23 Oct 2007

South Pacific-dot-Travel says Samoa is a role model for its rapid tourism growth

11:37 am on 23 October 2007

A regional tourism body says Samoa is a role model in the region for its rapid tourism growth.

South Pacific-dot-Travel says last year Samoa had the third highest number of tourists in the region, up 13 percent on the previous year.

Its Chief Executive Tony Everitt says Samoa is yet to surpass Tahiti at number two and Fiji at number one, but is already a more popular destination than New Caledonia.

"I was congratulating them for being a role model. They're doing a lot of things right in their tourism. The fact that it is the major development opportunity for the South Pacific and therefore its a major opportunity to generate employment, and alleviate poverty and improve the livelihoods of people here in the Pacific. So that's all been well understood in Samoa, great support from the govermemnt, the private sector there is doing very well, the Polynesian Blue air service working well, Air New Zealand are also doing very well, and they're reaping the benefits."

Tony Everitt.