30 April, 2011     

Samoa International Game Fishing Competition 2011 Opened

The annual Samoa International Game Fishing Tournament 2011 was officially opened today by the Honourable Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi during a brief ceremony at the Hotel Millenia.

The tournament will take place this new week starting from Monday 02 May to the end of the week.

If the 2011 Game Fishing competition is anything like last year’s, then it promises to be an exciting event with a multitude of fishing vessels from various countries including local competitors.

An annual competition which has gained a lot of international recognition for Samoa, the Game Fishing tournament usually brings in a number ofr fishing vessels from around the region including New Zealand, Australia and American Samoa, all vying for the top angling fishing trophy.

The competition is for men and ladies alike with magnificent game to be caught and exciting prizes to be won.  While the majority of the competition will be open tournament, there will be a special ladies’ tournament for the female competitors.

The competition throughout the week will consist of early breakfast for the anglers
before they set out for game fishing.  Each day will conclude with the weigh in of the catch as well as the daily prizegivings.

The Anglers will take off from Matautu and carry out their fishing in the Apia Harbor. The weigh in is set to take place at the end of each day at the Apia Marina.

The daily prize-giving for the Tournament are to be hosted by the Hotel Millenia.   29 April, 2011     

Samoa to have strong representation at BFTE 2011

Samoa will be well represented at the upcoming Bula Fiji Tourism Exchange (BFTE) that will take place in Fiji from 18-20 May 2011.

Samoa’s contingency will include: Samoa Tourism Authority, Aggie Grey’s Hotel & Bungalows as well as Aggie Grey’s Lagoon Beach Resort, Amanaki Hotel, Coconuts Beach Club & Resort, Hotel Insel Fehmarn, Lusia’s Lagoon Chalets, Manumea Hotel, Orator Hotel, Polynesian Xplorer, Samoa Scenic Tours and Inbound Services, Sinalei Reef Resort & Spa and Tanoa Tusitala Hotel.

Samoa’s group are well suited to attend the BFTE which is limited to bona fide wholesalers (buyers) and tourism operators (sellers) who represent hotels, resorts, transportation, inbound operators, airlines, activities and cruises etc. within the South Pacific.

The key emphasis for Samoa’s participation at the BFTE is on maintaining existing and developing new beneficial travel trade relations to facilitate the marketing and promotion of Samoa tourism products and services in source markets.

As the BFTE is a travel exchange where contractual and marketing arrangements are made between buyers and sellers, it will undoubtedly provide the Samoa group with an economical way to meet and contract with wholesalers to market and sell their products.

The buyers of what Samoa and other Pacific Islands have to offer, are confirmed from Australia, New Zealand, USA, UK, Germany, China and other countries with strong interest in the South Pacific.

Another important reason for Samoa to attend the event is because Exhibitions such as the BFTE provides a means of building the travel trade’s awareness and interest in Samoa as well as an overall confidence in the destination.

The Samoa group is expected to be in Fiji from the 16 May to allow them time to set up prior to the start of the Event.   29 April, 2011     

Samoa Cultural Village provides ‘purposeful’ demonstrations

The Samoa Tourism Cultural Centre will be kept abuzz with various ‘purposeful’ demonstrations for the next couple of months.

The Samoa Tourism Authority and Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development are working closely together to provide various demonstrations that will not only draw the curious crowds but also provide benefits for those that are doing the demonstrations.

The demonstrations which range from Siapo (tapa cloth) making to Ie Sae (traditionally very fine) mat weaving to carving  and carpentry, are set up, scheduled and on display at the Samoa Tourism Cultural Centre throughout the months of April and May 2011.

The multitude of reasons for carrying out these demonstrations include: providing a visual display and insight for tourists as to what Samoa has to offer in the form of handicrafts, weaving, printing (elei and screen), siapo making, and fine mat weaving, from beginning to the end of each finished item and product.

Also, the demonstrations provide an educational display for the local public that are willing to watch and learn the skills of our own people whose livelihood is dependent on these types of talents.

