Samoa Agritourism Policy Setting Workshop 2016

Samoa Agritourism Policy Setting Workshop 2016

Linking Agriculture and Tourism through Policy setting:
Strengthening the local agrifood sector and promoting agritourism

Apia, Samoa, 13-16 December 2016

Tourism is the lifeblood of many Pacific economies and agritourism provides a promising avenue for diversification and trade growth. High quality, nutritious and healthy food, available every day of the year, is critical to hotels, lodges and resorts. Often the food purchasing bill of a tourism site is large in comparison to the size of the local economy, yet surprisingly little of this is spent locally, even when supplies are available from farmers, fishermen and small-scale agribusinesses. The challenges of shifting food-sourcing to local suppliers are considerable – achieving this in a way that meets commercial needs and customer preferences and meets food and safety requirements would be one way in which tourism operations can significantly increase their contribution to local economic development. Linkages between agriculture, health and tourism not only potentially increase opportunities for domestic agriculture earnings, new markets and product development and therefore sustainable economic growth, but also offer opportunities to help develop visitor attractions and distinctive tourism destination brands through the creative use and marketing of local produce and production techniques, and use of local landscapes. In order to acquire these benefits, the tourism industry needs to be proactive in utilizing local, high quality, healthy and niche agricultural products in touristic sites and events. Opportunities in Samoa include a clean and green environment with limited use of agrochemicals and fertilizers and a significant recognised organic production, a climate suited to year-round production, sea and air freight linkages, a strong policy support towards increased support to agriculture and investment; and a growing tourism sector that creates new opportunities for high-value food products.

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