Professor Stephen Pratt, Head of STHM in Samoa.
Two leading academics from The University of the South Pacific are undertaking research that will assist Samoa maximise its long term agri-tourism potential.
Professor Stephen Pratt, the Head of School of Tourism and Hospitality Management (STHM) and Dr Alminda Fernandez, Lecturer in Food and Crops technology, are currently in Samoa to help Samoan farmers develop ideas that will boost its agri-tourism potential.
Prof. Pratt stated that “we want them to make evidence-based decisions, based on robust research so they have the justification and can use it moving forward”.
He said Samoa’s strong agricultural background could be leveraged further for its tourism industry’s benefit.
Dr Fernandez added that while other South Pacific tourism countries have been studied for their agri-tourism potential, no work has been done on Samoa.
She highlighted that in her homeland in the Philippines, agriculture tourism is very popular and some farmers make more money from tourists as compared to selling their products in the market.
The team hopes to work with farmers, tour operators and tourists themselves to develop a strong platform to maximise the potential of Samoa in developing its tourism product experience to include agri-tourism.
The South Pacific agricultural tourism sector has seen specific types of farms succeed with tourism, like cacao and vanilla in Vanuatu and kava and nonu in Fiji.
Agritourism is well established as a part of the tourism industry in developed countries like USA, Canada and Australia.
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