Participants at the Samoa Tourism Exchange (STE) say face to face meetings between tourism stakeholders, increased queries on tourism products and eventually an increase in business. These were some of the positive comments raised by participants at the recent Samoa Tourism Exchange. Natalia Kovacs a travel agent from Goway Travel Vancouver said the event was not only ideal for networking purposes and signing contracts but it was important to meet people face to face in terms of reservations and sales.
“Goway Vancouver has already confirmed contracts with three of Samoa’s luxury boutique resorts, however, she is positive that they will secure more contracts after the event. Melissa Teodoro from Downunder Travel said she was impressed with the Samoan twist to the western dishes they tasted at the event.
“I am sure my clients will enjoy the different varieties of food in Samoa,” Teodoro said.
The annual Samoa Tourism Exchange (STE) is a B2B Trade Event for Product and Contracting Managers.
The STE featured a 2-day Exhibition (13-14 April) featuring pre-scheduled Buyer/Seller appointments with suppliers from across Samoa and American Samoa.
STE, which is coordinated by the Samoa Tourism Authority, was initiated in 2008 and has expanded to become a major tourism exchange in the South Pacific region.
This year, a total of 59 Buyers and 47 exhibitors attended from New Zealand, Australia, the USA, UK/Europe, China, South Korea, Japan, American Samoa and Fiji.
South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) Chief Executive Officer Ilisoni Vuidreketi said events like STE helped to showcase the wide variety of tourism products available in small nations like Samoa.
“Samoa is a nation that prides itself in its Fa’a-Samoa culture and traditions and is one of the friendliest nations in the region when it comes to tourism,” he said.
“I know the international travel agents and Samoan tourism operators would have been able to exchange ideas and important information that can only mean growth for this important sector in Samoa’s economy.”
Samoa recorded 131,175 visitors for 2015 compared to 130,653 visitors in 2014 and a lot of that performance can be attributed to events like the STE, the South Pacific Tourism Exchange and other tourism events aimed at luring more visitors to Samoa.