27 Oct 2009

Samoa campaigns to revive tourism sector

3:12 pm on 27 October 2009

Samoa is rolling out campaigns in New Zealand and Australia to attract tourists back to the tsunami-stricken country.

The waves hit the south coast of the island of Upolu, destroying many homes, hotels and resorts.

The Samoa Tourism Authority started a newspaper and televison campaign promoting the nation in New Zealand over the weekend, and will start another one in Australia later this week.

The authority's marketing and promotions manager, Dwayne Bentley, says it's business as usual in 80 percent of the country.

"It's extremely safe. Only a very small part of the country was affected. Much of Samoa's tourism products and services and other services outside tourism are very much operational."

Dwayne Bentley says tourism is one of the country's lifelines, contributing 25 percent to the total GDP.