8 Dec 2006

Samoa promoting itself as safe in wake of Fiji coup

5:19 pm on 8 December 2006

Samoa is promoting itself as a safe and stable tourist destination in the wake of the Fiji coup and recent Tonga riot.

The Pacnews agency reports the Samoan Tourism Authority has put out a release to travel agents and the public saying it is proud to remind everyone of its socio-political stability.

The release says Samoa is unaffected by the unfortunate unrest in some other South Pacific

countries, and visitors to Samoa can be assured of their safety and comfort.

Meanwhile Fiji's tourism industry says it is going to take a lot of time, money and hard work to recover from the coup.

The Fiji Islands Visitors Bureau has today sought to reassure tourists, saying the political unrest in Suva is a long way from popular tourist areas such as the Coral Coast or Nadi, on the main island of Viti Levu, or from the northern islands of Vanua Levu and Taveuni.

Its regional director, Ili Matatolu, says hotels and resorts were functioning with normal security arrangements in place.

She says the bureau is confident tourism will recover but it will take a lot of time, money and effort.