For the skilled demonstrators, the visual display of their talents is an opportuntiy for them not only to increase people’s awareness of their ability and skill.

This is a financially beneficial venture for the demonstrators also as they are able to sell the products that they have made and they are able to make a profit from their wares.

The Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development which is responsible for providing the people carrying out the demonstrations, is able to use this opportunity to encourage the participants alike to continue to enhance and utilise their skills in this, their own area of expertise.  This is the opportune avenue also for MWCSD to further enhance programmes which they already have in place which encourage people in and around the country in different villages, to take up these types of skills as a way of earning a living for the family.

Samoa Tourism Authority benefits from this project through the display of this side of Samoa’s culture which visitors and Samoans alike are very interested in knowing more about.

The May 2011 demonstrations will run from 9.00am-4.00pm at the Cultural Centre daily, from 02-13 May.   29 April, 2011     

Lifestyle Holidays experience holidaying lifestyle in Samoa

Five travel agents have found a completely different lifestyle in Samoa to that which they are used to.

Visiting Samoa on a as part of Trade Familiarisation Programme during 07-14 April, the agents representing various travel outlets of Lifestyle Holidays enjoyed the holiday ‘lifestyle’ experience that they had here, which they are now back in New Zealand promoting to the travelling public there.  Accompanied by Kathryn Foley from the STA NZ Market Representative Office, the female travel agents followed a planned itinerary which allowed them to visit, inspect and experience what Samoa has to offer to the New Zealand traveller.

This visit saw them touring both Upolu and Savaii, carrying out inspections at various guest accommodations ranging from resorts to beach fales.

They were also able to carry out site inspections at key tourist locations such as the To Sua Trench, Piula Cave Pool, Taga Alofaaga Blowholes, Fleamarket and Produce Markets and more.

The group represent Lifestyle Holidays which is the wholly owned wholesale division of First Travel Group Ltd specializing in the 4 star plus holidays market to Australia and the South Pacific.  The First Travel Group Limited is New Zealand’s leading independent travel alliance specializing in high-end leisure and corporate travel.

It was established in 1st of March 1999 and is made up of almost 50 long established owned and operated members who are based throughout New Zealand. These agencies employ more than 400 staff and have a combined turnover of around $450million a year.

The group’s strength and point of difference lies in its focus on the corporate and high-end segment of the travel industry.   21 April, 2011     

Visitors praise Samoa

by Jasmine Netzler-Iose

Lovely people, exotic food and unspoiled beauty.

So is the testimony of Chris Hamilton and Sandy Murphy.

Mr Hamilton is the Director of Edventuretours, a travel agent in Hamilton New Zealand while Mrs Murphy comes from Pompallier Catholic College.

Mr Hamilton is responsible for coordinating an eight day trip for a group of headmasters, principals and teachers to help promote Samoa to schools around New Zealand.
Today, the group returns to New Zealand.

But three members of the group have already booked for students from their schools to travel to Samoa.

“Samoa is a great place to bring the kids,” says Mr Hamilton. “This is mostly due to the fact Samoa hasn’t been affected too much by tourism yet.”

Schools in New Zealand are often interested in bringing students to Samoa because of the arrangements they have in studying the country in general. Besides, many students are interested in how the tsunami affected the country.

Mr Hamilton has been working with the Samoa Tourism Authority for 10 years to bring such groups to Samoa.  He says visitors have different reasons for choosing Samoa.

Some want to experience the culture while others like to study Geography, History and the impact of tourism in the country.

Mr Hamilton says Samoa has done well in the sense it has not allowed tourism to destroy its beautiful culture.

Travelling to the villages and seeing everyday life in Samoa is a beautiful experience, he says.
Ms Murphy says her school is one of the three that will return in July for a group visit.

“I can’t wait,” she says. “I absolutely love Samoa and I am very impressed. The people are so helpful, and the weather and food is fantastic.”

She says she did not take many photos of the tourist attractions because she wanted to give her students the same experience that she received when she first saw the places.

