The Asian Development Bank has identified tourism as a growth area in the Tongan economy.
According to the Asian Development Outlook 2019, tourism contributed 11.5% of Tonga’s GDP in 2017, compared with 7% in 2010.
The Bank said tourism was a factor in the economy in South Pacific countries.
The ADB said there was a need to improve infrastructure to ensure the benefits of tourism were spread across the country.
Infrastructure had to be sufficiently resilient to withstand cyclones.
Tourism also had to be kept to environmentally friendly and sustainable.
“Governments can consider enhancing legislation to better address issues that threaten the sustainability of the tourism industry and policies promoting sustainable tourism practices,” the ADB said.
Tourism was the second most affected industry by Cyclone Gita. It said the Tongan government intended to “build back better.”
Elsewhere in the report, the ADB said Tonga’s economy was expected to grow by 2.1% this year.
Growth was expected to slow slightly in 2020.
The ADB said Tonga’s economy would from reconstruction and infrastructure projects related to the recovery from 2018’s Cyclone Gita.
As Kaniva News reported recently, the ADB’s chief economist, Yasuyuki Sawada, visited at the end of last month.
Tonga has received $70.2 million in loans, $121.2 million in grant and $23.3 million in technical assistance from the ADB since 1972.
Last year the ADB warned that Tonga was one of six Pacific countries facing high risks of debt distress.
It said Tonga was the worst off, with public sector debt totaling 56 percent GDP.
The main points
- The Asian Development Bank has identified tourism as a growth area in the Tongan economy.
- According to the Asian Development Outlook 2019, tourism contributed 11.5% of Tonga’s GDP in 2017, compared with 7% in 2010.
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