Visitor numbers to Samoa increased in 2018

The "visiting friends and family" category has for the first time dominated visitor numbers to Samoa, according to the Samoa Tourism Authority (STA).

The visiting family and relatives category recorded the highest number of travel entries in 2018 as the leisure market dominated the visitor profile from 2014 to 2017.

“Visiting friends and family dominated the purpose of visit category for the first time last year in 2018 over the past five years, increasing by 55 per cent in 2018.”

Government selected 2018 as the year of tourism, and it did not disappoint by bringing in record arrivals of 172,496 visitors to Samoa's shores in the last financial year. 

According to a recent Samoa Tourism Authority Newsletter, last year’s recorded visitor numbers is a 9.5 per cent increase from the 157,515 visitors recorded in the year 2017, with average growth of 6.7 per cent achieved over the past five years.

“84 per cent of overall increase recorded for 2018 over 2017 is directly attributed to the increase in visitors from our top two markets in New Zealand and Australia respectively, with the improvement in connectivity through increased air capacity being a key factor,” it read.

There has also been an increase in visitor numbers for Samoa due to the positive performance of the New Zealand market together with Australia.

According to the STA newsletter, this increase was driven by the increased digital marketing promotions, which were specifically complemented by the increase of airline seat capacity with the introduction of more seats by Air New Zealand of 20,340 and increased frequencies by 43 more flights.

New Zealand contributed 47 per cent of total visitor numbers, which is an increase of 13.1 per cent compared to previous years while Australia visitor numbers increased by 9.3 per cent, contributing 21 per cent of our 2018 visitors.

“Visiting friends and family dominated the purpose of visit category for the first time last year in 2018 over the past 5 years, increasing by 55% in 2018,” stated the STA newsletter.

STA Chief Executive Officer, Papali’i Sonja Hunter, said the role of the Authority is in marketing Samoa as a tourism destination.

“We work in partnership with other Government Agencies and the private sector in getting the job done and as mentioned by the Minister, we can only ask for everyone’s support and also feedback in further improving this industry which contribute immensely to the development of our economy," she added. 

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