Tourism budget slashed in Samoa

The President of the Samoa Hotel and Hospitality Association, Tupa’I Sale’imoa Va’ai, has urged the sector to work harder to find ways to bolster their services despite the government looking to slash the Samoa Tourism Authority budget.
 
Government proposes to cut more than $10million tālā from STA’s current budget for the 2022/2023 budget.
 
Parliament is debating the national budget this week and is expected to be passed before the end of the month.
 
“The reality is that we are struggling, our economy is struggling in all facets and it is not anyone’s fault,” he told the Samoa Observer. 
 
He said as an industry they know they need help and will continue knocking on doors for help, including the government.
 
Minister of Tourism, Toeolesulusulu Cedric Schuster said the new budget for STA is sufficient for the industry saying there “was a lot of unused funding from the previous year.
 
He said the pandemic did not allow the authority to spend its marketing budget so it is essentially not used.
 
Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa has confirmed the opening of international borders 1 August 2022 and the tourism industry is already preparing for the expected arrivals