Lower international arrival during the month

International Arrivals & Departures July 2017

  Jul 17
Jun 17
May 17
Apr 17

Total Arrivals
9,711 11,787 10,307 7,031
Total Departures
10,692 10,233 9,096 6,679

Note: Total Arrivals & Departures including air, cruise ship and yacht arrivals & departures.
Source: Statistics Department

Total international arrivals declined by 2,076 (17.6%) during the month to a total of 9,711 passengers. This is a typical trend when there are no cruise ships visiting Tonga during the month. There was also a slight decline in all other types of international arrival. The total number of yacht arrivals was 335 passengers, slightly declining from 363 passengers last month, which reflects the ongoing whale season. Majority of air arrival visitors were from New Zealand followed by Australia and the United States of America. Because of the winter seasons in New Zealand and Australia, Tonga is popular during this time of the year, when the warm weather is not as hot as the holiday seasons towards the end of each year. Most of the visitors who arrived during the month were here for vacation, followed by visiting families, other reasons, and business trips.

However, total international departures slightly rose by 4.5% to a total of 10,692 passengers, higher than the international arrivals recorded during the month. This was due to 29.4% of the total air departures were Tongan residents, and the high number of visitors’ arrival last month.

Travel receipts however slightly rose over the month by $0.2 million (1.5%), due to higher receipts for business travel purposes.

In the year ended July 2017, the total number of international arrivals grew by 12,030 passengers (10.8%). Sea arrivals1 (assuming they are all visitors) increased by 8,785 passengers (44.6%) as a result of higher cruise ship arrivals and a favourable whale season during the year. Additionally, air arrivals rose by 3,245 (3.5%) supported by the number of celebrations and events that took place during the year. This may have supported the transportation, trade and other sectors of the economy. The higher number of arrivals was also consistent with a $27.0 million (32.3%) increase in travel receipts to $110.7 million over the year.

The total international departures also rose by 8,095 passengers (7.2%) over the year mainly due to a rise of 8,225 passengers (45.3%) in cruise ship departures.


The Reserve Bank remains optimistic that the tourism sector will continue to remain vibrant in 2017/2018. The Reserve Bank will continue to closely monitor the country’s economic developments to support economic growth.


Economics Department
National Reserve Bank of Tonga

Telephone: (676) 24057
Fax: (676) 24201 

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


International Arrivals & Departures - July 2017
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