5 Aug 2013

Samoa's Attorney General defends penalties in tourism law

4:56 am on 5 August 2013

The Attorney General of Samoa says the penalties included in the Tourism Development Law are common in other laws and the media reaction has been blown out of proportion.

The law says it's an offence to publish false information that may have the tendency to harm the tourism industry in Samoa.

It provides for prison terms up to three months for the offence.

After a recent workshop with more than 60 tourism stakeholders, local media reported that international visitors would be put off by the threats of imprisonment for posting complaints online if they had a bad experience.

But the Attorney General Ming Leung Wai says the Act is necessary.

"There is no intention by the Government of Samoa or the Tourism Authority to stop people from expressing any bad experiences that they have. But the way the matter has been reported by some of the media personnel is totally biased and not true."

Samoa's Attorney General Ming Leung Wai.