Lower international arrival and departure

International Arrivals & Departures October 2017

  Oct 17
Sep 17
Aug 17
Jul 17

Total Arrivals
10,556 13,624 11,523 9,711
Total Departures
10,974 13,277 11,677 10,692

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

The total international arrivals declined over the month by 3,068 (22.5%) passengers, of which 70.5% were visitors and the remainder were returning residents. All categories of international arrival declined except for returning residents which slightly rose over the month by 209 passengers (7.2%). Sea arrival1 passengers decreased by 1,526 to a total of 2,808 passengers. Lower cruise ship passenger arrivals was due to one cruise ship that arrived during the month compared to two ships last month. The on-going whale watching season brought in yacht arrival passengers although less than the previous months but remains high with a total of 383 passengers. Majority of air arrival visitors were from New Zealand followed by Australia and the United States of America. Most of the visitors who arrived during the month were here for vacation, followed by visiting families, business trip and for various other reasons. Some of the events which occurred during the month included Liahona High School’s 70th anniversary and women’s annual 'Faka-Sepitema' roll call.

Total international departures also declined by 17.3% to a total of 10,974 passengers, however slightly higher than the total international arrivals.

Additionally, travel receipts declined by $1.6 million (14.0%) to a total of $10.0 million over the month which coincided with the decrease in total arrival.

In year ended terms, the total number of international arrivals grew by 8,837 passengers (7.5%). Sea arrivals (assuming they are all visitors) increased by 5,620 passengers (24.9%) as a result of more cruise ship arrivals and a favourable whale season during the year. Additionally, returning residents arriving by air rose by 1,760 passengers (4.9%), followed by a 1,457 (2.5%) rise in air arrival visitors. The number of celebrations and events that took place during the year supported this growth. This may have supported the transportation, trade and other sectors of the economy. The higher number of arrivals was also consistent with the $28.9 million (33.0%) increase in travel receipts to $116.5 million over the year to October 2017.

The total international departures also rose by 9,441 passengers (8.1%) over the year mainly due to a rise of 9,791 passengers (12.1%) in international visitors’ 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.

1 - Includes arrival by cruise ship and yacht


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 - October 2017
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