Home Institution

University of Vermont

Publication Date

Spring 2008

Program Name

Samoa: Pacific Islands Studies


For small island nations of the South Pacific, it is crucial that the tourism industry develops at a sustainable rate in order to prevent cultural and environmental degradation. Sustainable tourism has the potential for improving the income and living standards for local people. It can also revitalize local culture, customs and traditional crafts while playing a vital role in the preservation of the cultural heritage of a nation. Small beach fales are an example of sustainable tourism and cultural preservation at its best in Samoa. In this case study of beach fales in Manase, Savaii, the role and importance of these infrastructures is highlighted. The study is looked at through three different avenues, the Samoa Tourism Authority, the beach fale owners, and the tourists, in order to understand how beach fales are a model for sustainable tourism and cultural preservation in Samoa. Surveys and interviews will look at the impacts of the resort on both the tourists and the host-family to see how daily life and representations of Samoa are affected. Methods for research include interviews with Samoa Tourism Authority (STA) officials, interviews with beach fale guests and the host families of five different beach fales in Manase, Savai’i over a ten-day period, surveys geared towards the tourists of these beach fales, and a number of secondary sources.

It was found that beach fale accommodations in Manase, Savai’i successfully serve as an example of a culturally and environmentally sustainable tourism operation in Samoa. There are seven elements that comprise a sustainable ecotourism sight; development, adventure, nature, culture, environment, education, and economics. Examples of these themes were observed and analyzed during a ten-day case study of beach fales in Manase.


Growth and Development


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