Last updated: 02:30 PM ET, Fri August 19 2016

Tonga Can Thank Shirtless Olympic Wonder For Increased Tourism Interest

Destination & Tourism | Gabe Zaldivar | August 19, 2016

Tonga Can Thank Shirtless Olympic Wonder For Increased Tourism Interest

Photo courtesy YouTube

Tonga, home to resplendent beauty, crisp blue waters and that shirtless guy you all tweeted about during the Opening Ceremony of these 2016 Summer Olympics.

Ah, but it’s that last fact that has finally raised interest in Tonga as a tourist destination.

It’s maddening, considering all the riches Tonga calls its own. But if it takes a shirtless pile of muscles to get people to notice, well, they may just take it. reports a startling influx of people scouring the Internet for possible trips to the island kingdom in the South Pacific. Before we get to the increase in searches for Tonga on OTA, let’s introduce you to the well-oiled taekwondo master from Tonga that left the world stunned.

Here is Pita Taufatofua being groped by the female contingent on “Today.”

For those suffering Olympic amnesia, Taufatofua was the Opening Ceremony flag bearer for his country and decided to don a lifetime supply of oil for the proceedings.

The result was millions around the world dropping the remote control in the living room, tweeting snark on Twitter and, it would seem, finding out how to best get to Tonga where these chiseled specimens are presumably pumped out on an assembly line as if they were the kingdom’s top commodity.

The report states that saw a 68 percent uptick in searches for Tonga compared with the week before.

Another report quotes Tonga Tourism spokeswoman Tupouseini Taumoepeau who spoke to The Herald recently: “Publicity over the last few days by Pita Taufatofua has definitely opened up international interest of Tonga and their curiosity about Tonga, which we hope, over time, will increase bookings and open up new tourist markets to Tonga.”

READ MORE: 5 Things to See in Tonga (Besides That Shirtless Flagbearer)

That report also highlights a significant increase in interest for coconut oil, which Taufatofua wore on the big night as a nod to his country and what is typically donned during cultural performances.

The 32-year-old next competes on Saturday. But after that we certainly hope he becomes a spokesman for coconut oil and Tongan tourism, because he excels at just that.


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