Am. Samoa Economic Plan Calls For Attracting Cruise Ships

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Tourism strategy should target 20-25 yearly arrivals

By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (The Samoa News, Feb. 1, 2015) – American Samoa’s economic development plan calls for creating a strategy to attract more cruise ships to call into the Port of Pago Pago with the target of up to 25 ships per year.

Cruise ships is one section of tourism development cited in the Economic Development Implementation Plan, which was compiled by a public-private sector task force charged with coming up specific economic developments for the territory up to 2017.

The EDIP calls for an increase in the number of cruise ships visiting the territory and to achieve this goal, it recommends that the American Samoa Visitors Bureau develop and successfully execute a cruise ship strategy that includes fostering strong cruise ship partner relationships to facilitate the growth in the number of ships visiting American Samoa.

" Achieve by 2021 and sustain at least 20-25 ship visits to Pago Pago Harbor each year, bringing passenger visits up to 45,000," the plan states.

It also recommends that the Visitors Bureau, Chamber of Commerce and private sector businesses, develop memorable and competitively differentiated recreational, cultural, and dining experiences in American Samoa to appeal to the cruise ship target demographic market.

Additionally, Parks and Recreation Department is to ensure that any facilities it oversees are managed to the benefit of attracting tourists and providing recreation and cultural opportunities for current visitors and residents.

Furthermore, the plan calls for reviving the cable car to Mt. Alava and more organized eco-tourist tours for deep sea diving, snorkeling, etc. "This could include a regular ferry to Aunu’u, Manu’a islands and Swains Island. Also, historical tours," the plan says.

The plan also recommends Port Administration and Visitors Bureau determine and implement necessary short-term improvements to the arrival and visitor experience at the cruise ship dock in Pago Pago Harbor and other first points of entry for tourists.

"Cruise ships continue to dock where cargo containers are staged at Pago Harbor," it says and urged the entire community to work together to keep their surroundings clean.

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