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Historic Pacific Hotel to Receive a Facelift and Attract Tourist Dollars to Tonga

Nuku’alofa, Tonga, July 17, 2013 – The Government of Tonga and IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, are seeking bids from the private sector for renovating and operating the International Dateline Hotel in the capital of Nuku’alofa to boost tourism trade and help create jobs in the Pacific nation.
Established in 1966, the government-owned International Dateline Hotel is the largest in Tonga with 125 rooms and will become the country’s first three-and-a-half to four-star accommodation offering following its refurbishment.
Tatafu Moeaki, chief executive officer for the Ministry of Tourism, Labour and Commerce, said the number of visitors to Tonga has been steadily increasing and the government is upgrading the country’s facilities to accommodate the growing tourist trade, including a recent airport expansion.
“We want the International Dateline Hotel to play a key role in the development of Tonga’s tourism industry, making use of private sector expertise,” he said. “We expect that the upgraded hotel will attract high-end customers and business conference visitors, given its proximity to the Fa’onelua Convention Centre.”
IFC is the lead advisor on the structuring and implementation of a public-private partnership for the renovation and ongoing management of the hotel, which is known for its position on the International Date Line, 12 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.
“Tonga is making solid progress in the tourism sector and reviving the International Dateline Hotel will bring more visitors to the country, while creating jobs and opportunities for local business,” said Gavin Murray, IFC’s Regional Manager of the Pacific. “There will be an international competitive bidding process and I encourage interested parties to consider how they could best restore and operate the hotel to international standards while retaining its character.”
All bidders must have experience developing and operating hotels. For full details, interested parties should contact the Ministry of Finance’s Balwyn Faotusia at bfaotusia@finance.gov.to or IFC’s Xianyong (Eric) Gao at xgao3@ifc.org . Expressions of interests will close on 12 August 2013 and the tender is expected to be awarded in October 2013.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit www.ifc.org .