Focus on tourist arrivals

WITH visitor arrivals up 6.1 per cent in the first three quarters of 2015, Samoa will increase momentum in the tourism industry this year. A series of roadshows in the middle of 2015 to Australia and New Zealand were designed to boost tourism figures in line with the opening of a five-star resort off the capital, Apia.

Arrivals from most of Samoa’s source markets have risen and the industry is held back only by the lack of infrastructure.In an interview last year, Tourism Samoa CEO Sonja Hunter, reflected on the need for greater capacity at Faleolo International Airport and better schedules for flights. Airport expansion works have since begun with Chinese Government funding. Current schedules mean visitors arrive very early in the morning after several hours of travelling.

Like most of the Pacific, Samoa will look increasingly towards China for visitors, despite the troubles at home with Asian investors. Remittances continue to play a large role in the economy – up 5.6 per cent in 2014 with expectations of further growth – with Samoans living in large numbers in New Zealand and the United States’ West Coast.

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