A NEW IMAGE FOR SAMOA

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By Cherelle Jackson

APIA, Samoa (August 31, 2002 – Samoa Observer)---Samoa will no longer be known as "The Heart of Polynesia" but rather "The Treasured Islands of the South Pacific."

The change comes as part of the Samoa Visitors Bureau’s plans to change the image of Samoa and SVB itself.

Yesterday six tourism products were launched at the reopening of the new and improved SVB fale: The Samoa Tourism Development Plan, 2003 Calendar, CD Roms featuring images of Samoa, new web site, post cards and stamps.

The day began with a short prayer and ceremony by Rev Nuuausala Siutaia of Apia Protestant Church.

According to him, changes "were not uncommon" and it "does not lessen commitment or responsibility to a cause."

Minister of Tourism Hon. Hans Joachim Keil made the keynote address.

"Today marks an important stepping stone for the tourism industry in Samoa."

He officially launched the Samoa Tourism Development Plan 2002-2006, expressing his gratitude to the New Zealand government for funding it.

"The plan is set. All we have to do now is implement it with the cooperation of the private and public sector and the public."

In addition to the change in slogan, SVB also plans to change its name to "Samoa Tourism Authority."

Keil said: "That is currently being reviewed by the Cabinet. I ask Ministers present here today to please accept the changes in Parliament."

To promote the new changes, several products were launched, including a new web site. SVB already has an existing web site but the new one is more detailed and informative, with the addition of e-cards where a visitor can send an electronic post card of Samoa from the site.

Posters, calendars and post cards featuring beaches, waterfalls, Samoan people, forests and the Samoan tattoo were also launched yesterday. All products feature the new slogan ‘The Treasured Islands of the South Pacific."

Postal stamps of the same pictures as in other products were displayed yesterday, to be used in September.

For additional reports from the Samoa Observer, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Samoa Observer.

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