The number of visitors travelling to Samoa for sports events may still be small but it is slowly making a significant contribution to the total number of visitor arrivals to Samoa .
In the first half of this year, Samoa has seen a number of foreigners travel here to witness or participate in various sporting events at the international level, with the likes of rugby, tennis, netball and swimming to name a few.
This week, Samoa hosts the 2010 SIFA Samoa Masters International Golf Tournament at the Le Penina Golf Course from the 07-10th July 2010. This event is estimated to bring in more than 30 international golfers alone from around the Australasia region, not taking into account those that will be travelling to Samoa just to watch the tournament that is currently in progress.
Such sporting events have been the contributing factor to the increase in Samoa’s visitor arrival numbers throughout the past few years for sporting purposes, despite the decline in total number of visitors to Samoa as seen in the first quarter of this year. The past years from 2007-2009 show an increase in the number of sports visitors from 368-391 individuals and the beginning of this year has shown that the number of sports visitors from January-April of this year has increased in comparison to the same months last year.
While not major figures, the increase is a supportive indicator to the tourism industry of its efforts to attract more visitors to our shores.
The Government is encouraging Samoa through its local sporting bodies to continue to host such sporting events with the hopes of not only increasing visitor numbers but also creating more positive publicity for Samoa to the outside world.
Tourism contributed 30% of Samoa’s total earnings in the past financial year.