The tropical paradise of Samoa is due to get a well-deserved tourist boost after the New Zealand government announced a $7.3 million aid package.

As well as promoting the country as a tourist destination to an international audience, funds will also be spent upgrading tourist attractions on the two main islands of Upolu and Savai’i. Included on the list is the Apia waterfront and the Savalalo Market.

The announcement was made to coincide with the 55th anniversary of the country's independence and is hoped will increase economic growth and provide employment opportunities for the local people. It was previously ruled by New Zealand but the two countries have retained their close ties since independence.

Bill English, the New Zealand Prime Minister, said "Samoa has an enormous amount to offer international visitors, and New Zealand wants to help the tourism sector grow.”

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