13 Jul 2016

Tourism boost for American Samoa

7:31 pm on 13 July 2016

The executive director of the American Samoa Visitors Bureau says a newly approved hotel development in the territory is part of a strategic tourism plan.

David Vaeafe said the redevelopment of the historic Rainmaker Hotel site at the mouth of Pago Pago harbour was timely given hotel occupancy had grown from 30 to 70 percent in the last seven years.

The 250 room initiative is a partnership with New York based Destination Hotel Partners and will more than double the territory's current capacity of 200 rooms.

"The development would not be government owned or run, it would be totally private sector driven. The hotel would belong to the developer and the government would just be the landlord."

Final details are still being negotiated and the contract is yet to be fully ratified.

Mr Vaeafe said other initiatives in the strategic tourism plan included a new airport terminal at Tafuna, improvements to the ocean liner terminal at Pago Pago and a reinstatement of the cable car that once spanned the harbour.

He said the the territory was the last place in the Pacific to embrace tourism.

The Rainmaker Hotel in Pago Pago, American Samoa.

The Rainmaker Hotel in Pago Pago, American Samoa. Photo: Jerry and Roy Klotz MD