6 Nov 2009

Samoa tourism operators meet to discuss rebuilding

11:23 am on 6 November 2009

Samoa tourism operators have met to discuss the best way forward for rebuilding efforts on the south east coast of Upolu.

The CEO of the South Pacific Tourism Organisation, Tony Everitt, says the aim of the stakeholders meeting was to plan the best way forward for rebuilding efforts, given lessons learned from the recent tsunami.

He says some of the building materials that had been used prior to the disaster, such as iron roofing and huge boulders, endangered people's lives when the big wave hit and people seemed to want to do things differently this time around.

"In terms of rebuilding on that southern coast a number of thoughts were highlighted - one was to get greener and go solar heating to really look after the environment was an opportunity presented to the folks there, and to rebuild on the beach - well people appear to be open to the idea."

Tony Everitt says the SPTO is emphasising to its members right around the Pacific, not just in Samoa, to take emergency evacuation plans seriously, and have regular drills and test sirens when living on the coast.