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Tonga

Tonga is a South Pacific island nation consisting of 171 islands, of which 45 are inhabited. Tonga is a constitutional monarchy and a member of the British Commonwealth. Its agrarian economy is developing and its tourist industry, although limited, is growing. Tourist facilities are concentrated in and around the main island of Tongatapu where the capital, Nuku’alofa, is located. The Tongan Tourist Bureau has a wide range of information of interest to travelers. The web site is http://www.tongaholiday.com/. Read the Department of State Background Notes on Tonga for additional information.

Tonga

   
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 COUNTRY OVERVIEW
Country Name: Tonga
Continent: Oceania
Capital City: Nuku'alofa
Boundary Countries:
Recommended Hospitals in Capital:
Main Cities:

Nuku'alofa, Neiafu

Country Size: 747 sq km
Population: 101,990

 

COUNTRY GENERAL INFORMATION
Language:

Tongan, English

Currency: Tonga Pa'anga (TOP)
Predominant Religions:

Christian

National Holidays:
Economic Status:

Tonga's economy is characterized by a large non-monetary sector and a heavy dependence on remittances from the more than half of the country's population that lives abroad, chiefly in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. Much of the monetary sector of the economy is dominated, if not owned, by the royal family and nobles. This is particularly true of telecommunications and electricity generation and supply. Many small businesses, particularly in the retail sector on Tongatapu, are owned by recent Chinese immigrants who arrived under a cash-for-passports scheme ended in 1998. Royal-owned and Chinese businesses were among those targeted in the November 2006 rioting.

Security:

The Tonga Defense Service

US Presence:

There is no US embassy or other US diplomatic or consular post in Tonga. 

 

U.S. Embassy in Tonga
31 Loftus Street
Suva, Fiji
Telephone: (679) 331-4466
Document Requirements:

A passport and an onward/return ticket are required. Visas are not required for stays of up to 30 days. Tonga collects a departure tax. For further information about entry requirements, travelers, particularly those planning to enter by sea, may wish to contact the Consulate General of Tonga at 360 Post Street, Suite 604, San Francisco, California 94108; telephone 415-781-0365. 

The Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Toga.

Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page.

Major Airports:

Airports: 6; Airports with paved runways: 3 Piarco Airport, Trinidad & Tobago, Airports Authority of Trinidad & Tobago, Administration Center, South Terminal, Golden Grove Road, Piarco, Trinidad & Tobago Tel: +1 868 669-5311, +1 868 669-2288 Fax: +1 868 669-3410 Website: www.tntairports.com Customs Tel: +1 868 664-4361, +1 868 664-5183 Fax: +1 868 669-5138 Customs Hours: 24 hours

Servicing Airlines:
Risks and Precautions:

An organized movement for political reform exists in Tonga. Protests in November 2006 became violent, resulting in fires that destroyed much of the downtown area of Nuku’alofa. American citizens are advised to avoid large public gatherings and to exercise caution if within the vicinity of any demonstrations, as they could turn violent at any time. 

Although the crime rate in Tonga is low compared to crime rates in the U.S. and most European countries, petty crime and theft do take place. Though rare, crimes against persons occur as well. Visitors should not be complacent regarding personal safety or the protection of valuables.
In many countries around the world, counterfeit and pirated goods are widely available. Transactions involving such products may be illegal under local law. In addition, bringing them back to the United States may result in forfeitures and/or fines.

Mortality Statistics:
Immunization Indicators:

Required: None
Recommended:  Hep A & B, Typhoid
Boosters:  MMR, DPT, as needed

Infectious Disease Concerns:

Dengue, filariasis, Ross River virus, and Murray Valley encephalitis are diseases carried by insects that also occur in the Pacific Island region. Protecting yourself against insect bites (see below) will help to prevent these diseases. Japanese encephalitis is present in Papua New Guinea and the Torres Strait and far northern Australia.  Leptospirosis is common on some of the Pacific Islands.

Cases of melioidosis have been reported from Papua New Guinea, Guam, and Australia; risk may exist on other islands.

High attack rates of ciguatera poisoning from eating large reef-dwelling fish have been reported on some of the islands.

Overall Quality of Medical Services:

Medical facilities in Tonga are extremely limited. The cities of Nuku'alofa and Neiafu have hospitals with limited emergency and outpatient facilities. Local residents and visitors with serious medical problems are often referred to New Zealand for treatment. For additional information on medical visas for New Zealand, contact the Embassy of New Zealand, 37 Observatory Circle NW, Washington, DC 20008, (202) 328-4800 or the Consulate General in Los Angeles (310) 207-1605. Serious medical conditions requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States can cost thousands of dollars. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services.

Providers in Network:
Direct Payment: 0
Referrals: 10
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Recent Medical Threats/ Concerns/Warnings:

Periodic outbreaks of measles have occurred on islands with inadequate immunization coverage.

Communications Info:

Country Callling Code:  +676-
Internet Country Code:  .to

 



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