Another highlight of her visit was getting the chance to meet with Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, who is also the Minister of Tourism.

“I felt like a little kid I was so excited,” she says about the visit.

According to a representative of the Samoa Tourism Authority (STA), the Familiarization Programme is part of their marketing plan to promote Samoa in New Zealand.

Source: Samoa Observer
  20 April, 2011     

Surfing Samoa

If you are looking for an exotic surfing destination, Samoa should be it. With some of the most beautiful and stunning islandscapes in the world, Samoa can easily be defined as “Paradise on Earth”.

It is located in the South Pacific Ocean, half way between New Zealand and Hawaii, with its two main islands representing 99% of the territory: Upolu and Savaii.

This country can offer world-class reef breaks for those surfers wanting to wear their boardies in uncrowded line-ups. Beyond the boat trips provided by the resorts, there are plenty of empty waves around waiting for the adventurous who can rent a car and go for a patrol. Seriously, you can score the barrels of your life for just you and your mates!

Samoa is cheaper than most of its Polynesian neighbours and it is also a place where you can take your girlfriend. She will be waiting for you on pristine white sandy beaches and, believe me mate, she won’t complain!

The only cons in Samoa are the tides; you can’t surf in low tides! The waves get super hollow and shallow, making surfing extremely dangerous unless you have the skills of a Pro.

So if you are planning your next surftrip and you want to avoid the crowds, Samoa is waiting for you.

Summary:
    * Best time to go: May to October
    * How many days: 10 days
    * Budget: AUD 1500 (including airfare)
    * Surfing Level: Intermediate to Pro
    * Best Conditions: All South swells with a combination of Northern winds.
    * Main Breaks: Coconuts, Boulders, Aganoa, Solos, Salani, Pebbles.

Posted by Lucas in Surf Places - Surfd.com Surfing Magazine
  19 April, 2011     

Tanoa Tusitala Hotel Reopens in Style

The newly refurbished Tanoa Tusitala Hotel in Samoa has held its opening.

The Reddy Group took over the former Tusitala hotel in Apia in July 2009, although a fire that same year set back the company’s refurbishment plans.

Sales director for the Reddy Group’s Tanoa Hotel chain, Richard Crouch says the multi million dollar project has been worth the effort.

The deluxe hotel now offers guests 95 rooms refurbished, a reception fale and boardroom, restaurant, bar, and brand new pools.

“Coinciding with the opening of the hotel, saw the opening of our new conference centre and restaurant. The conference centre hosting up to 150 people, it’s a purpose built air-conditioned conference centre, so that’s now up and operating. And the final stage, which we’ve just started development on, is the development of a retail centre.”

Mr Crouch says a health and wellness spa centre is also due to be completed within weeks.

He says they are expecting to cater for a strong corporate market and holiday makers.

150 staff have been employed at the hotel.

Source: Radio New Zealand International

  19 April, 2011     

Samoa Tourism says new Tusitala hotel ideal for corporate groups

Samoa Tourism’s marketing manager says the new conference facility at the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel is ideal for corporate and groups wanting to host key meeting in Apia.

 

The Fiji based Reddy Group took over the former Tusitala hotel in July 2009, and over 18 months has refurbished the entire property at a cost of millions of dollars.

 

The Tanoa has been accredited under the Samoa accommodation standards at the deluxe end of the scale, on par with Aggie Greys and Sinalei Resorts.

 

Dwayne Bentley says the hotel’s brand new air conditioned facility can take up to 150 delegates at one time.

 

“It’s a purpose built facility, so in terms of attracting regional conferences and meetings to Samoa, it will help.  So it’s been built especially with that particular market segment in mind.” Samoa Tourism marketing manager, Dwayne Bentley

 

SOURCE - RADIO NEW ZEALAND INTERNATIONAL

  18 April, 2011     

Samoa – the best value destination in the South Pacific

Samoa has been voted best value destination in the South Pacific, ranking number 2 in the world according to the twice yearly Expedia compiled HiFX foreign exchange Index.

