A Memorandum of Agreement was signed yesterday between the Government of Samoa and the hotel/accommodation owners for their hosting of some 4,000 athletes and officials at next year’s Pacific Games.
Under the MoA, hotels are expected to commit 100% of their capacity for the duration of the Games - 6th to 22nd of July.
Despite the overarching agreement signed yesterday, there is still some clarification needed on how the hotel owners can meet the requirements of the Executive Committee for the Pacific Games.
Some accommodation providers were hesitant to sign on because of tricky expectations for the athletes’ rooms as outlined under the Pacific Games Charter, one example being the provision of 2.2 metre long beds for tall athletes from sports such as basketball.
But the hotel owners were able to signal before signing whether they will be able to meet each of the specifications by July 2019 when the Games begin.
Stan Ah Kam, of the Apia Central Hotel, said they are keen to do all they can to help.
“Whatever we can provide, as long as all the rooms are filled it’s great.”
In his address Pacific Games Office C.E.O. Falefata Hele Matatia thanked all those coming on board to help with this “momentous event”.
“It’s an important platform for us, a key priority of Government next year,” he said.
“It’s also to help our hotel and tourism sector, this has always been our vision.”
He said they wanted to commit to the agreement before heading into next year.
“This is one of those milestones in our preparations for the Pacific Games.”
“One of the biggest, most integral parts of the puzzle.”
Samoa Tourism Authority (S.T.A.) C.E.O. Papali’i Sonja Hunter asked the hotel owners for their support.
“Our Government is putting up a big budget for the Pacific Games in order to implement it successfully.
“We need to work together, no matter which sector we work in – public or private.
“We are all one in the same country.”
She said once the agreement is in place, the Pacific Games organisers will decide where the athletes and officials will stay.
“We have to follow what they say, it’s not up to the S.T.A. or Samoa Hotel Association.”