6 Jun 2013

Samoa tourism operators say the industry is in crisis

9:11 am on 6 June 2013

Tourism leaders in Samoa say the tourism industry is in crisis, due to a lack of visitors.

The Samoa Observer reports 30 hoteliers, tour operators and owners attended the impromptu emergency meeting in Vailima and said the rapid increase in rooms in recent years has not been met with expected tourist numbers.

They say there is a sense of denial, with only a few of the official figures appearing to confirm industry concerns, and one report carried a graph that had been blacked out.

The Central Bank of Samoa says tourism figures increased by 24 per cent for the month of March on the month of February 2013, but the number of tourists had dropped by 10.6 per cent compared to March 2012.

Tourism operators say a key point missed in reports is that the 5.5 per cent growth in visitors last year was due to Samoa's 50th Anniversary of Independence.