we will generate much higher interest amongst travel consumers in the future. The travel trade in these key markets see that as a very positive move and clearly indicated they want to work with us more closely to sell holidays to Tonga', Mr Lolohea said.
Mr Lolohea said the Ministry of Tourism and private sector industry reps from Tonga had also met with key leaders in the Tongan Community in Sydney, to update them on the new programmes and to stress the importance of the VFR market. ‘Again we had an extremely positive response to our plans'.
‘The Tourism Summits were a key part of our current planning, the feedback gained was invaluable and our travel trade partnerships as well as our links to the Tongan communities in these markets have been much strengthened as a result', he said.
For more information contact:
Ministry of Tourism
Ministry of Tourism