Tupa’i Robert Ah Sam believes that Samoa can achieve the PSTPF Goal 2 “Thriving and Inclusive Communities” by developing attractive products and services for visitors to contribute to local communities’ socio-economic development.
Holding the position of Manager Planning and Development, Tupa’i Robert has been with the Samoa Tourism Authority for the last 10 years.
“The key to achieving this goal is for the tourism sector to be inclusive and ensure that local communities are involved and on the same page so that communities are empowered” he said.
Tupa’i Robert shared about a recent collaboration between the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to conduct an Energy Audit for hotels and other accommodation properties. The audit monitored energy consumption and identified ways to improve efficiency.
“The audit also highlighted ways to reduce costs for the business while also identifying practical solutions such as the use of inverter Air conditions or the use of energy-efficient appliances. These initiatives were great as businesses were struggling with border closures and were considering other alternative measures to reduce costs,” he said.
Tupa’i Robert also elaborated on the Pacific Sustainability Monitoring Programme, which focused on collecting and monitoring data from selected pilot hotels on resource management such as energy usage, waste generated, and water consumption.
He also noted that there has been collaboration on plastic waste reduction between STA, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the Samoa Waste Recycling Management Association have boosted Samoa’s sustainable tourism efforts by promoting the use water re-filling stations and reducing single-use plastic usage in the tourism industry.