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Samoa launches campaign to draw tourists

Samoa has launched new campaigns in New Zealand and Australia to attract tourists back after last month's tsunami.

The Samoa Tourism Authority started a New Zealand newspaper and television campaign over the weekend and will launch a similar effort in Australia later this week, Radio New Zealand reported on Wednesday.

Tourism is the country's lifeblood, contributing 25 percent to the total gross domestic product.

The large waves on Sept. 29 hit the south coast of the island of Upolu, leaving many homes, villages, hotels and resorts in ruins.

However, tourism accommodation the south-west and north coasts, as well as on the other island, Savaii, were spared.

Marketing manager Dwayne Bentley said it's business as usual in80 percent of the country as much of Samoa's tourism products and services and other services outside tourism are very much operational.