26 Jun 2013

More five star hotels needed to boost Samoa Tourism

9:55 am on 26 June 2013

The Samoa Tourism Authority says global events have made business tough in recent years but more foreign investment in five-star operations should boost numbers.

The CEO Sonja Hunter says competition is tough with larger neighbouring island countries competing for tourists.

Ms Hunter has outlined what she calls desired characteristics that entice tourists and says Samoa needs to improve on some of them.

She says Samoa has beautiful beaches and an authentic culture, but needs to work on providing quality hotels that give value for money, and a safe and politically stable country.

Ms Hunter says tourists have been turned away by natural disasters such as the 2009 tsunami, but also by Samoa's stray dogs, which will be addressed by the Canine Control Bill.

She says other factors have influenced arrival numbers such as the 2011 Rugby World Cup, which kept New Zealand visitors at home, and the global financial crisis.