By Lagi Keresoma
APIA: TUESDAY 9 APRIL 2013: Samoa Tourism Authority (STA) wants a presence in China.
STA sees it as a long term initiative to help swing the plane full of tourists that come out of that country our way.
“China is sending big contingents of tourists to Samoa and we know China is one of the biggest tourism operators in the world,” said STA Marketing Manager, Dwayne Bently.
A tourism centre is timely too with one of China’s tourism companies, Exhibition Tourism Group (ETC), set to invest in a hotel in Samoa.
ETC is on the search for land to build a 500-room hotel and has been granted a license to run a casino in Samoa.
Samoa has only four tourism centres overseas, in Los Angeles, London, New Zealand and Australia.
A centre in American Samoa was closed a few years back.
Road shows to promote Samoa is part one of the priorities of the tourism centres and they also represent Samoa in conferences or tourism exchange programmes conducted in areas close to them.
Since the establishment of the STA cultural centre in town, tourists had been treated to exhibitions of local activities from weaving to traditional healing to enjoying traditional food cooked in an umu.
It means tourists do not have to travel out of town to experience these activities.