Samoa Tourism Exchange launched to boost business
The Samoa Tourism Exchange networking event was launched Wednesday at the Saletoga Sands Resort on the south coast of Upolu.
The launching also coincided with its 11 years anniversary as it was established in 2008.
Tourism Minister Sala Fata Pinati said visitor arrivals have grown steadily, with a 7.2 per cent average increase over the past three years surpassing 170,000 visitors last year, with direct contribution of more than 20 per cent to the national gross domestic product (G.D.P).
"The Government's commitment to improving our tourism and hospitality industry is seen through various investments in the national infrastructure and namely in the provision of utilities, telecommunications, and the recent introduction of the national airline jet services and an enhanced international airport," he added.
The annual event aims to enhance business to business engagement to encourage and continue to develop more partnerships between buyers and the sellers of holiday and special niche travel to Samoa.
The outcomes of the exchange with the travel trade guests will provide the required information that will focus in the offering competitive products and services, that meet the guests' expectations and value for money.
Sala acknowledged the Samoa International Game-fishing Tournament as one of the tourism attractions that continues to woo fishers of both genders annually.
For Saletoga Sands Resort, it was a huge exposure for them to host the event and as it's owner, Lou Brightwell said it is their biggest event to host and they're proud of the opportunity.
She added that having all the travel agents participate in the event was a big win for their resort as there has already been interests from businesses and entrepreneurs.
Samoan-based firm Outdoor Samoa, which operates a bicycle and kayak tour company and is located at Mulifanua, was represented by owner Frances Bidmead.
They have been doing business with Samoa Tourism for a long time and appreciate the hospitality and said they wish to promote Samoa tourism to the world.
The event concluded with entertainment provided by a Saletoga Sands Resort dancing group and a feast afterwards.