19 Jul 2010

Tourism way forward for struggling American Samoa economy - business leader

1:40 pm on 19 July 2010

Tourism could provide hope for the American Samoan economy after major cuts to the key tuna industry have left some families and businesses struggling.

More than two thousand people have lost their jobs in the past year and a half, with one cannery closing and the second downsizing.

The chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, Joey Cummings, says business owners are trying to diversify the economy and a recent report by the Visitor's Bureau offers some hope for the future.

"There need to be projects that are out there, that are shining examples of what we can be doing in an economy after tuna canning, and the most recent example of that is the introduction of our tourism master plan."

Mr Cummings says tourism is under developed at present and American Samoa is still an undiscovered gem in the Pacific for many travellers.