Sudsidy scheme for tourist resorts destroyed by the tsunami
APIA: 27 Jan 2010 – An interest rate subsidy scheme has been launched to assist the owners of the tourist resorts that were damaged by last year’s tsunami to rebuild.
This is part of a NZ$10m package announced by the New Zealand Government to support recovery and reconstruction efforts in communities affected by the devastating tsunami.
$4 million New Zealand dollars of this package, is directed to the tourism sector, given the importance of the sector to Samoa’s economy.
The scheme was launched yesterday by the CEO of Finance, Tupa’imatuna Iulai Lavea, the Governor of the Central Bank of Samoa, Leasi Tommy Scanlan, and the New Zealand High Commissioner to Apia, Her Excellency Caroline Bilkey.
ST$2 million of New Zealand’s tourism assistance package will provide an interest rate subsidy of 5% per annum on reconstruction loans taken out by deluxe resorts affected by the tsunami.
The subsidy will be available for the next five years and will be managed by the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Samoa. The scheme will be backdated to cover any tsunami-related loans taken out since 1 October 2009.
In addition to this support package, the Governments of New Zealand and Samoa are in the process of finalising a scheme that will offer $3.5 million tala of grant assistance to beach fales, budget accommodation and some tourism support providers whose businesses were damaged or destroyed by the tsunami. Details of this scheme are expected to be announced soon.