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Here's a shocker: Seems like interest in Tonga has grown in the last few days.
A certain shirtless flagbearer who stole the show at the opening ceremony of the Rio Games might have a little bit to do with that development.
Pita Taufatofua carried Tonga's flag wearing a traditional mat around his waist and with his bare chest oiled and shining. The taekwondo competitor became an instant online sensation, has dealt with tons of newfound fame and even made an appearance on NBC's "Today" _ where hosts Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager actually rubbed oil on his upper body.
Tourism Tonga spokeswoman Seini Taumoepeau said Tuesday there’s been lots more online interest in the Pacific nation since Taufatofua’s appearance at Maracana Stadium.
She hopes that will result in increased tourist numbers over the coming months, adding that there's been a definite surge in visitors to websites promoting Tongan vacations.