21 Jun 2010

Questions over American Samoa tourism plan

7:10 pm on 21 June 2010

There are questions among interested parties in American Samoa whether the tourism master plan, developed by Resort Consulting Associates, will be put into action.

An RCA partner, Cate Therox, says without all stakeholders, including villages, buying into the plan, tourism will not take off.

She said the community must embrace a tourism culture:

"Essentially we have a lot of people who are already here as tourists as well as folks here who are business workers, people who are government employees coming for meetings. There's a lot we could do to take the captive audience and promote some of the offerings that already exist."

A Resort Consulting Associates partner, Cate Therox.

The executive director of the Visitors Bureau, David Vaeafe, says the board of directors supports the plan wholeheartedly.

He says tourism can be developed gradually but the plan also includes recommendations that can be implemented quickly.

He says the territory has 249 hotel rooms and they are operating at less than 50 percent occupancy.