STE 2018 record attendance

STE 2018 record attendance

This year’s STE event in Samoa brought in a record number of 70 international buyers, beating out last year’s number of 52. Leituala Joe Chan Ting, manager sales & marketing, Samoa Tourism credits the buyer attendance surge to increased inbound accessibility, a big tourism promotions push and a local shift.

‘Samoa Airways has been back for just under a year, which is adding to the total collective effort to promote it as a tourist destination. We have the Pacific Games next year and our annual Teuila Festival in September. Just a lot of excitement that we are trying to create to attract people,’ says Chan Ting. ‘There are also some local shifts that are happening and that’s the mindset behind STE this year – to have a variety of exhibitors,’ he says. ‘It’s all about the food, the culture, the sites, the properties and just really promoting Samoa as a total package. There is a lot of development that the government is pushing through because they know tourism is the top foreign exchange earner.’

Chan Ting also says with Samoa Airways now in the market, accessibility has gotten even better and only adds to the flight options that already existed. ‘We want people to remember Samoa as a place to come back to. People don’t travel here to stay in hotels; it’s the culture, the food, the activities, and the food. We want them to know that these are all real.’ Chan Ting has also hinted that next year’s STE event will be bigger and better than this year’s. ‘We had to limit numbers for this year’s event because of a lack of available rooms. But for 2019, we’ll be making an announcement early next year or late this year, but we are going to make it bigger and better.’

- Sam Worthington

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