Tourism has been identified as an important economic industry for the Small Island Developing States (SIDS), including Samoa, both internally (STA 2014a) and externally (Everett et al. 2018; Harrison and Prasad 2013; World Bank 2017). One of the important niche markets for tourism is cultural heritage, which involves “travellers seeing or experiencing built heritage, living culture or contemporary arts” (Timothy 2011: 4). While cultural heritage tourism comprises 40% of the global market, in the Pacific cultural heritage tourism remains underdeveloped.
One of the benefits of cultural heritage tourism is its ability to involve local communities, using their own heritage as tourism assets, therefore potentially providing sustainable socio-economic development. This study investigates the current opportunities and constraints for local communities in developing cultural heritage tourism projects, using Samoa as a case study.