Nick Brain, a consultant at HiFX advises that the strong Australian dollar has contributed to the high ranking, appreciating by more than 19% against the Samoa Tala.

“The Aussie dollar continues to strengthen, underpinned by strong local economic data, commodity prices and comparatively high interest rates.  While it retains its strength against the US dollar, it’s likely to continue to help make Australians’ overseas trips even more affordable.”

However, Peter Sereno from Samoa Tourism Authority in Australia believes that the value gained in the destination exceeds the dollar factor.

“It is brilliant that the rest of the world is now starting to find out what we already knew about what our beautiful islands have to offer.  Beyond the fact that our dollar stretches a lot further in Samoa than many other destinations in the world, the beauty of Samoa is that it takes very little effort or money for one to become incredibly rich with unique experiences.

“There’s a reason we’re called the Treasured Islands of the South Pacific.  Only five hours from Australia, we are blessed to have stunningly beautiful and pristine surrounds, the friendliest people in the world and a 3,000-year-old culture called Fa’a Samoa that celebrates traditional values such as caring for each other and the environment. As a result, many visitors to Samoa come back feeling ‘richer’ with the experiences they have gained.

“You can’t put a dollar value on that”.   11 April, 2011     

Miss Samoa 2010 Accepts PATA Face of the Future Award

Miss Samoa 2010 Tavalea Nilon recently accepted the PATA Face of the Future award, in a ceremony in Beijing.  Nilon was nominated by the Samoa Tourism Authority and was selected from a group of five finalists. 

The PATA 60th Anniversary & Conference at the China World Hotel in Beijing was the opportunity for PATA Chairman Hiran Cooray to present the PATA Honorary Life Member awards, the Spirit of PATA and Award of Excellence, the 2011 Face of the Future award, the Award of Merits, and the Life Member Award. PATA presented their lifetime membership and achievement awards during their 60 Years of PATA celebration in Beijing, China, April 11.

Other awards were presented to Mr. Shao Quiwei, Chairman of the China National Tourism Association (CNTA); Mr. Guo Jinlong, Mayor of Beijing; Tom Nutley, The Travel Club and member of the UK chapter and Barbara Doyle, Colonial Kiwi Comfort, New Zealand.

Nilon will attend the IMEX 2011 show next month in Frankfurt Germany under the sponsorship of the show's organisers.

Source: eTurboNews and Travel Daily News
  11 April, 2011     

Samoa in Top 3 Best Value Destination for Australians

Samoa is among the top three best value destinations for Australians over the past year with the Aussie dollar appreciating by more than 19% against the Samoa Tala.  Vietman and Argentina made up the top three.

The destinations took the top three spots in the twice yearly Expedia-compiled HiFX foreign exchange Index.

Nick Brain, a consultant at HiFX said: “The Aussie dollar continues to strengthen, underpinned by strong local economic data, commodity prices and comparatively high interest rates. While it retains its strength against the US dollar, it’s likely to continue to help make Australians’ overseas trips even more affordable.”

Source: Travel Today
  08 April, 2011     

Aggie Grey's Lagoon, Beach Resort & Spa Temporary Closure

Samoa Tourism Authority advises that Aggie Grey’s Lagoon, Beach Resort and Spa will be closed from 16 May to 16 September.

We acknowledge that this presents some disruption and inconvenience to some confirmed bookings during that period but the properties and the airlines are working hard to ensure that disruptions to affected bookings are minimised.  Aggie Grey’s Lagoon, Beach Resort and Spa are working closely with sister property Aggie Grey’s Hotel and Bungalows and elegant beachfront properties Le Vasa Resort and  Le Lagoto and Siufaga Beach Resort in Savai’i on alternative accommodation.

Air New Zealand, Polynesian Blue and Air Pacific will be issuing announcements regarding flight change policies, many penalties of which will be waived in light of the current circumstances.

