A new and easy way to earn commission on tours in Samoa has been launched this month.
Samoa Tours is a natural progression from Hawaii Tours – a call centre set up in Apia to help sell the US State.
The strength of Samoa’s bounce-back post Covid has pleasantly surprised the tourism sector in the destination, with arrival figures already back to and sometimes topping 2019-20 numbers.
The country is this week hosting the first Samoa Tourism Exchange (STE 2023) for three years, with some 35 exhibitors and 55 plus international buyers and media (including a delegation of 12 from New Zealand) taking part.
Robyn and Grant Thornley are the new owners and managers of the Savaii Lagoon Resort.
Robyn is a travel agent in New Zealand and her husband Grant is a commercial builder.
Taumeasina Island Resort in Samoa has opened new deluxe Cove Villas as part of its ongoing development and plan to expand facilities to accommodate growing demand.
The three-bedroom villas are situated on the mainland, a short stroll across the causeway from the island and all offer views of the Pacific Ocean with the resort as their backdrop.
Optimism about forward revenue and occupancy projections trending higher is building among hotels and resorts in Samoa, following the reopening of borders to international travellers in August.
While the average occupancy rate for most was below 50% across the month of August, operators acknowledged that demand during weekends and public holidays and the domestic market continued to be strong.
Moves are afoot to have four UNESCO Geoparks established in the Pacific, a development expected to boost tourism in a sustainable way while focusing on not only geology but also culture.
It is possible that these and others may form a ‘Geopark trail’ around the Pacific.
At a South Pacific Tourism Office (supported by the South Pacific Community, SPC) webinar this week, it was noted that a number of steps needed to be taken at all sites (some more than others) before a submission could be made to UNESCO.
Taumeasina Island Resort, close to Apia’s CBD, will soon complete the addition of new villas.
According to general manager Tuitaga Nathan Bucknall, the new development consists of 12 self contained three-bedroom villas offering views of the Pacific Ocean.
The new villas are larger in size compared to those which are part of the original build. All are on the mainland by the main entrance and directly face Taumeasina Island.
Samoa looks likely to welcome only vaccinated travellers once borders reopen, attendees at a Beautiful Samoa webinar heard yesterday.
The two Sheraton properties at the destination – Sheraton Hotel and Bungalows and Sheraton Samoa Beach Resort, have already signalled that they will insist on proof of vaccination before entry to the properties.
Sonny Rivers, NZ sales and marketing representative with Samoa Tourism, says that the requirements have not been finalised by the government.
With increased prospects on a widening Pacific travel bubble in the next few months, Samoa Tourism Authority held a casual lunch and informative presentation for trade and media partners at Swashbucklers in Auckland last Friday.
Sonny Rivers, who handles the New Zealand market for STA, says that the opening of trans-Tasman borders and continued hope that Rarotonga and Niue will open to Kiwis soon are steps in the right direction for Pacific travel.
The Samoa Tourism Authority (STA) is leading ongoing renovation works for sites within the country with assistance from the New Zealand Government through the Samoa Tourism Growth Partnership (STGP).
The partnership is a five-year investment since 2017, which also includes broader support of product development, tourism training and destination marketing.