May 26 2015.
As members of the public and tourism industry are aware, a two day “Tourism Industry Day – Consultation” was supposed to have been held in Nuku’alofa, Tonga from 21 and 22 May, 2015, but had been cancelled at very short notice. As a result of this, the Hon. Minister for Infrastructure, Mr. Etuate S. Lavulavu who was then, the Acting Minister for Commerce, Tourism and Labour apologises to all concerned for any inconvenience caused. However, he had not been informed of the decision to cancel the consultation, and was disappointed to learn that it had been cancelled. However, the Hon. Minister for Infrastructure stated that this Consultation Event was critically important for the Ministry’s (tourism) policy and planning for future growth and therefore will re-organise this event, the “Tourism Industry day” Consultation to be held in July this Year.
According to the Acting Chief Executive Officer for Commerce, Tourism and Labour, Mrs. Distaquaine Tuihalamaka, she had been directed by the substantive CEO, Vaimoana Taukolo to cancel the event. She advised that she had left the Kingdom on Tuesday, 19 May, but could be contacted should there be any enquiry on the cancellation.
The Hon. Minister for Infrastructure wishes to re-assure the public that his Ministry and the Ministry of Commerce, Tourism and Labour will work closely to ensure that there is a smooth transition for the official transfer of the Tourism Department to his Ministry on 1 June 2015. As of now, there is no change to staff, budget and resources. However, by 1 July there will be a new CEO position for Tourism to underpin the pivotal role tourism plays in the economic development of the country. The Corporate Plan that had been prepared by the Ministry of Commerce, Tourism and Labour will then be reviewed to be known as “TONGA TOURISM INNOVATION” for the next three years. The proposed revised plan will focus on eight issues that will boost Tonga’s tourism sector:
1. Tongan Culture and Tradition
3. Tongan Language and Art
4. Tongan Food and Dance
5. Swimming with the whales and Pristine beaches
6. Happy and Friendly People
7. Beatification and cleanliness
8. Ministry partnership with all stakeholders both local and abroad.
According to the Hon. Minister, Government has identified Tourism as one of the three priority sectors in addition to Agriculture and Fisheries. Government then, needs to work in strong partnership with the Tonga Tourism Authority, private sector and all stakeholders to boost this industry. The Ministry will also work hand in hand with its neighboring countries to boost the growth of the industry in the region. The performance of tourism has been disappointing in the past few years, but it could be Tonga’s No. 1 revenue earner. Visitors and cruise ship arrivals have not improved. There is a lack of “Tourism Innovation” and therefore Tonga needs to improve and modify her marketing approach. A Dancing Troupe/Floorshow will be performing at Fu’amotu International Airport starting on the 1st of June and at Lupepau’u Airport in November to welcome and farewell passengers to the Kingdom. Again, in November, there will be an air service between Nadi/Vava’u. However, the Ministry will continue to work and fulfill all requirements that will secure an air service for Apia/Tonga and Pagopago/Vava’u in the near future. The Lupepau’u airport will be upgraded and a new International Airport for Vava’u is on the pipeline.
Tonga needs to continue its cleaning up campaign and the beautification of Tonga, and ensure it is sustainable in the long term, and not just for special celebrations. A waterfall/Pool will be built where the water fountain used to the eastern end of Mala’e Pangai Lahi. More public toilets will be built and work is underway for a New National Museum, and improved roads to all tourist attractions throughout Tonga. The Ministry is working closely with the private sector in inviting the “Survivor” film series back to Vava’u; as Prime Minister Hon Akilisi Pohiva has stated that Vava’u is the centre of Tourism industry in the Kingdom. Ministry fully supports Events, such as Church Conferences, School and family re-union that attracted both Visitors and Tongan from overseas to Tonga which help our economy.
National and Regional Training, workshops and Tourism Summit will be organized and hosted by the Ministry that will benefit all.
Tonga will also open up to the Asian Tourist Market, such as China and Japan, and identify better ways and means of facilitating their travel. The Ministry will continue to support all Tongans and Non- Tongans’ Tourism Businesses in the Kingdom. The Ministry will continue to work together with Industry, Handicrafts, and other related associations. It will continue its full support of Tourist and National events such as the Heilala Festival throughout the Kingdom. Ministry committed to work with Tonga Tourism Authority and all stakeholders and welcome new ideas so that the whole nation can collectively boost the industry to become the Number One Foreign Exchange Earner for Tonga.
The Hon. Minister concluded by saying that “IT IS TIME WE CAPITALISE ON OUR CULTURAL HERITAGE AND TRADITIONS TO BRING IN THE TOURIST DOLLAR – WE NEED THE SUPPORT OF EVERYONE FOR THE NEW GOVERNMENT, NEW NIUAS, NEW HA’APAI, NEW ‘EUA, NEW VAVA’U AND FOR A NEW TONGA”
PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OFFICE OF THE HON. MINISTER OF INFRASTRUCTURE
MINISTRY OF INFRASTRUCTURE, NUKU’ALOFA. MINISTER: HON. ‘ETUATE LAVULAVU.
