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|MALO E LELEI ! Welcome to the home page for the Kingdom of Tonga!
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SPECTACULAR WHALE-WATCHING - 2012
Popular holiday destination Blue Banana Beach Houses report some of the best land-based Whale Watching they have experienced. From their lookout they and guests were able to witness a young humpback whale displaying his tail in a stationary position above water for a couple of hours. Research indicates that he had lost his battle with a mature whale competing for love. The result is that he hangs his head in shame and sings his song of defeat to other young males.
(Source: Blue Banana Beach Houses, November 2012)
'EUA FEATURES IN INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE
The influential international tourism magazine Compass has featured 'Eua in this month's edition. The article was compiled with the help of the Tonga Tourism Project and highlights the eco tourism values of 'Eua. The magazine is subscribed by tourism CEOs around the world and it is published out of Hong Kong. Under the headline of: Empire of the Sun it says that eco-friendly development is a way of life in the Kingdom of Tonga, one of the South Pacific’s most unspoilt holiday destinations.
The three page article begins by saying: "Relatively undeveloped though it might be, Tonga's tourism industry embraced the tenants of ecotourism long before the catchall term became a buzzword. In fact, Tonga was the first Pacific Island nation to create marine parks or sanctuaries and tourism in the Kingdom is almost totally reliant on the sustainability of its natural environment and culture as well as the development of popular soft adventure products.
Yet, Tongans don't see themselves as part of an organised ecotourism industry; instead, the people of this grouping of 176 islands are just doing what they have always done.
Over the past few years, the Tonga Visitors Bureau has focused its attention on promoting the Kingdom's outstanding culture, history and marine environments as well as bringing new tourism products such as the islands of 'Eua and Tofua slowly into the marketplace.
'Eua is the second largest island in the Tongatapu group and is, perhaps, the one place where the tag 'eco tourism' fits best. 'Eua has a completely different character from Tongatapu. It is rugged and mountainous, with Tonga's largest areas of natural bush land and rainforest, and it is great for hiking, climbing and abseiling."
(Source: Tonga Visitors Bureau Update - August 23rd, 2002)
ON A SANDY BEACH IN HA'APAI
"They often see whales. On this particular morning, though, there were seven or eight porpoises a little ways offshore, and one of the Tongan girls at the resort began calling pele pele pele and the porpoises actually came closer, as if on call.
The two middle-aged New Zealand couples who were staying at Sandy Beach Resort just couldn't believe it. But that's Ha'apai for you ... so far from the madding crowd it gets a little bit unbelievable".
(Source: Royal Tongan Magazine - Extract of article by Kim Gravelle)