New signposts to make travelling easier
Sixty-five new way finding signposts for Upolu were launched at the Samoa Tourism Authority (S.T.A.) Fale yesterday.
The New Zealand Aid (NZAID) funded project will provide way finding signs to assist and guide visitors to find tourist attractions on both Upolu and Savaii.
Speaking during the launch, Minister of Tourism, Sala Fata Pinati said over the past years, there have been numerous concerns raised through consultations and especially visitors on the difficulties of navigating around Samoa because of limited way finding signposts.
“The Samoa Tourism Authority (S.T.A.) in the past years had taken on this challenging task of signposting all of the villages in Samoa. Unfortunately, due to limited funding resources, upgrading of these signposts as well as the development of new way finding signage took an indefinite hold,” Sala said.
“Fortunately, our New Zealand Aid donor partner, through the Samoa Tourism Growth Partnership has kindly provided assistance in terms of supporting our tourism sector with the required financial resources as well as advisory roles through the TRC Tourism.”
Sala said sustainable tourism development in Samoa has grown tremendously throughout the years.
“We have bear witness in such through the improvements in our infrastructural developments, new investments in our tourism offerings in areas such as new accommodation developments, restaurants and the annual increase on inbound holiday travelers and returning residents searching for that authentic, safe and genuine destination to spend their holidays,” Sala said.
“Product awareness and better accessibility throughout Samoa is vital and one of the many areas where the S.T.A., with its partners, have been working on through the years to ensure that tourism benefits are shared among our key stakeholders, especially our people.”
“The awareness of what Samoa has to offer in terms of our unique attraction sites, cultural heritage and natural experiences are one of the key drives towards our destination ‘Beautiful Samoa’ marketing campaign,” Sala stated.
He said it is intended that these way finding signs will complement existing maps and information about self-drive tours, especially on Upolu where there are a number of drive tour options.
“It is not intended that future tourist drives would be fully signposted but rather that there is sufficient signage to complement paper or digital media so that visitors can locate themselves on ground at key decision points and major sites,” Sala said.
He added signposts for Savaii are currently in the pipeline and will follow soon.
“They are based on the Samoan, Australian and New Zealand standard for tourist signposting and are also consistent with international standards and will be readily recognised by the majority of visitors to Samoa,” Sala said.
He acknowledged NZAID, TRC Tourism, Land Transport Authority, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development, Matniuel Screen Printing and Designs, and tourism sector for their contribution to the project.
Sala advised those who will be directly involved to look after these important signs. “Always keep in mind, tourism is everyone’s business.”
New Zealand High Commissioner to Samoa, HE Nick Hurley said New Zealand Government is happy to support projects that will contribute to tangible benefits and really make a difference to the overall tourism experience.