“Tourism is critical to Samoa’s economy, contributing nearly a quarter of the country’s annual GDP.
“This funding will help the Samoa Tourism Authority to upgrade a number of important visitor attractions, and improve information and access to visitor attractions more generally. The higher quality and more accessible visitor attractions will improve the tourist experience and should help increase income for local businesses and communities.”
New Zealand is also providing funding to Samoa to help the tourism sector rebuild following Cyclone Evan, increase market demand and develop a five year plan for tourism development as a basis for continued long-term support.
While visitor arrivals plateaued during 2012-13, arrival statistics are now showing a positive trend.
“New Zealand and Samoa have a strong relationship, underpinned by the many New Zealanders of Samoan descent living in New Zealand, so it’s important that we support economic development in the region,’’ says Mr Key.
While in Samoa, Mr Key participated in celebrations marking Samoa’s 52nd year of independence and met with his counterpart, Prime Minister Tuilaepa. He will also visit areas affected by the 2009 Tsunami and 2012 Cyclone Evan and tour the site where the Conference on Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) will be held in early September.
Mr Key is in Samoa as part of the 2014 Pacific Mission. He will also visit Tonga and Niue, returning to New Zealand on June 5.