12 Jun 2013

Samoa tourism industry is in crisis, says board member

4:43 am on 12 June 2013

A tourism board member in Samoa says the industry is in crisis, despite the denials of the Prime Minister and the President of the Hotel Association.

Seumanuula Moana Clarke says unless something is done soon, many operators will go out of business.

She says an increase in operators has not been met with the same increase in tourists.

A tourism operator, Francois Martel, says the number of visitors is increasing but only 30 per cent of them stay in hotels, with the majority visiting family and friends.

Seumanuula says operators need to work together and identify weaknesses rather than deny there is an issue.

"It is a crisis, the occupancy of the rooms have gone down so bad and that is the main problem, we are not filling up all this occupancy. Let's all unite, let's identify our problems of where we are right now. Let's move forward and do something positive about it."

Seumanuula Moana Clarke says Samoa needs to be marketed better, especially to New Zealand and Australia.