Visitors to the Tramway site in Utulei will notice the area has been given a facelift. The repairs and upgrades at the site are part of an ongoing effort to improve the local tourism infrastructure, with an emphasis on eco & heritage tourism.
“Ecotourism and heritage tourism are natural fits for American Samoa as our landscape is full of potential.” says Historic Preservation Officer David Herdrich.
“A working group that consists of members from my office, American Samoa Visitors Bureau, Department of Commerce and National Park Service has been meeting regularly to identify opportunities to add to our list of tourist attractions.
The tramway and Fagaloa trail system are the first projects we decided to work on.
Other projects include restoring the Fagatogo Hydroelectric Building, making significant improvements to the WWII Heritage Trail in Utulei, and working to improve the appearance of the Historic District in downtown Fagatogo.
All of these projects are being done in partnership with our group and with assistance from the Department Parks & Recreation, American Samoa Power Authority, and Department Public Works and private businesses All Star Signs and Asifoa Trucking.
We will continue to keep the public updated as these projects take hold,” said Director Herdrich. “We also want to know what the public wants us to do to enhance our tourism infrastructure. We are open to new ideas and I encourage the public and private sector to contact us to be partners with us in improving the Territory and the quality of life for everyone who lives here and visits us.”
The work being completed at the Tramway site includes a recently installed trailhead sign for the WWII Heritage Trail, replacement of interpretive panels at the tram structure and commemorative monument, complete landscaping and cleaning of the site, and repairs to the concrete stairway and path leading up to the lookout fale.
“We’d like to thank everyone who is involved with this collaboration to enhance this great public space”, said David Vaeafe, Executive Director for the American Samoa Visitors Bureau.
“We have started our busy summer cruise ship season, so visitors are going to enjoy the improvements being made to these sites.”
“This is a great time for American Samoa. The more visitors who land on our shores, the greater the potential is for new money to enter into our economy.” stated DOC Territorial Planner Michael McDonald.
“December is also a very strong month for tourism as families return home for the holidays. Having a sufficient amount of appealing tourist attractions to fill our visitor’s calendar is important if we are to further grow our visitor numbers. Pago Pago Harbor is one of the most beautiful sites in the region and the tramway site in Utulei is one of the best venues to witness its beauty.” said McDonald.
Photo: David Herdrich explaining the WWII Heritage Trail.
(Source: Official American Samoa Visitors Bureau Newsletter Issue 87 November 2017)