Hotels Association hopeful for 2019 Games

The Samoa Hotels Association is hopeful playing hosts to Pacific Games athletes and officials during their peak season next year will benefit its members. 

Association’s President, Tupa’i Saleimoa Va’ai said for most hoteliers, they are already receiving bookings for that particular time of the year and there are a few hotels that cannot pull out of the bookings they’ve committed to.      

“So hence the reason we are getting a lot of hotels to sign up to host these officials and athletes,” he told the Samoa Observer. 

“A lot of the urban properties pretty much need that sort of injection. There are a lot of unused urban properties as well that need that sort of injection as well, so we are encouraging them to sign up. 

“The timing, it’s a peak time of the year for the industry. Some of these factors are not in our control, when Samoa got handed the Games at that particular time, and asking the Government to change it into another time was a big ask.”

Tupa’i said they had put through their request on whether there could be changes, but there’s not much that can be done because of the short timing. 

“We’ve put our concerns through to the Games Authority such as the consultations; it’s our peak time of the year, because everything is done outside, so there’s not much use of the hotel facilities itself except for the beds.

“We hope the overflow will push onto the rural properties and other hoteliers that are not able to participate in hosting the Games. 

“It was only supposed to be for 14 days but now it’s been pushed to 19 days. It’s a big chunk of our peak season and the Government has given that opportunity and we are supporting that.”

Tupai added their concern is that their members are well looked after and ensure they take advantage of the particular opportunity. 

“Everything is about money, and Government funds most of this. We are thankful that a lot of hoteliers have come on board, the support is there, and it’s the financial decisions they have to make whether it’s viable for them to host it.” 

Tupai thanked the Government for giving the hoteliers an opportunity to host more than 4,000 athletes and officials. 

“It’s a good thing because you will have a lot of people coming into the country, you can’t have it all your way, and we will do what we can and support what we can.”   

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