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Report: Teuila brings the tourists

Independent Samoa’s top two main foreign exchange earners recorded mixed results in September 2012, according to the latest report from the Central Bank of Samoa.While private remittances fell, tourism revenues increased thanks largely to the Teuila Festival. Here is the full report from the Central Bank of Samoa:Tourist Arrivals and Tourism EarningsAfter declining in the previous month, the number of international visitors in September 2012 increased 5 percent to 10,934; a trend that was contrary to the average 8 percent downturn recorded for this month over the last three years.As such, the current number of tourist arrivals was 12 percent higher than in September 2011, contributing to a 4 percent expansion in total visitor numbers in the first three months of 2012/13 compared to the same period of 2011/12.This month’s higher arrivals were sources mainly from Australia and New Zealand, mainly visitors travelling over on ‘holiday and vacation’, attracted to some extent, by the annual Teuila Festival in the first week of September, which included the Raggamuffin Concert, its first time in Samoa. Similarly, major sporting events such as the 2012 ICC World Cricket competition and the SIFA Samoa Golf Open 2012 were also held during the month under review, attracting a huge influx of ‘sportspeople’ compared to those that came in August 2012.The higher number of arrivals combined with a seasonal 10 percent increase in average spending per tourist saw total tourism revenues up by 15 percent ($3.5 million) to $26.8 million in September 2012. And, when compared to September 2011, tourism proceeds in the month under review were 6 percent higher consequent to increased arrivals offsetting a 1 percent drop in average spending over the year.