Local hoteliers doing their best in tough times

The November-April period is traditionally a non-peak period for Samoa’s tourism industry.

And local hoteliers are unlikely to drop their rates in a bid to attract local clients, despite the uncertainty in the industry brought on by the measles epidemic.

A survey by the Samoa Observer of some hotels in Apia revealed that a few of them had guests and were doing okay despite the health crisis.

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A Millenia Hotel spokesman said their rooms were fully booked by foreign medical personnel, who were in the country assisting local health workers save lives and stop the spread of the epidemic.

While the November-April period could be considered quiet, the spokesman said he is not worried as this is also a time for Samoans living abroad to visit their families.

Le Sanita Hotel General Manager, Pauline Ott Fepuleai, said they’ve had cancellations of bookings at their hotel due to safety concerns – and dropping their rates further to attract local clients would not make any difference to their annual revenue targets.

“I understand that because people value their safety than coming to Samoa and get affected with measles, even if we drop our rates to $10 per night people will still not come,” she added.

One tourism operator Marleke Lodge said they had foreign guests and they were doing fine, despite increasing fears over the impact of the epidemic and concerns that less expat Samoans would visit this year for holidays and family reunions.

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