24 Nov 2009

American Samoa hopes for post-tsunami tourism revival

2:31 pm on 24 November 2009

American Samoa Visitors Bureau says attracting tourists after the September tsunami remains one of its biggest challenges.

Bureau CEO David Vaeafe says despite minimal damage to tourism infrastructure, visitor numbers remain relatively low.

He says it has been an ongoing struggle to market American Samoa as a viable tourist destination compared to other Pacific countries like Samoa but he hopes public awareness that its tourism industry still being fully functional will help.

"We were very fortunate in that, unlike our neighbours in Samoa who lost about 25-percent of their tourism industry, our tourism industry suffered very minor damage in terms of that it was only flooding and then having the power outages for a long time. As far as structural damage, it was very little."

David Vaeafe says he hopes the Bureau can assist with implementing the tourist plan being drafted by R.C.A. Consultants to increase visitor numbers.