International Arrivals & Departures

January 2018

Released on 26 June 2018 | Download the complete release | pdfIcon 190 KB

  Jan 18
Dec 17
Nov 17
Oct 17

Total Arrivals
12,475 13,036 9,210 10,556
Total Departures
15,502 10,201 9,603 10,974

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

Departures soar as visitors return whilst arrivals decline

Total international departures climbed over January due to the end of the festive season thus visitors returning to their respective countries of residence. This recorded an increase of 5,301 passengers (52.0%) leaving the Kingdom over the month and majority of the total international departures were cruise ship departures (3,349 passengers) followed by those travelling by air (1,983 passengers). This coincides with the arrival of three cruise ships during the month. Majority of the passengers departing Tonga were visitors and returned to New Zealand, Australia and the United States of America. This is inline with the high number of visitors last month who arrived in the Kingdom and from the same aforementioned countries. The high level of departures could be explained by the concluding of the festive season which included family reunions and conferences.

Meanwhile, the total international arrivals declined by 561 passengers (4.3%). The fall was led mainly by a decrease in air arrivals followed by yacht arrivals. Ship arrivals, however, rose over January due to the arrival of three cruise ships. Total international arrivals declined reflecting the rate of departures from the Kingdom. This mainly noted a fall in arrival of visitors as well as yacht visitors which had offset a rise in the arrival of Tongan residents who returned home following the holiday season. Additionally, the decline in air arrivals had also offset the rise in cruise ship arrivals during January.

Travel receipts, however, increased by $0.2 million (1.9%) to a total of $10.3 million over January. Despite this movement not coinciding with the total number of international arrivals throughout the month, the arrival of three cruise ships and further a total of 4,855 visitors being in the country during January may have likely contributed to the higher travel receipts.

Over the year, the total number of international departures rose by 2,033 passengers (1.6%). This is the normal annual trend for the past three years. More specifically, international air departures remained the main mode of transport significantly driving the overall rise in total number of international air departures over the year. Total international arrivals rose by 1,840 passengers (1.5%) over the year mainly due to an increase in air arrivals whilst ship arrivals declined. The higher number of arrivals coincided with an increase of $14.4 million (14.5%) in travel receipts. This was likely to have also supported the transportation, trade and other sectors of the economy.


The activities in the tourism sector are anticipated to remain vibrant in 2017/2018. The Reserve Bank will continue to closely monitor the developments in the international arrivals and its impact on the tourism and other sectors.

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