Tonga 2002

Tonga was a small island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean in 2002. It had a population of around 105,000 people and its official language was English. The economy of Tonga was largely driven by its agricultural sector which accounted for approximately 20% of GDP in 2002, while other important industries included fishing and tourism. Despite its wealth there were still some social issues such as gender inequality with women holding fewer positions in politics than men. In addition to this, there were also high levels of poverty due to low levels of economic development leading to an estimated 40-50% living below the poverty line in 2002. Healthcare services were provided free of charge for all residents regardless of their nationality or income level but education was not free and only available to those who could afford it or had access through family connections. According to computerannals, Tonga had achieved a certain degree of stability by 2002 while still striving towards greater social equality and economic prosperity for all its citizens. The government also focused on providing aid to developing countries, mainly through the Tongan Development Bank and other international organizations such as the Asian Development Bank and World Bank.

Yearbook 2002

Tonga. In the March 7 elections, the Human Rights and Democracy Movement (HRDM) received five of the nine elected seats in Parliament. According to Countryaah website, national day of Tonga is every June 4. The rest of the 30 members are appointed by King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV and the nobility.

Tonga Border Countries Map

HRDM plans to propose a constitutional amendment to create a two-chamber system with an upper house for the nobility and a lower house with 21 seats to be added by universal suffrage.

The government has initiated a legal process in the United States against the King’s “hawser,” an American businessman who disappeared in 2001 with $ 26 million he would have invested on Tonga’s behalf. The money corresponds to 40% of the country’s state income.

The Foreign Minister of New Zealand, one of the UK’s most important aid donors, in February accused the government of “endemic corruption”.

Tonga Country Overview

Visas and admission
Finnish citizen does not need a visa for Tonga for a trip of less than 90 days. The passport must be valid for 6 months after leaving the country.

Every person participating in the trip must have a valid travel insurance that covers medical expenses in the event of illness or other similar need. Please check the validity of your own insurance and the terms and conditions of the insurance cancellation cover.

Please pay attention to the special nature of your trip and check the coverage of the insurance in that respect as well.

Many dive trips require more extensive insurance. Please check the contents of your insurance with your insurance company.

Paʻanga (TOP). 1 € = about 2.95 TOP. Currency is not available from Finland.

Check that your basic vaccinations are valid (tetanus, polio and diphtheria and MPR). Hepatitis A and B vaccinations are recommended for the trip.

Always check the vaccination requirements at the health center or the Vaccination Advice of the Tourist Clinic

Time difference
11 hours

Electric current
The electric current is 240 V / 50 Hz. Sockets are similar to, for example, in Australia.

 We stay in safe areas during our trip, but general caution within common sense is desirable throughout the trip.

For more information on traveling in the country, see the English Foreign Office’s travel bulletin, for example .

Tonga has a tropical climate, with almost daily rainfall. The summer season (hot, humid) lasts from December to April. June to October drier season. The northernmost islands are hot and humid even in May and November. Strong cyclones are generated every few years and can cause damage to the environment. Temperature all year round about 24-30 degrees.

Food & beverage
In Tonga, traditional dishes usually include meat, a variety of vegetables and fruits. Traditional dishes include lu-pulu, lu Sipi, or siaine, and to´okutu. Kava is known as a national drink, which is made from the roots of the coffee plant. The drink is cloudy gray and slightly floury. Kava is considered a mildly intoxicating drink. It is typical for Tongans to get together to spend an evening with guitars, friends and a kava. Water and beverages must be industrially bottled. It is also a good idea to rinse fruits and vegetables with bottled water. Heated or tablet-purified water can be drunk. Reheated foods should be avoided.

Travel Seasons
The best time to travel is our winter season from December to May. March is the wettest month.

From May to August, humpback whales will give birth to these nutrient-rich and warm waters.

Prepare carefully and pack lightly
Each pound of less luggage reduces the fuel consumption of the vehicle. For more passengers, this can have a significant impact. For personal hygiene, you should pack travel sizes or sample packs that not only save space but also weight. For these, however, it is a good idea to consider the amount of waste that may be generated. Depending on the destination, it is also important to take into account the local water situation – if necessary, it is advisable to favor, for example, hair products that do not require rinsing.

Travel documents and electronic reading save space and weight. For charging electronic devices, backup power sources based on a solar cell, for example, are available. For example, footwear often takes up a lot of space in a suitcase and easily accumulates the weight of the bag. Think about what equipment you really need for the trip and leave the extra items at home.

Eco-friendly tourism
We try to act according to ecological principles and respect local people, customs and fauna on all our trips in order to save these experiences for others as well.