The Samoa Tourism Authority recently hosted the Validation Workshop for the draft Samoa Cruise Tourism Strategy 2021/22-2026/27 and the Samoa Cruise Tourism Preparedness Toolkit at the Lava Hotel in Apia.
The Workshop was well attended by stakeholders including cruise tourism industry members, the Sea Cruise Working Group and representatives of the key Government Agencies responsible for Samoa ports and border control.
The aim of the Validation Workshop was to present the Draft Strategy to stakeholders and seek their views before the Strategy is finalised for launch and publication.
Initial consultations with cruise tourism stakeholders took place between September and October 2021 and the workshop was a good opportunity for stakeholders to validate the findings and outcomes on the basis that they are instrumental to the success of the Strategy.
The Strategy is the first for cruise tourism in Samoa and is timely to ensure preparedness and readiness for the safe resumption of cruise operations and visits to Samoa.
In addition, stakeholders at the workshop were also presented with information on the comprehensive health and safety measures that cruise lines have adopted and implemented to ensure responsible cruising for customers and all stakeholders including ports and destinations in response to the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Feedback was sought from local stakeholders to inform the development of the dedicated Cruise Tourism Preparedness Toolkit which will incorporate entry requirements set by Samoa’s Border Agencies. The Toolkit will feature health and safety protocols and guidelines for cruise lines and passengers as well as superyachts and will be formalised by June 2022 in preparation for the resumption of cruise tourism when borders reopen in August/September. This was welcomed by stakeholders who have received requests from major cruise lines to call in to the Port of Apia in October and November later this year.
The development of the Samoa Cruise Tourism Strategy is made possible with the generous support of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) under the auspices of the Joint SDG Fund project ‘Developing Integrated National Financing Frameworks for Cook Islands, Niue and Samoa’.
KVAConsult, a Pacific based consultancy firm, was commissioned by UNESCAP to undertake the development of the Samoa Cruise Tourism Strategy 2021/22-2026/27.
Samoa Tourism Authority is the national tourism agency, where cruise tourism is overseen in close collaboration with the Samoa Ports Authority and the Samoa Sea Cruise Working Group.