More visitors arrived in June

International Arrivals & Departures June 2017

  Jun 17
May 17
Apr 17
Mar 17

Total Arrivals
11,787 10,307 7,031 8,490
Total Departures
10,233 9,096 6,697 8,135

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

Total international arrivals increased further in June to a total of 11,787 passengers, 72.9% were visitors and the remainder were returning residents. The higher number of visitors arriving during the month was due mainly to events that took place during the month such as the Free Wesleyan Church’s annual conference held in Vava’u, King’s birthday, the Heilala festival, and other celebrations such as family reunions. Air arrivals rose by 1,008 passengers (11.6%) largely attributed to a 24.5% increase in visitors which outweighed an 8.1% decrease in returning residents. Majority of air arrival visitors were from New Zealand followed by Australia and the United States of America. Most of these visitors’ travel purpose was to visit families, holiday, followed by business trips.

Additionally, the arrival of a cruise ship and the ongoing whale season brought in more visitors. Total sea arrivals increased by 472 passengers (29.9%) due mainly to a 319 (23.3%) and 153 (72.9%) rise in cruise ship and yacht arrivals respectively.

The total international departures increased by 1,137 passengers (12.5%), in line with the increase in international arrivals. It is estimated that 72.5% of total departures were visitors/non-Tongans.

Moreover, travel receipts rose over the month by $2.3 million (25.2%) coninciding with the increase in total international air arrivals.

Over the year to June 2017, the total number of international arrivals grew by 11,713 passengers (10.5%). Sea arrivals1 (assuming they are all visitors) increased by 8,648 passengers (44.0%) as a result of the increase in the number of cruise ships arriving and a favourable whale season during the year. Additionally, returning residents arriving by air rose by 2,521 passengers (7.4%), followed by a 544 (0.9%) 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 $24.2 million (28.8%) increase in travel receipts to $108.3 million over the year.

The total international departures also rose by 6,489 passengers (5.7%) 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.

1 - Includes Tongan residents and visitors
2 - Includes 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 - June 2017
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