20 July, 2016     

Beautiful Samoa remains a safe and peaceful destination

In light of recent reports regarding the the attack on two Australian visitors in 2015, the Samoa Tourism Authority expresses its support to Angie Jackson and Tommy Williams and wish them comfort and closure.

There is simply no excuse for the appalling crime.

The accused has pleaded guilty to the related charges and will be sentenced on 22nd July.

Major changes have been implemented and continue to be implemented to improve the current systems and ensure the safety of locals and guests to Samoa.

The Hon. Sala Fata Pinati, who is the Minister of Police, has been appointed the new Minister of Tourism and he has pledged to ensure that the two key agencies work closely together to further the Safe Samoa Campaign.

The local economy relies heavily on tourism, with the livelihood of many people and communities depending on it.

Samoa continues to be a safe and peaceful destination and many who have experienced our beautiful country will know that the crime committed is a rarity.



  15 July, 2016     

Samoa's Aggie Grey's Hotel and Bungalows Opens with New Look

Samoa welcomes its second global hotel brand as the iconic Aggie Grey’s Hotel in the centre of Samoa’s capital city, Apia, reopens its doors on August 1, 2016 as The Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Hotel and Bungalows.

It follows the opening of the Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Resort last year.

Founded in 1933 by Aggie Grey, it has seen various reincarnations; from burger joint to serve the troops to a hostel dormitory for visiting servicemen.

Many people of note walked through its doors including international dignitaries as well as Hollywood sensation Marlon Brando.

The 175 rooms, bungalows and suites have been renovated and refurbished to contemporary standards with a distinct Samoan ‘voice’ in the design. The property retains its colonial look enhanced with modern touches, designed to appeal to the modern traveler.

Sonja Hunter, CEO of Samoa Tourism Authority, says Samoa welcomes the partnership, especially from a global brand who identifies Samoa’s unique selling point and respects and preserves its culture and unique identity.

“Aggie Grey herself is an icon and a much loved figure in Samoan history, and it is an honour for a brand such as Sheraton to come to partnership with Samoa and the Grey Family . Beautiful Samoa will be an excellent inclusion to the Sheraton client’s travel planner, with our unique culture, pristine natural environment and friendly locals that will make you feel right at home. Samoans are known all over the world for our hospitality. Aggie Grey embodied this and it is wonderful to have the Sheraton recognize and immortalize this,” says Sonja.

The Sheraton Aggie Grey’s Hotel & Bungalows officially opens on August 1, 2016, and to celebrate, the hotel is offering an exclusive rate of USD$170 a night, which is valid until November 30, 2016.  For more information and bookings please go to The Sheraton Aggie Grey’s Hotel & Bungalows or contact your local travel agent.



  24 June, 2016     

Visitors Continue to Flock to Beautiful Samoa....

AS ISLAND NATION ENJOYS RECORD NUMBERS IN FIRST QUARTER

Official figures received from the Samoa Bureau of Statistics shows continued confidence in Samoa as one of the premier South Pacific destinations of choice with stats setting the tone in what will be a stellar year of visitor arrivals for Samoa.

Figures from January to March 2016 show a 12.1% overall increase in visitor arrivals across all market streams compared to the same period in 2015. There were 30,049 visitor arrivals, with New Zealand and the USA performing strongly with increases of 31% and 50% respectively.

Holiday figures bucked the trend with a 27% increase despite global warnings regarding the Zika Virus threat, showing confidence in the measures set in place by the government and properties to protect and safeguard their guests. The Visiting Friends and Relatives segment also performed extremely well with a 22% increase.

The economy has enjoyed a boost from increased visitor numbers with quarterly earnings recording a 14.73% increase buoyed by the strengthening of the $USD against the $SAT.

Australia remains steady, with 6,189 visitors clearing customs for the first quarter, a figure similar to that in 2015.

Sonja Hunter, CEO of Samoa Tourism Authority says that the figures demonstrate visitor confidence thanks to the excellent market campaigns conducted in these key source markets.

“Despite hurdles such as travel warnings against the region regarding the ZIKA outbreak, our guests continue to come. This is because we have successfully contained and eliminated existing cases and have communicated this effectively, as well as set in place follow through programs and strategies so that our guests can see we don’t just offer lip service.

