In line with Goal 9 of the 2030 Agenda (Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation), Tonga’s Ministry of Tourism have been working closely with stakeholders and other government departments to formalize a development project for the island of Vava’u. The plan underlines Tonga’s commitment to providing improved infrastructure that can cater to the demands of international visitors who travel to Vava’u on international cruise liners and aircrafts. As such, the development project will include the upgrading of Queen Halaevalu Wharf in Neiafu and the Lupepau’u International Airport. The airport project will focus on expanding the runway to accommodate aircrafts such as the Boeing 737, 747 and Airbus A330, which can carry up to 300 passengers per flight. The Ministry hopes to begin implementation in the near future in preparation for the reopening of international borders.
Moreover, the Ministry has continued with maintenance and development works at various tourism sites in Tongatapu and in the outer islands. To date this has included the installation of information boards, dining sheds, fences and lookout platforms. From mid to late April, the Ministry CEO, Mr. Sione Moala Mafi and Destination Development Director, Mr. Anthony Cocker, travelled to Eua and Vava’u to launch new construction projects and monitor progress made on other development projects.