16 Dec 2004

American Samoa not keen on proposed regional marketing group

11:29 am on 16 December 2004

American Samoa's Department of Commerce director, Ali'imau H. Scanlan says marketing American Samoa together with other U.S. territories and freely associated states is too hard to implement.

Ali'imau was responding to a suggestion by Palau President, Tommy Remengesau, that the nations of Micronesia could boost tourism by packaging the region as one destination to serve American Samoa, Palau, Northern Mariana Islands, Guam and the Federated State of Micronesia.

Ali'imau says American Samoa's tourism market is not the same as Micronesia's market which is based largely on Japanese tourists.

He says American Samoa needs to sell a smaller region including its closest neighbours, Tonga and Samoa.

Ali'imau says the opening of flights to Tonga from Apia with a stop in Pago Pago by Polynesian Airlines brings the three together, making it easier to market.