American Samoa International Visitor Survey 2017 Released

This is the first intensive study commissioned by the American Samoa Visitors Bureau (ASVB) and delivered by the South Pacific Tourism Organisation.

The Report provides a quantitative and qualitative assessment of visitors, which in turn provides key stakeholders with comprehensive and accurate information on the characteristics, behaviour and expenditure of visitors to American Samoa.

The information will be used by the Government and Tourism Industry stakeholders for policy formulation and making informed business decisions and planning.

Key findings highlighted by the CEO of the South Pacific Tourism Organisation, Mr. Christopher Cocker show that Pacific Islands and USA visitation continues to dominate the American Samoa tourism landscape, accounting for more than half of all visitors (69.5%) with Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR) traffic representing for 54.9% of the country‟s overall annual total.

The most popular activities and attractions cited for visiting the Territory remains, cafes/restaurants (60.4%) and shopping (46.4%).

The survey also found that while water-based activities including swimming and snorkeling are high on visitor‟s wish lists; sightseeing, walking/hiking, visiting friends and relatives, visiting a village, relaxing, bars/nightclubs remain among the top 10 reasons for visiting.

However, one of the Territory‟s biggest drawcards remains the friendliness of its people, a attribute Mr. Cocker described as “compelling”.

“With an estimated expenditure of USD3.4 million generated from the surveyed visitors, and visitation continuing to increase, the American Samoa tourism sector is „„well on track” to becoming an economic pillar and driver for the South Pacific nation, said Mr. Cocker.

Further insights detailed 68% of visitors saying that they would definitely recommend American Samoa as a holiday destination to others and 70% saying they would return to the destination for a further visit.

Describing the survey results as very positive and evidence that the American Samoa Tourism industry is “staying on track” to becoming a major economic pillar in a short span of time, the ASVB Executive Director, David Vaeafe also indicated that there were still some areas for improvement but also new opportunities for further development.

“American Samoa‟s tourism industry and product is unique and continued research will assist our Territory in developing and refining a strong and sustainable tourism sector for future generations to come”, he said.

Mr Vaeafe reiterated that the Public Private Sector Partnership drive to tourism development by the Bureau and the whole of Government approach in the sector is achieving the desired results. The implementation of the 2010 Tourism Master Plan is seeing tourism development taking hold with new and established businesses registering positive growth, though small and steady.

The IVS is a major initiative of the Bureau that provides the right information for both the policy makers and the industry” he said.

The American Samoa IVS 2017 was conducted by ASVB in collaboration with SPTO over a period of 9 months from December 2016 to August 2017. Interviewing took place at Pago Pago International Airport Departure areas.

The total completed sample was 771 interviews.


(Source: South Pacific Tourism Organisation Press Release 22 January 2018)



About SPTO Established in 1983 as the Tourism Council of the South Pacific, the South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) is the mandated organisation representing Tourism in the region. Its 18 Government members are American Samoa, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Marshall Islands, New Caledonia, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and the People‟s Republic of China. In addition to government members, the South Pacific Tourism Organisation enlists a private sector membership base.


For more information, contact: Alisi Lutu, Marketing Manager South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) Email: or +679 3304177

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