Tuvalu is located in the South Pacific and is a group of islands that form the fourth smallest country in the world. In 1974, ethnic differences within the British colony of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands caused the Polynesians of the Ellice Islands to vote for separation from the Micronesians of the Gilbert Islands. The following year, the Ellice Islands became the separate British colony of Tuvalu. Independence was granted in 1978. In 2000, Tuvalu negotiated a contract leasing its Internet domain name ".tv" for $50 million in royalties over the next dozen years.
Air Pacific flies from Suva to Funafuti twice a week. Recent return trip rate (SUV -> FUN -> SUV 2/23/2010 to 3/2/2010) was US$594.
There is one main road in Funafuti in addition to the runway, which is used for recreational purposes when landings are not scheduled.
The state-owned Vaiaku Lagi Hotel on Funafuti is the country's only hotel. It also has significant nightlife.
There is a handicraft center and a philatelic bureau on Funafuti.
English is the language of government and of most business on Funafuti, but Tuvaluan predominates on the outer islands.
A siren signals when to leave the runway for an approaching plane.
Violent crime is rare, and usually involves alcohol and family disputes.
Funafuti hosts a University of the South Pacific extension center. Motufoua, the country's only high school, is a coeducational boarding school on Vaitupu island. The Tuvalu Marine School, on an outer islet of Funafuti, trains Tuvaluan mariners for service on foreign ships.
The non-native work force is mostly comprised of contract employees from Britain and other foreign countries.
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Todd VerBeek, Tom Holland, Yann Forget and Evan Prodromou, ChubbyWimbus, Roundtheworld, Tatatabot, MMKK, Ypsilon, Inas, Sahmeditor, Episteme, Pashley, InterLangBot, Dtobias and CIAWorldFactbook2002
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Tuvaluan, English, Samoan, Kiribati (on the island of Nui) - Australian dollar (AUD); note - there is also a Tuvaluan dollar