Jacinda Arden acknowledges Tourism importance on first visit to Samoa
Prime Minister of NZ, Hon. Jacinda Arden talking tourism with Prime Minister of Samoa, Hon. Tuilaepa Fatialofa Lupesoliai Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi during their joint press conference in the Prime Minister’s office at the FMFMII Government Building, Apia.
New Zealand Prime Minister, Hon. Jacinda Arden’s first official visit to Samoa was a warm and welcoming one, where she highlighted a ‘unique friendship’ between the two countries as she met with Samoa’s Prime Minister, Hon. Tuilaepa Fatialofa Lupesoliai Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi.
“That’s why it was so important for us, so early on as a new government, to travel to Samoa,” she said.
As a major development partner, the NZ Prime Minister was quick to point out the importance of tourism when asked the question on further increases in NZ funding.
“Yes, in tourism there is no doubt there is a huge potential here and we discussed the potential for tourism increases and tourism to really boost Samoa’s GDP, and so that much is clear,” she said.
The Prime Minister announced a total of NZ$9.5million in additional aid for Samoa, being distributed accordingly.
NZ$3million for recovery works following the recent tropical cyclone Gita and NZ$6.5 million aimed at boosting employment and growing the country’s private sector particularly to supporting the young people and woman who are developing small business opportunities and accessing micro-financing.
“What we’d hope is that things like supporting the establishment of small and medium and micro size enterprises can also contribute to your tourism industry and ecosystem as well.
“So that investment of NZ$6.5miilion dollars I would hope that we will see a flowing effect by the number of businesses being set up to support your tourism economy as well.” She added.
“Of course there are a number of areas where we’ve already worked together too and alongside in the education space to build your tourism workforce but always looking for opportunities to support what is a growing venture and in that regard I hope that New Zealanders in particular continue to be a big part of your tourism here in Samoa because of being so close to NZ and such a wonderful destination as well.”
Hon. Tuilaepa also commented that Samoa is indeed the most beautiful destination in this southern part of the globe.
“Just to follow up on the question, I think all the media people here will agree with me, particularly Dreaver, (Barbara Dreaver TVNZ Pacific Correspondent) you will never have come to Samoa, and this not a subjective but a very objective analysis of tourism here in the Pacific islands.
“You will find this is the most beautiful Island in the South Pacific.” Said Tuilaepa.
NZ is Samoa’s major source market for visitors.