Thirty three hotels sign up
Thirty-three of 63 urban hotel properties in Samoa have signed up to accommodate officials and athletes during the 2019 Pacific Games in July.
This is according to the Samoa Hotels Association President, Tupa’i Saleimoa Va’ai, who told the Samoa Observer that Taumeasina Island Resort has already committed to hosting the Papua New Guinea team.
The only issue, Tupa’i said, is the lack of beds to accommodate the more than 4,000 athletes and officials from around the Pacific, including Australia and New Zealand.
“Not all hotel providers will be able to host because there are a lot of standards and criteria that needs to be met from the Gaming Authority’s perspective. There’s safety, there’s road access, and it will help them with the logistics of transportation as well,” he said.
“The association’s point of view is that we really want to support the Government’s initiative as well to host and host the Games well.
“Because of the short timing brought into Samoa to host, so everything was a bit rushed. The consultations would have been a bit better.”
Tupa’i said they are encouraging a lot of their members to come forward and sign up, and he understands that the Games organizing committee has contingency plans in place for accommodation.
“The sole responsibility of everything has been given to the actual gaming authority, but as the association we can only support.
“Unlike the bigger events that were held in Samoa like Small Island Developing States, Youth Commonwealth Games, where we played a big part in hosting the events, but with this particular one, I guess the shortness of time, the association has taken control. We are playing a supporting role.
“All we are sort of providing are the stock numbers and the rooms, and they will handle the booking.
“At the moment there 63 urban properties and some of them will not sign up. The industry at the moment is going to do a standards visit to see whether most of these hotels are up to par because they need to meet the criteria of the Games authority.”
For Savaii, Tupa’i explained from the numbers that have been given to them, they’ve got the accommodation of the officials and athletes covered.
He said they are hopeful the Games will be a successful one and the spirit of working together thrives.