TUKUPA ‘ A E TAKIMAMATA KE NGAUE FAKATAHA KI HA KAHA’U ‘OKU TOE LELEI’ANGE
‘Oku mea’i ‘e hou’eiki mo e kakai ‘o e fonua, ko e fakataha ‘aho ua na e ui ko e “INDUSTRY DAY” na’e ‘amanaki ke fakahoko ‘i he aho 22 mo e 23 ‘o Me 2015, kuo kaniseli ia. ‘I he lolotonga ‘a e mama’o ki muli ‘a e ‘Eiki Minisita ‘o e Potungaue ki he ngaue Fakakomesiale, Takimamata mo e Leipa ( MCTL) na’e le’ole’o he lakanga ni, ‘a e Minisita ‘o e Ngaahi Ngaue Lalahi (MOI) Hon. ‘Etuate Lavulavu, kaikehe na’e ‘ohovale ‘a e Minisita, Hon. ‘Etuate Lavulavu pea ‘ikai ke fiemalie ki hono kaniseli ‘a e fakataha mahu’inga ni ‘oku te’eki ke fakaha ange kiate ia. Ka koe’uhi ko e mahu’inga ‘o e fakataha ni ke tatanaki fakakaukau ke fa’u ha ngaahi palani ngaue ‘a e Potungaue ni, kuo pau ke to e fokotu’utu’u fo’ou ke fakahoko ‘a e fakataha ni ‘i he mahina ko Siulai ‘o e ta’u ni.
Fakatatau ki he Pule Le’ole’o ‘o e (MCTL) Distaquaine Tuihalamaka, ko e tu’utu’uni ange pe ‘a e Pule (CEO), Vaimoana Taukolo ke kaniseli ‘a e fakataha ni, ka na’a ne lolotonga folau ia ki muli. Koia ai ko e ngaahi faka’eke’eke kotoa ki he kaniseli ‘o e fakataha ni, kataki kae fakahoko pe ki he Pule/CEO ‘o e (MCTL).
Kuo ‘i ai foki ‘a e tokanga mavahe ‘a e Pule’anga ki he Ngaahi Potungaue ‘e tolu ‘oku ne ‘omai ‘a e pa’anga humai lahi taha ki hotau fonua ni, ‘a ia ko e Takimamata, Ngoue mo e Toutai. ‘I he ‘ene pehe ‘oku mateuteu ai ‘a e Potungaue Takimamata ke ngaue vavaofi mo e Tonga Tourism Authority, Ngaahi Pisinisi mo e Potungaue fekau’aki ki hono langa fakalakalaka ‘o e ngaue‘anga’ fakatakimamata ‘i Tonga ni.
Kaikehe neongo ia, ‘oku lolotonga fai ‘a e fengaue’aki fakataha ‘a e Potungaue ki he Ngaahi Ngaue Lalahi (MOI) pea mo e Potungaue (MCTL) ke fakapapau’i ‘oku ‘ikai uesia ‘a e Ngaahi ngaue kehe ‘a e ongo Potungaue ni, ‘i he ‘amanaki ko ia ke hiki atu ‘a e Potungaue Takimamata ki he malumalu ‘o e Potungaue Ngaahi Ngaue Lalahi (MOI) ‘i he aho 1 ‘o Sune 2015. ‘I he tu’u he taimi ni, ‘oku te’eki ‘i ai ha liliu ki he kau ngaue, budget pea mo e ngaahi naunau mo e koloa ‘a e Potungaue ni.
Ka ‘i he ‘aho 1 Siulai, ‘e ‘iai leva ‘a e Pule Fo’ou (CEO) ki he Potungaue Takimamata ke ne tokanga’i ‘a e ngaahi ngaue mahu’inga ‘a e Potungaue ki he langa fakalakalaka fakasosiale mo e faka’ekonomika ‘o e Fonua. ‘E to e fai hono vakai’i ‘a e ‘ene ngaahi palani ngaue ki he ta’u e tolu ka hoko mai pea e ‘iloa ia ko e “TONGA TOURISM INNOVATION” ko e ngaahi fakakaukau mo e fokotu’utu’u fo’ou ki he ngaue fakatakimamata ma’a Tonga. Ko e palani ko ‘eni ‘e fakamamafa ‘i he ngaahi kaveinga mamafa e valu:
1. Unga’anga mo hotau fa’unga motu’a ‘o Tonga
2. Ha’a Tu’i mo e Tukufakaholo.
3. Lea mo e ngaahi’ ilo mo e taukei Tukufakaholo.
4. Ngaahi faiva fakatonga mo e me’a tokoni fakatonga.
5. Ngaahi matatahi faka’ofo’ofa mo e “kakau mo e tofua’a”
6. ‘Ulungaanga fakakaunga-me’a ‘o e kakai Tonga
7. “Tauhi’ a Tonga ke ma’a mo faka’ofo’ofa
8. Pea ke fengaue’aki vaofi ‘a e Potungaue moe ngaahi kupu fekau’aki kotoa ‘i he ngaahi ngaue fakatakimamata ‘i Tonga ni mo tu’apule’anga foki.
