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Pacific Games athletes to stay in hotels, Total athlete numbers still unconfirmed
9:21 pm GMT+12, 22/10/2018, Samoa

Samoa is setting a legacy when it comes to accommodation for athletes and officials who will be attending the 2019 Pacific Games in Apia next year.
 
For the first time in the 55 year old history of the Games, athletes and officials will not be staying in a Games Village instead accommodation will be outsourced to the private sector, which includes hotels and private homes.
 
With over 4,000 athletes not including spectators, supporters and the international media heading to Apia in July next year for the Games, Falefata Hele Matatia, and the Games CEO has a tall order to fill.
 
But Falefata is confident with the endorsement from his counterpart, Pacific Games Council General Secretary Andrew Monique that Samoa will deliver as the two officials reassured media practitioners at a press conference. 
 
On the Samoa Games Organising Committee’s corner are the Samoa Tourism Authority and the Samoa Hotels Association working to facilitate the needs of the participating teams.
 
In support to out-source accommodation, Falefata notes that it’s cost effective, meets the Games and time frame and also sustainable.  But paramount to the Games Committee he added is new revenues for Samoa’s tourism accommodation stakeholders.
 
“For us, we have three principles as our main decision defining whether its costs effective, meets our time frame and sustainable,” added the Games CEO 
 
And Andrew Minogue, the Pacific Games Council Chief Executive is admiring Samoa’s ingenuity.
 
Said Minogue at a press conference last week while in Apia to follow up on Samoa’s preparations;
 
“We have an accommodation plan for the Games, which is quite ambitious and we need to make sure it works, and it works for our host in terms of planning, especially for athletes who don’t show up.” 
 
“At the moment, more than 4,500 athletes and officials are expected, and out of that number more than 3,000 would be athletes.”    
 
Meanwhile, the exact number of athletes expected to converge in Samoa for the 2019 Pacific Games would not be determined until Games time. 
 
But until then, the Games Organising Committee will work according to data and analysis collected from previous Games in terms of accommodating athletes and officials. 
 
This is according to Pacific Games Council Executive Director, Andrew Minogue, who was speaking during a press conference last week. 
 
“It’s a very changing picture right up until Games time, the athletes will have to be entered into the system 45 days before the Games, which from memory is around the third week of May, but right up until the teams leave their countries to come here, they are making decisions from within that list of people,” he said.  
 
“It’s not until the very end then you get the number for the athletes.  This is definitely a challenge for us trying to adjust to the number of athletes.
 
“We have an accommodation plan for the Games, which is quite ambitious and we need to make sure it works, and it works for our host in terms of planning, especially for athletes who don’t show up.”
 
At the moment, more than 4,500 athletes and officials are expected, and out of that number more than 3,000 would be athletes.  
 
“This is the first time for athletes to be hosted in hotels and the participating countries seem very happy about it.”  
 
In terms of broadcasting the Games, Pacific Games CEO Falefata Hele Ei Matatia said there is a process and they are working towards getting the right equipment and people to cover all the 26 Games. 
 
“We have a process in place right now to make sure that we have the right facilities and the right equipment for us to make sure that we’re able to sustain that, because there are 26 sports and they would require a lot of manpower and equipment to broadcast all these particular sports,” Falefata said.
 
“So there is a strategy that the office of the Pacific Games is working towards to ensure that we don’t have only the facility, but the right people to do that work here, including other Pacific media personnel and media stations to help our local people to distribute that equipment and coverage.”
 
Twenty-four countries from across the region, including Australia and New Zealand, who have been invited to participate in eight of the sports, will participate in the Pacific Games to be held in July next year.

SOURCE: SAMOA OBSERVER/PACNEWS


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