Samoa’s new Destination Marketing Strategy shifts focus on post Covid-19
The new 5-year Destination Marketing Plan for the period 2020/2021 to 2024/2025 will soon be completed, following a host of forums and consultations with the Industry and key stakeholders on the way forward.
The Strategic plan sets out the marketing goals and strategies to achieve all-encompassing growth in visitor arrivals and spend by the end of FY 2024/2025 from the downturns caused by the measles epidemic and Covid-19 pandemic.
To achieve positive growth quickly, the plan suggests the tourism sector must remain focused on restoring and growing its primary markets of New Zealand and Australia to gain the most effective and impactful return on investment. This requires a concerted industry-wide effort beyond integrated marketing alone to restore visitor confidence in Samoa as being a safe, healthy and appealing destination that delivers on its brand promise to key audiences within these markets.
The development of the marketing plan is based on learning from the past and planning for the future. This has entailed, a review and analysis of the 2014-19 calendar years’ performance; consultation with Samoa’s tourism industry through meetings with key tourism business stakeholder groups; an industry-wide online survey of tourism business operators, reflecting on how the goals and objectives identified in Samoa’s 2014-19 destination marketing plan reflected at an operator level, and seeking guidance on operators' priorities for Samoa over the next five years; consultation with Samoa’s market representatives in New Zealand and Australia to understand priorities for achieving growth in these markets and monitoring global and Australasian market dynamics and trends in response to Covid-19.
A number of key Covid-related initiatives required to gain visitor confidence and achieve the targets of the Plan are highlighted. These include the development of a travel-ready toolkit, Covid-19 vaccination programme, health, safety and hygiene measures and the resumption of international travel.
“We are delighted to finalise the strategic plan on behalf of the industry and wider sector and acknowledge the assistance of the New Zealand Government towards the development of the plan” said STA CEO, Faamatuainu Lenata’i Suifua. “Tourism remains a priority in Government’s strategy for the development of Samoa and we look forward to working closely together with our partners and stakeholders to rebuild and achieve the strategic objectives of the plan”, added Faamatuainu.
Finalisation of the new Destination Marketing Strategy is scheduled to be completed by the end of March and given the uncertainties caused by the Pandemic which directly impact the goals (of the plan), developments will be closely monitored and captured.