The chance to bring into Tonga leading figures from overseas tourism industries was opened today with the kick-off of the annual ‘Eva Mai Tourism Exchange 2013.
The event hosts travel agents from the USA, Australia and New Zealand, showcasing the best of Tonga’s Tourism accommodation, sites and attractions according to Angela Afeaki the New Zealand Representative of Tonga’s Visitors Bureau.
She said that, “This year we have the presence of our current Miss Heilala Ebony Nuku who will also help with hosting our overseas guests. There will be a business Trade day next Thursday where all the Tongan Tourist Operators, Diving/Water Activity Dive Operators, Travel Tours consultants will showcase their businesses, talking one on one with the overseas agents.”
Tonga’s economy always looks at tourism sector as a lifeline to its vulnerable economy especially while experiencing the global economic downturn in the last Three years.
In 2010 Reserve Bank record shows that tourism industries injected into Tonga’s economy about $58 Millions.
It was estimated that about 80,000 tourists visited Tonga between 2010 – 2011 and government believe that Eva Mai Festival strongly contributed to attracting more visitors and travel agents to the Friendly Islands.
‘Eva Mai’ is an initiative of the Private Sector TTA (Tonga Tourist Association) started in 2009 under the Ministry of Tourism and it will this year run till March 5.