The Tongan Government plans to build 200 houses for the Pacific Forum leaders meeting in August, as accommodation falls short, the Prime Minister Hu’akavameiliku told a media in Nuku’alofa.

Tonga will host the 53rd Pacific Forum leaders meeting in late August.

PM Hu’akavameiliku revealed that the Government is expecting at least 1,000 participants for the meeting.

There are 18 members from across the Pacific Ocean, whose leaders, and important organisations will meet in Nuku’alofa.

PM said that the Government is hoping the Tonga High School Sports Complex, currently under construction, would be completed beforehand, to host the leader’s meeting.

“We know the situation of our accommodation sector right now,” he said.

Visitor accommodation in Tonga was heavily impacted by the 2022 volcanic eruption and tsunamis, when over 20 coastal accommodation places and resorts were destroyed on Tongatapu and its offshore islands.

According to the PM, a committee is working on preparing the accommodation for the meeting. They are looking at different accommodation businesses including hotels, motels, guesthouses and they’ve also sought people that have houses they can rent during the meeting.

He also said the public may register their houses for rent.

The government will build 200 prefab and container houses as soon as possible, the PM noted, as the current accommodation available will not be enough.

However, he did not reveal where these prefab and container houses would be built.

The PM also said after the meeting, these houses would be given to those Tongans living in dire conditions.