“The trust that our guests place upon us is a gift that we do not take lightly, and by following through and delivering what we promise: to offer you a safe, healthy and fun holiday experience, we honour that trust which shows in the figures just released.

“We have everything that the South Pacific can offer in one destination: pristine environment, unique culture, friendly locals, delicious food and a variety of accommodation types to suit every budget. If these figures are an indication of what the rest of the year could be like, then it’s a job well done to all,” says Sonja.
 



  22 June, 2016     

Samoa’s Newest Luxury Resort To Open In July

Visitors to Samoa can add the luxurious Taumeasina Island Resort to its list of accommodation options when it opens at the capital of Apia on July 1, 2016.

Boasting breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and the scenic mountains of Upolu from every vantage point on the island, the resort is located on an island just five minutes from the nation’s capital of Apia and connected to the capital city by causeway.

Taumeasina Island Resort offers three restaurants, two bars, a state of the art fully equipped gym and a luxurious spa featuring a selection of indulgent treatments using local and international beauty products.

The resort’s signature fine dining restaurant is named after the legend of Sina and the Eel, and prides itself for preparing quality, organic, locally produced ingredients fusing both cooking methods and cuisines. 

Whether traveling solo, as a couple, a family or a group, Taumeasina has modern and luxurious Ocean View hotel rooms or self contained Waterfront Villas to accommodate all types of discerning traveler.

The resort, which took three years in the making, opened its doors on June 23 to host a wedding as part of a ‘soft launch’, with guests traveling from as far as France to attend the function.

CEO of Samoa Tourism Authority, Sonja Hunter, says the island nation is excited to have another property open in Samoa that caters to the luxury market.

“The resort is absolutely stunning. The design has been sensitive to the environment and reflects the Samoan culture in details throughout the property. It’s a welcome addition to our existing line up of accommodation options and the discerning traveler seeking a luxury offering now has another property for them to consider.

“The restaurants and facilities also offers our visitors more options that are of the highest quality without having to venture too far from the capital,” says Sonja.

Taumeasina Island Resort officially opens on July 1, 2016 and is now taking bookings.  See your travel agent or go to http://www.taumeasinaislandresortsamoa.com/ for more information.



  26 April, 2016     

Samoa is safe

PRESS RELEASE

Samoa is safe

26th April, 2016, Suva FIJI - Samoa’s tourism destination is safe for all travelers.

That’s the word from the Samoa Tourism Authority in Apia, following widespread media coverage about natural disasters hitting Pacific destinations.

“Our sympathies go out to the families and victims of the two super cyclones that hit Vanuatu last year and Fiji this year.  At the same time we would like to clarify that Samoa was not affected by these disasters, nor the forecasted cyclone that threatened us last weekend,” Samoa Tourism Authority Marketing & Promotions Manager Dwayne Bentley said.

“Samoa was preparing for the worst with Cyclone Amos and given the misfortunes suffered by our brothers and sisters in Vanuatu and Fiji, we knew we were going to face similar circumstances.

“Fortunately for us the cyclone caused very minimal to no damage, no lives were lost and our tourism industry remained unscathed.”

South Pacific Tourism Organisation Acting Chief Executive Alisi Lutu said they were glad that Samoa managed to escape the effects of a natural disaster and assured travelers it was safe to travel to Samoa.

“Many times we have had people accidently roping in all Pacific Island nations into one not understanding how far apart our island nations are located, separated by vast masses of ocean hence the need for such clarity.

“We will continue to reinforce this message through our communications to our visitors, media and travel partners she said.

ENDS

For more information, contact:
Robert Matau
South Pacific Tourism Organisation
rmatau@spto.org
+679 3304177



  24 April, 2016     

Beautiful Samoa Always Open for Business

RELEASE                                                                                   24th April 2016

Mother Nature’s playground received a spring cleaning over the weekend but the predicted severity of Tropical Cyclone Amos failed to eventuate, with an unexpected thunder storm over Samoa blowing the cyclone out to sea.

The sheer act of serendipity ensured the environmental serenity of Samoa. The weather bureau predicted a strong tropical cyclone, and as the country bunkered down to prepare for the worst, the miracle happened.

