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Tourists & locals alike welcome at Festival of Sites

Handicrafts, food, live entertainment, and a great time. That’s what’s in store for you — and the tourists who will arrive in the territory tomorrow — in the parking lot of the Tauese P.F. Sunia Ocean Center.


The National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa (NMSAS), in partnership with the Department of Commerce (DOC) is hosting the Festival of Sites tomorrow from 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. and everyone is invited.


The timing is perfect, as two cruise ships will be docking in the territory tomorrow. The Amsterdam will arrive at 8 a.m. and the Amadea will anchor at the port at 1 p.m.


NMSAS Education, Outreach, and Community Coordinator, Apulu Veronika Mortenson explained that the Festival of Sites is a way for us to “bring the destination to the tourists.”


“Instead of telling them to go to the different sanctuaries and ride around the island, we can bring the island to them” Apulu said, during the first ever Media Coffee Chat that was held at the Ocean Center this past Wednesday.


Representatives from three of the six sanctuary sites (Fagatele, Fagalua/Fogama’a, and Aunu’u) have been selected and they will be manning different booths tomorrow to sell handicrafts and goods from their own little part of the world. In addition, they will be on hand to provide information to the tourists who will be stopping by to browse through the sale items and witness live cultural entertainment by students from ASCC.


Apulu explained the Festival of Sites is sort of an outreach program, where background information is available that can help tourists make their visit a pleasant and informative one.


All the money collected from the sale of goods during the Festival of Sites goes back to the vendors. “This is a good way for them to generate income and we encourage them to bring what they can, things that represent where they’re from, local items that can only be found here,” Apulu said.