SAMOA TOURISM GROWS 13 PERCENT IN 2006

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By Shereel Mills Patel

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Daily Post, Oct. 25) - Samoa is now the third most popular tourist destination in the South Pacific.

Southpacific travel says Samoa has overtaken New Caledonia and is behind Fiji and French Polynesia, which retain the two top spots.

Chief executive Tony Everitt said figures for 2006 showed Samoa had a tourist growth of 13 percent to nearly 116,000 visitors. He said this year’s figures were expected to be even better.

"Samoa is really setting itself up as a role model for tourism development in the South Pacific," Everitt said. "They’ve identified strategically that it’s a keen opportunity for them, they’ve got great support from their government and they’re also working really well with their private sector."

Everitt said Samoa was reaping the benefits of taking strategic approach to tourism development.

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