Private Sector Tourism Projects To Boost Visitors To American Samoa

Visitors Bureau welcomes planned renovation of Rainmaker Hotel

By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (The Samoa News, July 18, 2016) – Rehab of the old Rainmaker Hotel site, for a new three and half star hotel — and other tourism related business are going to keep visitors coming back to the territory as well as attracting new one, says American Samoa Visitors Bureau executive director.

Samoa News reported last week that the Procurement Office issued a letter on June 23 to New York based Destination Hotel Partners LLC & Integrated Engineered Energy Solutions LLC, informing them that they had been “selected” for the ‘American Samoa Tourism Revitalization Initiative — Hotel Site Development’.

The proposed project calls for at least a 3 1/2 Star Hotel with a minimum of 250 rooms, which will added to the current local accommodations capacity of just over 200 rooms — with Tradewinds Hotel and Sadie’s by the Sea holding most of this room capacity.  However, there are still details that need to be negotiated and agreed upon before a lease agreement is signed, according to acting chief procurement officer Sapi Ma’o Eni.

Asked if this project — which is now moving forward — would help tourism development in the territory, Vaeafe said a “major project like this will greatly strengthen our tourism base and provide much needed room capacity to grow our visitor numbers, and if the demand is there other roll-on effects from a new hotel will include demand for more airline seats and services, tour excursions and so on.”

Such a project “shows confidence in the territory that a international developer is stepping up and see’s the potential the hotel has to offer for the destination and from a commercial aspect,” he told Samoa News.

Vaeafe points out that for the last several years “our industry has developed a range of products, which have been the mainstay for our visitors, but we have come to a point now where we need to diversity and add to that inventory.”

“So new developments like this hotel [project], tours or other tourism related businesses are going to keep visitors coming back to American Samoa as well as attracting new ones,” he said. “All of this can only happen with both the public and private sectors working together. As I have always said from the beginning, American Samoa has huge tourism development potential, we have the products and the only way we can bring all of these opportunities to fruition is to partner together.”

“Tourism will one day be American Samoa’s main economic driver in the future, but it will take time and private public sector partnerships to help activate this,” he said.

The Samoa News
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