“We are proud of the response programs we have set in place for such events, and our properties are all operational with minimal to no damage sustained.  All guests are accounted for. What was predicted to be a cyclone turned out to be nothing more than a summer storm."

“We are a proud and resilient nation, blessed by nature. It’ll take more than just a bit of rain to shut our islands down,” says Samoa Tourism Authority CEO, Sonja Hunter.

Situation update:
•    Business as usual
•    Faleolo International Airport remains open with scheduled flights resuming today
•    Minimal to no damage sustained to hotels and resorts. All major resorts and hotels remain open and operational with all guests accounted for
•    Water and electricity to the main islands are available
•    Communication systems are all operational
•    In parts of the country, water, electricity and communications have remained operational throughout
•    The Land Transport Authority, Samoa Water Authority and Electric Power Corporation repair teams are out in the field repairing whatever damage was sustained and restoring access
•    Road access around the country is possible

Those with bookings to Samoa are advised to contact their travel agent, accommodation provider, tour operator and airline and to maintain their travel plans to Samoa.

“Tourism is the mainstay of the Samoan economy with many families depending on the industry for their livelihoods. We are relying on your continued support,” added Sonja.

For current updates on properties and sites in Beautiful Samoa please visit our feed at http://www.samoa.travel/news/. For more information, contact info@samoa.travel.

-END-



  22 April, 2016     

Record numbers for STE 2016

The Samoa Tourism Exchange (STE) 2016 continues to be a successful event since it was initiated in 2008. In a special year for Samoa being the Visit Samoa Year 2016, a record number of influential travel trade and media representatives from as close as American Samoa and Fiji, and as far as the United Kingdom and  China attended this year. Guided by the theme ‘Beautiful Samoa’, the Minister of Tourism, Hon. Lautafi Fio Selafi Purcell is positive that the future of Samoa tourism gets brighter, as he welcomed everyone during the official opening of this international event.

“This year, a record 59 Travel Trade representatives with vested interest in Samoa’s tourism products registered from across New Zealand, Australia, the UK Europe, USA, Canada, China, South Korea, Fiji and American Samoa.” Said Lautafi.

Since 2011, this event has become the annual dedicated business-to-business event for the travel and hospitality industry, which has expanded to become one of the major tourism exchange in the South Pacific region, and an opportune event for Samoa’s growing tourism industry to discuss and enhance business partnerships with key overseas travel trade and media.”

In its ninth year, this gathering of global travel industry chiefs was officially opened with a reception ceremony on the 12th of April at the Samoa Cultural Village, with the Exhibition itself from the 13th to the 14th of April at the Samoa Conference Center.

The record number of buyers who attended were thanked by the Minister in the event’s closing ceremony at the Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Resort and were welcomed back to Samoa by the Minister for next year’s event.

“We thank all our STE 2016 Buyers and Sellers for ensuring the success of this event through the partnerships established, and the coordination and sponsorship of our Tourism Stakeholders.” Said the Minister.

“We trust that you have had a most productive time in our country, and have also had the opportunity to visit most of what makes our Beautiful Samoa a unique destination to visit and enjoy.” He added.

Before the Exhibition, VIPs arrived for a tour of Upolu and Savaii Islands, before they were joined by the luminaries of the travel industry for the Exchange.



  15 April, 2016     

Samoa’s internet connectivity gets a boost

Samoa’s internet connectivity is about to take a boost as investors signed off on a scheme to lay an undersea fibre optic cable from Samoa to Fiji.

The newly established Samoa Submarine Cable Company joins forces with the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the Australian government in a $US49 million deal.

The scheme is set to improve internet connectivity – great news for Samoa businesses and travelers into the country.

“Our islands are the place to escape from the rest of the world. But paradise doesn’t mean you have to be completely disconnected. Those who need to stay connected can travel with the peace of mind that should they need to get online urgently, that they won’t experience any lags or delays and that our connectivity will be on par with the rest of the world” says Sonja Hunter, CEO of Samoa Tourism Authority.

It is expected to come into service in just over a year.
           
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For more information, contact info@samoa.travel.