12 Dec 2008

American Samoa's House of Representatives approves nominee for Visitor's Bureau

12:11 pm on 12 December 2008

The American Samoa House of Representatives has approved one nominee for the Board of Directors of the recently established Visitors Bureau and rejected another.

The House approved Aleki Sene Junior's nomination while Thomas Drabble has been rejected for a second time.

However during the House hearing, members were complimentary of Mr Drabble's efforts to develop the local tourism industry through his various businesses.

Mr Drabble says the territory needs a well-qualified Director of Tourism, possibly from offshore.

"We've spent the last thirty years, we've had ten people on the office of tourism. They've virtually done nothing. They've gone off to shows and so on but we've had nothing to sell, we've had a broken down hotel for example and you look back and you say thanks goodness visitors didn't come because it would have been very very embarrassing."

Meanwhile, Governor Togiola Tulafono will have to wait till January to make a new nomination for the Board or resubmit Thomas Drabble's name in the 31st Legislature.