Fakatatau ki he me’a ‘a e Minisita, Hon. ‘Etuate Lavulavu ‘oku fiema’u ‘aupito ketau ngaue fakataha, ‘a e pule’anga mo e kakai mo e ngaahi pisinisi ‘i hono langa mo hake ‘aki’i ‘a e ngaue fakatakimamata ‘i hotau fonua ni. ‘E toe fai ‘a e tokanga mavahe ke ngaue vaofi mo hotau ngaahi fonua kaunga’api ki he fakalakalaka ‘o e Takimamata ‘i ho tau feitu’u tahi ni. ‘Oku mahino ‘a e kei to lalo ‘a e ngaue ‘anga ni, fakafehoanaki ki hotau ngaahi fonua kaunga’api. Ka ‘e lava ke hoko ‘a e Takimamata ko e mau ‘anga pa’anga humai fika ‘uluaki ‘a e fonua ni. Ko ia ai ‘oku fiema’u ke toe tokolahi ange ‘a e kau folau’eve’eva mai he vakapuna mo e ngaahi vaka meili. Mahino mai ‘oku si’isi’i ‘a e ngaahi fokotu’utu’u mo e fakakaukau fo’ou ki he fakalele mo fakamaketi’i ‘o e ngaue ‘anga ni.
‘E kamata he ‘aho 1 Sune ‘a e ki’i kau floorshow e fakahoko ‘i he mala’evakapuna Fua’amotu pea ‘i he ‘aho 1 ‘o Novema’ i he mala’e vakapuna Lupepau’u i Vava’u ke talitali ‘o e kau folau eve’eva ki he Fonua ni. ‘I Novema ‘o e ta’u ni ai pe, ‘e kamata foki ‘a e fepuna’aki vakapuna ‘i he vaha’a ‘o Nadi/Vava’u, kaikehe ‘oku lolotonga fai ‘a e ngaue lahi na’a lava ke hoko atu ‘a e fepuna’aki ‘i he vaha’a ‘Apia/Nuku’alofa pea mo Pagopago/Vava’u i he kaha’u vave mai. Na’e fakaha foki ‘e he ‘Eiki Palemia, Hon. Akilisi Pohiva, ko Vava’u ko e senita ia ‘o e Takimamata ‘i Tonga, ko ia ‘oku fiema’u ke fai ‘a e ngaue lahi ki ai. ‘Oku ngaue vaofi ‘aupito ‘a e Potungaue Takimamata mo e Pisinisi ta’autaha hono feinga’i ke toe faka’afe’i mai ‘a e faiva ‘iloa ko ia koe “SURVIVOR” ke filimi ‘i Vava’u. ‘E hokohoko atu pe hono “Tauhi ‘a Tonga ke Ma’a mo Faka’ofo’ofa” ikai ki he ngaahi katoanga pe ka ke tauhi ke ma’a ‘i he taimi kotoa pe. ‘E fokotu’u mo ha Mesiume Fakafonua, ‘e fakalele’i mo toe fakalahi moe falemalolo (hufanga he fakatapu) ‘i he ngaahi feitu’u fakapule’anga. Pea ‘e fakalele’i mo e ngaahi halapule’anga ki he ngaahi Pisinisi Fakatakimamata. ‘E fokotu’u moe ki’i “Vai to” waterfall/pool ‘i he feitu’u na’e tu’u fuoloa ai ‘a e fauniteni vai ‘i he taka’aki faka hahake ‘o e Mala’e Pangai Lahi. ‘Oku poupou lahi foki ‘a e Potungaue ki he Ngaahi katoanga ‘oku fai ‘i Tonga ni ‘oku ne ‘omai ‘a e kau folau’eve’eva ka e ‘uma ‘a e kau Tonga nofo muli ki Tonga, ‘o tokoni ki he ‘etau langa faka’ekonomika.
‘E fai mo hono to e vakai’i ‘a e maketi ‘o ‘Esia, tautautefito ki Siaina mo Siapani, pea ke fakafaingofua’i ‘a e fefolau’aki mei he ngaahi fonua ni.
Pea faka’osi ‘aki ‘a e me’a ‘a e ‘Eiki Minista “ Oku fu’u fiema’u ke ngaue ‘aonga ‘aki hotau ‘ulungaanga fakafonua mo e tukufakaholo kene toho’aki mai ‘a e kau folau ‘eve’eva ki Tonga. ‘OKU FIEMA’U ‘A E FEPOUPOUAKI ‘A E TAHA KOTOA KI HE PULE’ANGA FO’OU, KE TUPULAKI AE FAKALAKALAKA KE TAU MA’U HA NIUA ‘OKU FO’OU, HA’APAI FO’OU, VAVA’U FO’OU, ‘EUA FO’OU PEA MO HA TONGA ‘OKU FO’OU.
ONGOONGO MEI HE ‘OFISI ‘O E ‘EIKI MINISITA ‘O E NGAAHI NGAUE LALAHI
POTUNGAUE NGAAHI NGAUE LALAHI, NUKU’ALOFA. Koe ‘Eiki Minisita Ngaahi Ngaue Lalahi – Hon. ‘Etuate Sungalu Lavulavu