A New Zealand-based film crew was in Tonga for a nine-day film shoot, to create new tourism television commercials promoting holidays in Tonga for New Zealanders and Australians.  The film crew of four and two models were in Tonga from the 4th – 9th January 2013 to film the TV commercials. They travelled to ‘Eua, Tongatapu and Vava’u for filming.

The Minister for Commerce, Tourism and Labour the Honorable Dr. Viliami Latu said the Ministry had engaged BCG2, a New Zealand Advertising Agency to step-up the rebranding and promotion of Tonga using the slogan ‘the True South Pacific’.  An online advertising campaign built around this theme had operated in 2012, and this year the Campaign was being extended for the first time to TV, print and billboards with support from the Tonga New Zealand Tourism Partnership, funded by the New Zealand Aid Programme.

The second phase of the Campaign in 2013 would promote Tonga through television commercials, billboard ads, print and online advertising and would feature holiday experiences available in Tonga. The TV commercials will screen on television channels in New Zealand and Australia from February-April 2013. Dr. Viliami Latu said the timing of the TV advertising was designed to maximise the exposure for Tonga in our main visitor source markets specifically at a time when New Zealanders and Australians decides where to take their winter holidays in the South Pacific.

The Ministry CEO Tatafu Moeaki said tourism industry stakeholders were briefed on the Campaign in Tongatapu by BCG2 last December, and further material was being developed so that local tourism operators could leverage their individual marketing activity off the Campaign.  “We are also working closely with tour wholesalers in New Zealand and Australia, to make sure that as Tonga achieves a higher awareness amongst potential visitors through the Campaign, there is a wider range of well-priced, attractive holidays options to Tonga available for sale”, he said.