Higher migration movement during the month

International Arrivals & Departures August 2017

  Aug 17
Jul 17
Jun 17
May 17

Total Arrivals
11,523 9,711 11,787 10,307
Total Departures
11,677 10,692 10,233 9,096

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

The total international arrivals increased over the month by 1,812 passengers (18.7%), of which 73.3% were visitors and the remainder were returning residents. This partial indicator signalled improvement in the tourism industry in August 2017. The increase in total arrivals stemmed from an increase in cruise ship arrivals by 1,354 passengers, followed by a rise in international air arrivals of 505 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, other reasons, and business trips.

Total international departures slightly rose by 9.2% to a total of 11,677 passengers, consistent with the rise in international arrivals.

Moreover, travel receipts increased over the month by $1.2 million (10.1%) to a total of $12.6 million, coninciding with the increase in total international arrivals. All categories of travel receipts rose led by an increase in receipts for personal purposes.

In year ended terms, the total number of international arrivals grew by 10,030 passengers (8.7%). Sea arrivals1 (assuming they are all visitors) increased by 7,242 passengers (34.2%) as a result of larger cruise ship arrivals and a favourable whale season during the year. Additionally, returning residents arriving by air rose by 2,354 passengers (6.7%), followed by a 434 (0.7%) 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 $27.3 million (31.9%) increase in travel receipts to $113.0 million over the year.

The total international departures also rose by 10,286 passengers (9.0%) over the year mainly due to a rise of 9,865 passengers (12.6%) 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 - August 2017
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