11 Mar 2015

American Samoa told to boost tourism funding

10:46 am on 11 March 2015

A federally funded air transport study for American Samoa has recommended an increase in the agency's budget to support tourism development in the territory.

American Samoa

American Samoa Photo: RNZI

The recommendations come despite several lawmakers claiming the American Samoa Visitors Bureau's budget is already too high.

During last August's fiscal year budget hearings, lawmakers were against the $900,000 allocated to the Visitors Bureau's budget.

They complained that the agency employs only eight people, which includes the executive directors with a salary of $80,000 US dollars.

The Visitors Bureau has been promoting the territory as a destination for tourists from the US and as a side trip for tourists from Australia and New Zealand visiting Samoa.

Additionally, it has helped increase the number of cruise ships calling into Pago Pago and has worked on the development and promotion of activities for tourists and cruise ship passengers.

The study recognises that tourism infrastructure in the territory is limited.