I have just been reading all the comments from our fellow Tongans and Tourists whom love Tonga and whom would like to see Tonga become a major tourist destination once again. We have a unique opportunity to develop our Tourism and bring back adventurous tourists to the Kingdom
It's sad to see Tonga's tourism suffer and the people of Tonga suffer as well, we need to work together all parties Government, Tourism and the Monarchy TOGETHER with one aim in mind TO MAKE TONGA a TOURISM DREAM holiday destination.
Without a unified approach Tonga will remain behind the rest of the Pacific Region which is currently enjoying a huge boom in tourism dollars and economic forcasts thanks to the worries of Terrorism and global economic down turn across the world, tourists are now looking for a safer and more affordable holiday destination.
For example, Fiji and Air Pacific with tourism increases to Yasawa Islands and Viti Levu; Samoa and Polynesian Airlines are enjoying success in tourism boom to Apia and Upolu; Air New Zealand couldn't be better with tourism increases to N.Z and increased sales to Hawaii, Pago Pago, and Tahiti; New Caledonia with Air Calen, and our micronesian neighbours also enjoying a boom in Tourism with Guam and Continental Airlines, Vanuatu with Air Vanuatu and the list goes on.
Tonga needs Fly Niu to maintain the domestic routes and (smaller) Royal Tongan Airlines revived with two leased 737 400's back into the international market, the only way to pay off the mounting debts is to not only introduce taxes but redevelop local tourism structures by amalgamating ALL the tourism assets Tonga has, and unifying ALL the Tourism businesses into one huge venture under one Tourism board (like Fiji) and allowing foreign Hotel or Resort investments into the country.
On the International stage, unless we re-invent Tonga's Airline Industry and improve our Tourism locally in Tonga, a DC3 makes us the laughing joke in the region, the reason we all fail is because Government and Tourism with Monarchy did not pull together, to make it work. Tourism brings investment, economic opportunities but most importantly JOBS! Job creation is what is needed and with all of us pulling together we can turn these failures into a huge success story if only we turn our dreams into reality and try.
It takes courageous people with larger than life dreams to make something happen, to the dreamers of Fly Niu well done! It's not about just creating jobs it's about Tonga having a future.
Bring back Fly Niu and revisit Royal Tongan Airlines we all need the LULUTAI back in the sky once again.
Andrew Fifita J.P (NSW) ACSC
(grandson Tevita Mafi Tupou)