28 Jan 2003

20 cruise ships expected in Samoa this year

6:29 pm on 28 January 2003

The Samoa tourism minister, Hans Joachim Keil, says up to 20 cruise ships are expected to visit the capital, Apia, this year.

Mr Keil has appealed to MPs in parliament to help keep the town clean and he says the department is happiest when tourists come and say that Apia is very clean and the country is beautiful.

He has also called for greater cooperation between the Samoa Tourism Authority and the National Beautiful Committee, the body in charge of organising clean-ups.

He says tourism has grown to become the country's biggest industry.

Central Bank figures show that last year tourism earned the country 9 percent more than the previous year.

The figure was three times the amount the exports earned for the 2001 year.