Plans to accommodate athletes in hotels during the 2019 Pacific Games in Samoa are still a work in progress, it has been claimed.
Pacific Games Council (PGC) chief executive Andrew Minogue revealed this was the case during a recent three-day visit to Samoa’s capital Apia, where he met with Games staff and checked up on the facilities for next year’s event.
More than 4,000 athletes and officials are expected to be present at the Games scheduled to take place from July 7 to 20 next year.
"There's a lot of work that goes into making that happen and that's still ongoing," Minogue was reported as saying by Radio New Zealand.
"One of the big tasks last week was to try and get some best guesses or estimates of how many athletes each of the countries will be bringing so that those hotel arrangements can be made and made accurately."
Samoa was awarded the 2019 Pacific Games in December as a replacement for Tonga.
It followed Tonga's Government withdrawing from hosting due to financial concerns.
"You have to understand from where we were when Tonga pulled out as the host Samoa has stepped in and provided great support by taking on hosting responsibilities," Minogue added.
"We are very thankful to the Government and people of Samoa for their great support and for wanting to bring the Games back under these challenging circumstances.
"It is still a long way to go but the signs are good."
According to Minogue, all the competition venues are on scheduled to be ready, tested and handed over to Pacific Games organisers in May or early June.
He also revealed that refurbishment work is being carried out by the Chinese Government on the swimming venue in the Faleata Sports Complex and at Apia Park, which will play host to athletics, rugby sevens and the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
Samoa 2019 have previously claimed that their "venues are in an excellent state", with several facilities having been refurbished for the Commonwealth Youth Games in 2015.
"Having the venues already in place already and only needing relatively minor refurbishments means that we can be very confident that all of our field of play is going to be fine for the athletes," Minogue was reported as saying by Radio New Zealand.
"All the other venues around town - the various gyms and facilities - will be given some refurbishment as well.
"The Samoan Government is paying for that but it's fairly minor.
"Those venues are already in pretty good shape having hosted the Commonwealth Youths only three years ago."
Samoa 2019 is set to mark the first time in the history of the Pacific Games, which were first held in Fiji's capital Suva in 1963, that athletes and officials will not be accommodated in a Games Village.
In supporting the move to out-source accommodation, Samoa 2019 chief executive Falefata Hele Matatia is reported as saying by the Samoa Observer that it is cost effective, meets the Games and time-frame, and is also sustainable.
But paramount to the Organising Committee, according to Matatia, is new revenues for Samoa’s tourism accommodation stakeholders.
In June, Matatia expressed his hope that Samoa 2019 will help the country to become a centre of excellence for sport in the region.
He declared the Organising Committee's vision when providing a progress report at the PGC General Assembly.
It was the first chance for Pacific Games Associations to receive a full run-down of Samoa 2019's plans and vision for the event.
Matatia also hopes the Games will build on the legacy of the 2007 edition of the event, which also took place in Samoa.