Saturday, 22 October 2016

SAMOA: Celebrating World Tourism Day

The World Tourism Day 2016 was celebrated in the country on the 27th of September at the end of
last month, with the event hosted by the Martin Hautus Institute of Learning Samoa (MHILS) at Malololelei.

On the theme ‘Tourism for All, Promoting Universal Accessibility’, the keynote address was delivered by the Hon.Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Fatialofa Lupesoliai Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, delivered the keynote address, and spoke on the importance of Tourism for Samoa.

As we celebrate such a momentous event with the rest of the world, we encourage the tourism sector and all others to ensure the accessibility to all citizens and visitors including those with special needs.” Said Tuilaepa.

“Tourism is the biggest industry in Samoa, we earn close to SAT$400 million every year from tourism.

“We have been investing in many other areas, but, Tourism continues to top all the efforts that we do here in Samoa, and this is why it is so important to have an institution of this nature to help train our people who will provide services within our tourism industry.

The celebration also included a message from the United Nations World Tourism Organisation Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai who said that ““Tourism has experienced a revolution in the past 50 years”.
He added, that “In 1950 there were 25 million international tourists; today there are around 1.2 billion people travelling the world. Travelling has become a huge part of many lives that when travelling, we come across new people, new sights, and new ideas.

Often our perception of the world changes as we see more of it. However, we must not forget that for
many, travelling can be quite a difficult process.

“15% of the world’s population is estimated to live with some form of disability. That is 1 billion people around the world who may be unable to enjoy the privilege of knowing other cultures, experience nature at its fullest and experience the thrill of embarking on a journey to explore new sights.”

“Accessibility for all should be at the center of tourism policies and business strategies not only as a human right, but also as a great market opportunity with the world’s population ageing, all of us will benefit sooner or later from universal accessibility in tourism.”

Attending this year’s local celebration were the STA CEO and other Government CEOs, New Zealand and Australian Government Representatives, Tourism Industry members and distinguished guests.

Entertainment was provided by tourism students of Martin Hautus Institute of Learning Samoa.
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