Hosting Games Already Seeing Benefits for Samoa’s Economy

Governor for the Central Bank of Samoa, Maiava Atalina Ainuu-Enari. (Image by CBS)

(DS)The Government of Samoa is now already seeing the benefits of hosting the XVI Pacific Games for our nation, according to the Central Bank office for Samoa.

The opportunities and benefits will continue and are expected to have a long-term impact on many economic activities, and many development areas for Samoa – the development of youth with potential opportunities in sports, the private and public sector organisations, businesses and financial institutions, and better Government positioning in future developments opportunities – are areas reflecting a positive impact.

The tourism industry-related businesses are highlighted to receive great benefits, with an expected influx of tourism for the country. It also reflected Samoa’s capability level in hosting of future events with its enhanced infrastructural sporting facilities established for the games.

Samoa’s economy is also predicted to increase it’s real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth for 2019/2020 financial year – which could translate to potentially lowering government borrowing and reducing debt, plus addressing many government financial challenges.

“For one thing, it raises the profile of Samoa which leads to lasting economic benefits such as attracting tourists and business investment. Event tourism represents a specific type of tourism, and major sporting events are an increasingly popular means for tourism developments. Also, it highlights how Samoa as a small island developing state faced many challenges and manages to maximize usage of the limited resources we have. Samoa was only given 18 months to prepare for the games when Tonga pulled out for good reasons. A significant benefit in the long term investment in infrastructure and transport to cater for the influx of participants as well as tourists. With improved sporting facilities and infrastructure, Samoa can host any major sporting event in the future”, stated the Governor for the Central Bank of Samoa, Maiava Atalina Ainuu-Enari.

“The increase in economic activities is already visible at the moment with increased spending and injection of money into the economy. There is also a potential future influx of tourists as a result of the international broadcast and exposure of the Pacific Games beyond the region. The current athletes who are visiting our shores for the first time may return in the future as tourists”.

“Economic activities associated with hosting of the Pacific Games, from investments in infrastructure, spending, increased foreign exchange (as tourists and athletes alike exchange their foreign currencies for the Sāmoan Tala) to name a few, are positive contributors to Sāmoa’s real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth.  In fact, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Sāmoa’s real GDP growth for this financial year 2019/2020 is expected to increase to 4.4 percent reflecting growth in tourism-related sectors from hosting the Games”.

“This would most likely be reflected in increased economic activities for tourism-related businesses – such as accommodations, restaurants, rental cars, handicrafts, retail shops, authorized foreign exchange dealers (i.e. banks and money changers), telecommunications (internet, mobile phone services), transportation to name a few.  Construction-related businesses would also have seen the benefits given the preparatory works in relation to construction or renovations to some of the sporting facilities used for the Pacific Games”.

“Our ability to host the Pacific Games in a short time frame and to deliver satisfactorily as per the positive feedbacks/commentary so far, already says a lot about our small island nation.  The benefits are not only from the economic/financial gains but the exposure and motivation are given to our current youth to participate or take up various sports as potential career paths is another major positive for our country”.

The Governor also highlighted her appreciation for the support from its development partners for their contribution to Samoa’s preparation as the host nation.

“We are grateful to our development partners namely Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the People’s Republic of China for their tremendous support”, Mrs. Ainuu-Enari further expressed.

The hosting the XVI Pacific Games also reflects the commitment and focus of the Government to providing opportunities for the country. The decision by Government is very much aligned with the Strategy for the Development of Samoa 2016/17-2019/20. The decision contributes across all areas, mainly improving priority areas 1 and 3 with key outcomes 4,5,10 and 11 directly benefiting.

The Strategy for the Development of Samoa (SDS) is the approved document with agreed priority areas and key outcomes for the Government of Samoa to guide and align its work towards.

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