Full Version: Tourism offers solutions to Tonga's economic problems
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30 Apr 2008, 12:22


Tourism is the ultimate answer to the Kingdom's economic problems, and I propose a simple strategy.

First, is that the government must take the lead and provide incentives for foreign investors to invest in the country. Paramount and a priority to these incentives are for the government to provide cheap taxes, to allow investors to own land and not leasing, and to cut down on government red-tapes.

Second, to rebuild all the road with proper storm water drainage system, to build a second international airport for Vava'u, and to develop more international resorts and hotels through out the kingdom.

In short, the government is to first legislate the laws and give incentives to foreign investors, and second, the investors will use their monies to rebuild the roads, airports, resorts and hotels, etc. The outcome is that local jobs will be created not only in the tourist industry, but in the building, transport, shops and supermarkets, cleaning, security, entertainment, handicrafts, farmers, fishing, and many others. Millions of tourists will bring with them million of dollars into the economy creating prosperity for the country and raising the standard of living for everyone.

We do not need exploration for oils and other minerals in our land and waters as there is no minerals or oils in our country, and will also harm the environment. The priority for the government and everyone is the economy, and not fighting over who is running the country.


Viliami Makasiale Naulu
Makasiale Naulu is correct in his postulation that "...Tourism is the ultimate answer to the Kingdom's economic problems, and I propose a simple strategy..."

Further Naulu has pointed out a number of very important barriers to foreign investment in Tonga which the government has been addressing for several years. I understand that World Bank has provided enormous assistance through the Ministry of Labour to examine the administrative barriers to foreign investment. The Foreign Investment Act was subsequently drafted and approved as part of the private sector reform objectives.

The Government of Australia pumped millions into Tourism for several years during the time of the former Director of Tourism, Semisi Taumoepeau followed by Vainga Palu.... But after several years and millions into tourism, Tonga's holiday website was ranked second last to the Solomon Islands....

A review of the tourism sector project concluded that tourism at the community level is more appropriate for Tonga, for many reasons, infrastructural development limited, and the high category visitors are not attracted to Tonga because of the flights into tonga are limited, if not inconvenient the restriction on sundays and so forth.

See Naulu, if you have a leader who do not listen, you do not the development aspiration of the people !

What Naulu is reiterating has been discussed and discussed. But see Naulu, tourists are not going to flow into Tonga if the confidence in the industry is sliding...And see, Naulu, leadership, who is running the country is critical to development. You have a corrupt leader, you have no investment in the country, no investment in the infrastructure requiring tourism development. Tax incentives, if not properly designed and implemented, will only make the rich get richer and the poor get poorer...

Naulu may wish to reexamine the fundamentals of his proposal. First, get rid of the current TOurism Minister and his CEO. Their recent charade, their inability to sort out their differences has costed the country's tourism industry. All you have to do is askthe tourist operators their occupancy rate since the corruption allegation against the Tourism Minister.

So Naulu your text book theory on developing tourism is lopsided. If you read the national plan 8, you will see that tourism is the sector of hope...But what has Sevele done about it. He has retained a corrupt Minister who has lost the confidence of his staff and the industry. He has taken advantage of tourism development by getting himself involved at a personal on the Taunga resort, which will only benefit a few.

Your argument also tell me nothing about the capacity of Tonga to take in millions, and if millions come in, at the expense of what and whom ?

Perhaps you should go and try working in the Ministry of Tourism and add your experience to the text book jargon you have have regurgitated....
Hey guys, are you sure that any future financial contribution to Ministry of Tourism will go to the Ministry or Minister Fineass's personal bank account. Well, it is such a worry aaay!
We all know this is true, BUT, Tonga needs the infrastructure to support a tourism industry. The current government does not have the intellect, integrity, creativity, financial backing to push for a successful tourism campaign that will not only lure tourists, but give an incentive to return. There's also a lack of enthusiasm to maintain Tonga's historical landmarks. The Ha'amonga and historical langi's are unkempt. Seems like there is more emphasis on Tonga's modern history _i.e. Christianity and the current royals) and meanwhile, Tonga's past, specifically the Tu'i Tonga landmarks, are ignored. These are the things that make Tonga unique.
Masi'i Naulu, 'oku ke 'uhinga mai koe ke fakamu'omu'a e saliote he hoosi. 'Uluaki fai e liliu he ka 'ikai he 'ikai siva'u ha feinga langa ia he founga pule he taimi ni. Liliu ki he temokalati kae siva'u e langa faka'ekonomika. Kuo lea mai e kakai he fili ne toki 'osi koe liliu ke fai leva. Ki'i holomu atu koe 'o malolo pe he tafa'aki moe ta'emahino.
The priority for the government and everyone is the economy, and not fighting over who is running the country.

He'ikai keu toe lave au kihe konga 'uluaki 'oe tohi 'a Maka..ka teu ki'i lave atu pee he 'ene fo'i laini ko 'ena 'oku ou 'oatu 'i 'olunga..Maka how in the blue hell will the economy be our first priority when the leaders act in such evil and corrupt doings..We can only give out and present to the government the best input we can ever think of..but will they listen?..Hell no !!! Why? It's a disease that has been with the government for centries now..They just won't barge... to you me..or anyone else.
Maka i suggest you need to try and solve the problem right from its core and don't copy xxxx from the local paper..
Kou 'ilo'i lelei 'e au koe nofo 'i Sydney pea 'i he malumalu 'oe tui fakatemokalati...ka mou kei ta'emahino pee..'Oku fiema'u ke mou alasi ee fu'u fo'i hangatamaki tangilengila 'o Sesele ke fai mo paa..pea mou toki tohi mai leva 'o fai mai ho'o mou valivali ko 'ena 'oku fai..
'Uluaki fiema'u ke liliu ee founga taki kae toki lava leva ee 'uu fakakaukau ko 'ena Maka he ko 'ene tu'u he taimi ni ka 'ikai fai mo fakahoko ee liliu...Mahalo te tau 'ikonomika 'aki ee Yen 'a Siaina...
Tonga is years and years away from ever having a successful tourism industry. First, it does not understand the industry. Second, Tonga lacks the infastructure necessary to develop a successful tourism business. Third, there is way too much corruption in government to ever attract significant foreign investment. Fourth, the legal system in Tonga does not support or provide adequate protection for investors. Fifth, Tonga does not enforce environmental or health laws which involves the future of the industry (as exemplified in Vava'u). Sixth, government never discusses tourism matters with existing investors to see what their needs are. Seventh, the tax laws of Tonga make it one of the worst Pacific Island nations to invest in. Eighth, air travel is too inconsistent for anyone to plan long range. Ninth, the international tourism industry has no faith in Tonga's tourism industry.

I could go on and on. I know form where I speak. I own the PAradise International Hotel in Vava'u.

'Ofa atu
If Tonga wants to improve the Tourism Industry they need to look at these key components first and foremost:

1. Infrastructure
2. Cleanliness
3. Friendliness
4. Upgrade roads/streets/footpaths
5. Invest in stormwater/sewerage treatment
6. Health and hygiene
7. Increased services to meet needs/maintenance of/infrastructure
8. Increase business/Retail outlets/variety in shops
9. Improve standard of Talamanu market and public toilets
10. Public Museum
11. More public facilities for young people
12. Arts and culture
13. Easier access to country's most popular scenery
14. Avoid corruption in the govt as tourists need to trust the people they are dealing with.

Please feel free to add something on to this list.
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