Tongan koloa on display at Miami Convention Centre

    Tongan made handicrafts  known as koloa faka-Tonga were on display at the Cruise Shipping Miami Convention Centre in Miami from 16-19 March, 2015.

    These were mats and tapa cloth known as ngatu and they were among 900 stands from 125 countries which were displayed during the conference.

    It was an opportunity for the Tongan tourism committee to promote its new manual that contains updated and correct tour guide information about Tonga.

    Monalisa Palu, National Coordinator of the Tonga Handicrafts and Cultural Tourism Support Programme said: “Our culture is truly unique and rich and people are awed by our heritage arts so we were delighted to have brought the ngatu all the way from Tonga.”

    “We decided to hang it up on our wall in the combined South Pacific Cruise Alliance booth featuring 8 Pacific islands including Tonga. It gave us a point of differentiation from our neighbouring countries and immediately drew the attention of visitors,” she added.

    Monalisa  said the Chairman of Tonga’s Cruiseship Steering Committee Steve Edwards presented the ngatu as a gift to Tahiti’s Minister of Tourism during the  Presidents of the Member Cruise Lines Welcome Reception hosted by Tahiti.

    “Again, Tonga was promoted here because we laid out the full ngatu and the process and story was explained which made it even more fascinating for the audience and in this highly competitive cruise industry with so many ports and destinations, it is important to be authentic and unique,” Monalisa said.

    The conference was also an opportunity for Tonga  to share its “biosecurity requirements and quality assurance manual on handicrafts developed by the Tonga Handicrafts and Cultural Tourism Support Programme which was reviewed and approved by Australia’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, New Zealand’s Ministry of Primary Industries and Tonga’s Ministry of Agriculture & Food, Forests and Fisheries”.

    Monalisa said it appeared the information currently given to tourists about Tonga were outdated resulting in lack of buying of handicrafts and local products when cruise ships arrived in Tonga.

    She said: “some of them were advised on the ship not to buy and so we worked towards reducing the impediments and providing the correct information thanks to Tonga’s MAFFF, Australia and NZ”.

    Monalisa also said: “Last year we met with managers in Miami and realised the issue and since this is where the decision makers come to, we had to ensure we could furnish the right information so last year we made sure we got this manual done and more importantly, reviewed by the authorities and this year for the first time, we were able to share this so that they could then pass on the correct information to their ships visiting our shores.”

    The Tonga Handicrafts and Cultural Tourism Support Programme aims to Enhance the Sustainable Livelihood Opportunities for Handicrafts and Cultural Tourism Experience providers.


    1. Naʻe fakaʻaliʻali e koloa faka-Tongá ʻi ha konifelenisi ʻi he Senitā Fakakonivēsio ʻa Maiami ki he Ngaahi Vakameilí ʻi Maiami pe ʻa ia ne fakahoko mei he ʻaho 16-19 ʻo Māʻasí.

      Naʻe kau heni ʻa e ngatu mo e fala ʻo fakaʻaliʻali fakataha ʻeni mo e fakaʻaliʻaliʻanga koloa ʻe 900 mei he fonua kehekehe ʻe 125 ne kau ki he konifelenisi ko ʻení.

      Naʻe hoko foki ʻeni ko ha faingamālie ke fakahā ai kuo ʻi ai ha tohi foʻou kuo pulusi ai ʻa e ngaahi fakamatala fakamuimui taha mo tonu ange kau ki Tonga.

      Pehē ʻe Monalisa Palu ko e kouʻōtineita fakafonua ia ki he Ngaahi Meʻafakameaʻa ʻa Tonga mo e Polokalama Poupou ki he Ngaahi Meʻafakafonua ki he Takimamatá ne mahino ko e ngaahi fakamatala ne kei tufaki mai ki he kau folauʻeveʻevá he taimi ʻoku nau ʻi Tonga ai kuo ʻolokuonga pea ʻikai tonu.

      Ko e meʻa ne hoko leva ai ko e siʻi hono fakatau ʻa e ngaahi meʻa fakameili mo e ngaahi koloa fakameaʻa ʻi Tongá he taimi ʻoku tau ai e ngaahi vaka meili ki Tongá.

      Ko e ngaue lahi ne fai ki hono fakamāʻopoʻopo ʻo e ngaahi fakamatala ko ʻení ʻo faʻolaki ia ki he tohi pe menuolo ʻa ia ne fai hono vakaiʻi mo aofangatuku pea kuo tali ia ʻe ʻAositelēlia mo Nuʻu Sila.

      Ko hono fakaʻaliʻali koi a ʻo e ngatú ʻi Maiamí ne kau ai folaloa pe ʻo hiki hake ki ʻolunga ke fai mamataʻi pea pehē foki ki hono toki foaki atu ʻe he Sea ʻo e Komiti Ngāue ʻa Tonga ki he Ngaahi Vakameilí Steve Edwards ko ha meʻaʻofa ki he Minisitā Takimamata ʻa Tahiti lolotonga ia ha ouau talitali ʻo e kau palesiteni ʻo e ngaahi komiti ʻa e ngaahi vakameilí.


    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here