10 Aug 2005

Samoa expects tourism boost, needs more accommodation

7:17 pm on 10 August 2005

Samoa is expecting to boost its tourist numbers when the new joint venture airline Polynesian Blue starts flying into Apia.

Samoa is one of seven Pacific countries taking part in the Jewel In The Isles road show through New Zealand, which is encouraging people to invest in tourism projects, with an emphasis on accommodation.

Polynesian Blue is the merger of the national airline Polynesian with Virgin Blue and it is expected to start operation in October.

Samoa's trade commissioner, Va'atu'itu'i Apete Meredith, says it should bring more visitors and more accommodation will be needed.

He says the ideal is beach bungalow developments of around six units in rural areas built in a joint venture with the local landowners.

"You have got to remember that only ten percent of the land is freehold. Ninety percent is really customary land and so we are working very closely with our village people and the landowners to come up with arrangements where land can be used for these developments."