The Tonga Statistics Department has embarked on a project with the World Bank to create a Tourism Satellite Account (TSA), a standard statistical framework used to measure the economic impact of tourism. This industry plays a pivotal role in Tonga’s economy, with a focus on ecotourism, adventure tourism, and cultural tourism. Additionally, the cruise industry has become increasingly significant, as several cruise lines visit the country’s port each year. To better understand the industry’s impact and contribution to the economy, the Tonga Statistics Department conducted a survey at Vuna Wharf, gathering information on travelers’ profiles, expenses, and opinions. The data collected from the survey could then be used to develop a comprehensive TSA framework for Tonga. This account would provide a detailed understanding of the economic impact of the industry on the Tongan economy, including contributions to employment, tourism revenue, and GDP.

On April 14th, 2023, the department held its third ‘cruise ship passengers’ economic impact survey’, coinciding with the Celebrity Eclipse’s second visit to Vuna Wharf. The ship brought over 3000 passengers, and we would like to express our gratitude to the Ministry of Tourism, Tonga Tourism Authority, and Ports Authority Tonga for their assistance and continuous support in making this survey a success.