The islands of Upolu and Savai’i offer a range of alternative accommodation options in the Deluxe, Superior, Budget and Fale categories.  These properties can be accessed and booked through our website, www.samoa.travel.

Samoa offers properties perfect for every type of traveler – from family getaways, romantic vacations, surfing, diving and adventure holidays as well as convenient city bases for the business traveler.

We thank all of our industry partners for their cooperation and understanding and we look forward to welcoming you to our Treasured islands of the South Pacific.

For further information, please contact:

Peter Sereno - Samoa Tourism Authority
Telephone: +612 8507 5189
Mobile: +614 1621 8250
Email: peters@adpar.com.au   06 April, 2011     

Beauty, Intelligence and a Passion for Service

Apia Rotary inducts Miss Samoa as its latest member.

Samoa can chalk up a special claim to fame in the Rotary world: for possibly the first time in the history of Rotary International, a reigning beauty queen has become a new member.   Miss Samoa, Jolivette Ete, was inducted into the Apia Rotary Club on 5 April 2011 at the Millennia Hotel, by President Leiataua James Arp.

Miss Samoa’s sponsor, Joanne Rasmussen, said that she had nominated Jolivette because of her passion for the development of children’s literacy in Samoa.  Her energy and commitment demonstrated that she would continue to work for her community long after leaving her present high-profile role.  Joanne confirmed that Jolivette had been inspired to join Rotary by its exceptionally active literacy programme in primary and secondary schools.

Jolivette brings to Rotary a strong educational background and work experience.  Graduating with a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering from the University of Queensland Australia in 2009, she is also employed with the Scientific Research Organisation of Samoa as a Scientist – a position she has had to put on hold pending the completion of fulfilling her duties as Miss Samoa.

President James Arp said that the Rotary board believes Jolivette’s enthusiasm and drive towards the betterment of Samoa’s community means she will be an asset to the Rotary movement.  He said the club has been fortunate to welcome some 20 plus new members during his year in office.   It is a busy and thriving group, with an excellent balance of gender, age and experience.  

The Rotary Club of Apia is actively involved in health, education and community service projects, which have seen more than 5,000 children provided with desks and chairs, x6 fully equipped school libraries, village-based health screening of 5000 adults and children under the Rotary 5000 banner, donations of medical supplies, disaster response programmes such as the 2009 tsunami assistance, the recent fundraising for Queensland and Christchurch victims, and restoration of historical landmarks such as the Apia town clock tower.

If you are keen to become part of a busy club which seeks to improve many aspects of our community, please contact Eugene Paul (on mobile +685 777 0910 or email ejinpago@gmail.com).

Source: Apia Rotary Media Release

  05 April, 2011     

Shorty stars in Samoa

Check out this week's issue of the New Zealand Woman's Weekly to read all about Shorty Stars, Robbie Magasiva (Maxwell Avia), Teuila Blakely (Vasa Levi) and Frankie Adams (Ula Levi) as they adventure to their homeland, Samoa.

Frankie (17), was born in Samoa, but left the country when she was four to live in New Zealand with her mother and two sisters, and has never had the opportunity to return to Samoa since then.

Teaming up with her onscreen mother and father, both well-known Samoan actors in their own right, Frankie decided that if she was going to go home, Robbie and Teuila would be the perfect people to show her around.

"It was such an amazing experience," says Frankie. "It was great to have Robbie and Teuila there to show me the sights, and to remind of the cultural situations that I needed to adhere to. I couldn't have asked for better tour guides!"

Whilst in Samoa, the trio were shown around the island by the Samoa Tourism Authority, getting to see the sights of Upolu and Savaii.

Highlights included the waterfalls in Savaii, visiting the markets and hanging out at the beautiful Sinalei Resort.

"We had such a fabulous time and the people were amazing," says Frankie. "Now that I have been back and seen what it is like, I want to go back as often as I can!"

Check out this week's NZWW to read more about Frankie's journey back to Samoa.

For more info about a Samoan holiday, go here.

Source: TVNZ