3 Jul 2009

Five percent increase tourism target from re-opened airport in Samoa

11:01 am on 3 July 2009

The Samoa Tourism Authority is hoping the re-opened Fagali'i airport will produce a five percent increase in the number of tourists from American Samoa.

Polynesian Airlines, the national carrier, re-opened the airport yesterday after spending 3-hundred thousand US dollars on building a terminal and upgrading the runway.

Fagali'i' was closed in 2005 over safety concerns and a decision to save money by having only one airport on Upolu, Faleolo International.

The authority's chief executive, Sonya Hunter, says the shorter flight time between Pago Pago and Fagali'i and connecting flights to Savai'i make it a more attractive option for tourists.

"Other travellers from New Zealand and Australia they also to fly to Savaii and Savaii is the other island with a lot of tourism products, good resorts, good accommodation. And so there'll be the opportunity not only to travel by ferry but also by plane. And you know a lot more people from Australia and New Zealand have been asking us for such a service and we're happy that it now is going to start next week."

Sonya Hunter from the Samoa Tourism Authority.