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Visitor’s Bureau mentors new tourism vendors

American Samoa Visitor’s Bureau is working to mentor and assist in the development of new businesses serving the tourism industry, such as tour operators, so that their product can be part of the local tourism industry package promoted off island.


Visitor’s Bureau executive director David Vaeafe says that among the areas that the agency will work on is to "mentor and assist businesses to develop their product” as part of the  effort to promote American Samoa as a tourist destination.


“We’re trying to work with people at the village level to develop something for them, develop their own product, by going through the process of getting a business license, getting their public liability insurance to be a tour operator, making sure it’s paid, so they are a legitimate business,” Vaeafe told directors at the meeting late last month.


“If you are a tour operator and you want to work with an international [wholesaler] company, who are going to send clients to you - they’re going to ask - 'what’s your public liability insurance?'” he explained. “The minimum liability is $2 million for a wholesaler to deal with a tour operator.”


“So there’s alot of steps they have to take, to get there. But by helping them through the process, we’ve had businesses who are doing very, very well,” he said, adding that products developed at the village level are included in tour brochures and packages for American Samoa.


Additionally, these products, along with other tour operators, hotels and other sectors of the local tourism industry are promoted by the Visitor’s Bureau when they attend international travel and tourism shows. Markets being targeted by the Visitor’s Bureau are Australia and New Zealand.