Home Institution

Franklin & Marshall College

Publication Date

Spring 2012

Program Name

Samoa: Pacific Communities and Social Change


The goal of this research was to determine what tourists, Samoans working in the tourism industry, and employees of the Samoa Tourism Authority believe the impacts of tourism on Samoa are, and what responsibilities tourists have as visitors. After establishing a definition of responsible tourism according to each group studied, the STA’s tourism goals and risk assessment were analyzed to determine how well they relate to these definitions. The actions of both tourists and employees in the tourism industry impact the effects tourism has on Samoa, and understanding what the perceived responsibilities of tourists are can help mediate the effects of tourism on Samoa. This project was based on surveys and interviews with tourists, employees of hotels/beach fale/resorts, and employees of the STA, as well as various secondary sources including scholarly publications on tourism anthropology, ISPs on tourism in Samoa, and STA publications. This research found that although there are differences between the definitions of responsible tourism from tourists, employees in the tourism industry, and STA employees, all three groups recognize shared responsibility between hosts and guests, suggesting that responsible tourism in Samoa means a tourist and an industry that is educated, respectful, and conscientious of its impact. The STA’s stance towards tourism as revealed in its publications fulfills the expectations set forth by these definitions. Keeping these definitions in mind as tourism continues to grow in Samoa can help mitigate the negative effects of tourism.



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Tourism Commons


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