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2017 International Visitor Survey report released

[photo: Leua Aiono Frost]

A group photo of those who attended yesterday’s release of the 2017 International Visitor Survey Report, commissioned by the American Samoa Visitors Bureau (ASVB) and delivered by the South Pacific Tourism Organization (SPTO)

SPTO chief executive officer, Christopher Cocker (fourth from right) along with three other STPO officials are on island not only for the presentation, but workshops this week with local vendors.

Also in attendance were ASVB executive director, David Vaeafe (far left) along with Miss Pacific Islands Matauaina Toomalatai, who also holds the Miss American Samoa title and is employed by the Visitors Bureau during her reign.

According to ASVB, the report, which is the first intensive study on visitors for American Samoa, provides a quantitative and qualitative assessment of visitors, which in turn provides key stakeholders with comprehensive and accurate information on characteristics, behavior and expenditure of visitors to the territory.

A key finding highlighted during a presentation yesterday by SPTO, and hosted by ASVB, is that Pacific islands and U.S. visitations continue to dominate the local tourism landscape, accounting for more than half of all visitors — 69% — with visiting friends and relatives (VFR) representing 54.9% of the overall annual total.

The most popular activities and attractions cited for visiting the territory remains, cafes/ restaurants at 60.4% and shopping at 46.4%. The survey also found that while water-based activities including swimming and snorkeling are high on the visitors' wish lists, sightseeing, walking/ hiking, visiting friends and relatives, visiting a village, relaxing, bars/ nightclubs remain among the top reasons for visiting.

However, one of the territory’s biggest draw-cards remains the friendliness of its people, an attribute Cocker describes as “compelling”, according to a news release from the ASVB.

More details from the survey report will be published later this week.