Tourism in Tonga

Tonga recorded a total of 94,000 tourists in 2019, ranking 170th in the world in absolute terms.

That smaller countries regularly perform lower in a comparison of the absolute number of guests, is obvious. By putting the tourist numbers in relation to the population of Tonga, the result is much more comparable picture: With 0.89 tourists per resident, Tonga ranked 48th in the world. In Polynesia, it ranked 1st.

In 2020, Tonga generated around 47.70 million US dollars in the tourism sector alone. This corresponds to 10.17 percent of its the gross domestic product and approximately 67 percent of all international tourism receipts in Polynesia.

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Back to overview: Tonga

Development of the tourism sector in Tonga from 1995 to 2019

The following chart shows the number of tourist arrivals registered in Tonga each year. Anyone who spends at least one night in the country but does not live there for more than 12 months is considered a tourist. Insofar as the survey included the purpose of the trip, business trips and other non-tourism travel purposes have already been excluded. The number of people passing through within the same day, and e.g., crew members of ships or flights are also not considered tourists in most countries. If the same person travels in and out more than once within the same year, each visit counts again.

The red line represents the average of all 5 countries in Polynesia.

Tourists per year in Tonga

Revenues from tourism

In 1995, tourism revenues amounted to 10.00 million USD, or about 4.8 percent of the gross national product. This corresponded to about 33,000 tourists at that time and roughly 303 USD per person. Within 25 years, the country's dependence on tourism has increased drastically. Before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, sales were $57.10 million billion, 11.15 percent of gross national product. Thus, each visitor spent an average of $607 on their vacation in Tonga.

In 2020, tourist receipts plummeted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the $57.10 million billion (2019), only $47.70 million billion remained. This is a 16 percent decrease in Tonga.

Tourism receipts in Tonga per year

All data for Tonga in detail

YearNumber of touristsReceipts% of GNPReceipts per tourist
201994,00057.10 m $11.15 %607 $
201877,300.0048.10 m $9.8 %622 $
201786,600.0048.50 m $10.53 %560 $
201686,700.0052.70 m $12.53 %608 $
201572,600.0046.40 m $10.62 %639 $
201465,800.0038.30 m $8.7 %582 $
201359,700.0047.00 m $10.43 %787 $
201257,200.0040.00 m $8.5 %699 $
201168,400.0032.50 m $7.8 %475 $
201065,00017.30 m $4.7 %266 $
200974,700.0018.40 m $5.9 %246 $
200865,00018.00 m $5.2 %277 $
200765,00015.20 m $5.1 %234 $
200654,00015.70 m $5.4 %291 $
200560,00015.00 m $5.7 %250 $
200451,00013.10 m $5.7 %257 $
200351,00010.30 m $5.1 %202 $
200245,0005.90 m $3.2 %131 $
200138,0006.80 m $3.8 %179 $
200043,0007.00 m $3.4 %163 $
199944,0009.00 m $4.5 %205 $
199835,0008.00 m $4.2 %229 $
199729,00016.00 m $7.4 %552 $
199631,00013.00 m $5.9 %419 $
199533,00010.00 m $4.8 %303 $

Our data on tourist numbers, revenues and expenditures are based on information from the World Tourism Organization. However, to ensure international comparability, the data for some years or countries were manually researched and corrected if they obviously included visitors without overnight stays. In these cases, the data were taken from the official communications of the respective national tourism authorities.

The World Tourism Organization additionally points out that in some countries, the number of tourists is only counted at airports, while in others they are also counted at border crossings or even hotels. A comprehensive and reliable indication is therefore hardly possible in any country.

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