01 August, 2011

Samoa leaps across dateline

Samoa will become one of the first nations to see the New Year

Samoa Tourism Authority has officially announced their plan to switch time zones to the west of the International dateline, to be in line with Australia and New Zealand.

Samoa presently sits to the east of the international dateline and crosses through the middle of the Pacific, 11 hours behind GMT and is one of the last places on earth to see the sunset.

The change will come into effect at midnight on 29 December, which will place Samoa one hour ahead of New Zealand and three hours ahead of Australia.

According to the Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi the time change will allow for an increase in productivity and convenience for business trade with Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the Pacific Rim.

Peter Sereno from the Samoa Tourism Authority said the feedback on the change has been positive.

“This will have a positive impact on Australian trade and tourism as it puts Samoa in a more convenient time zone.  It will mean better access and correspondence with our agents here and the operators in Samoa,” Mr Sereno said.

Mr Sereno said although they will no longer be the last place on earth to see the sunset Samoa will gain by being one of the first nations to see the Sunrise of the New Year.

“2012 will be a big year for us and we encourage everyone to come and visit and join in on the celebrations.”

Source - e Travel Blackboard