Air arrivals hike as festivities begin

Air Arrivals & Departures
June 2015

  Jun 15 May 15 Apr 15 Mar 15

New Registrations 9,550 6,876 6,162 5,222
Total Air Departures
5,634 5,947 6,525 5,824

Source: Air Terminal Services (month-ended)

Air arrivals hike as festivities begin

Tourism activity picked up during the June 2015 quarter. The festivities especially the King’s Coronation, church conferences, school anniversaries and the Heilala beauty pageant contributed to the seasonal increase during this period.

A total of 9,550 air arrivals visited the Kingdom during the month of June 2015 and a total of 22,588 arrived during the June quarter (refer to Table 1). This is an increase of 42.9% and 17.3% respectively compared with the same period of last year. Statistics on air departures revealed that about 40% of visitors to Tonga during this period are still in country and yet to return. This is also lower in comparison to a total of 8,565 air arrivals (July 2008) during the last coronation, indicating high tourism activity during this most recent coronation period.

Based on the Overseas Exchange Transactions data compiled by the National Reserve Bank of Tonga, travel receipts over the month of June was around $7.0 million, an increase of about $4.0 million compared to June of last year. During the 3 months to June 2015, travel receipts totalled to more than $17.0 million, an increase of over $5.0 million compared to June quarter of 2014.

The transportation sector and the hotel and restaurants benefitted from the increase in visitors to Tonga. Rental cars were fully booked and accommodation facilities have also reported busy schedules, fuelled by the increase in visitors in the country. Other sectors in the economy are expected to benefit from the spill over effects of this hike.

Air arrivals are expected to fall in the coming months after the peak. However, with the committed Fiji Airways direct route from Fiji to Vava’u, it is anticipated that this will attract more visitors to the Kingdom. The NRBT will continue to closely monitor these developments and the country’s economic developments and financial conditions to maintain internal and external monetary stability, promote financial stability and a sound and efficient financial system to support macroeconomic stability and economic growth.

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