24 Jun 2013

Samoa hotels association says tourism authority needs bigger budget

5:09 am on 24 June 2013

The President of the Samoa Hotels Association says the tourism authority needs a bigger budget.

Last week more than 60 hotel and tour company operators and even taxi companies met to discuss what some are describing as a crisis.

Tuala Oli Ah Him says all of Samoa is responsible for the industry and everyone needs to improve the experience for tourists, starting with airport baggage handlers, who he says need to be more friendly.

He says he is planning on speaking to the education sector to encourage more Samoans to take up hospitality as a career.

Tuala says although the government says it can not do more, the budget of the Samoa Tourism Authority could be increased.

"We all agreed that the Government needs to increase the STA budget. It's just not enough to market Samoa. The STA budget is around four million New Zealand dollars. That's not much for our authority."

Tuala Oli Ah Him.