23 March, 2011

Samoa tourism goes on the road

By Tupuola Terry Tavita

Some 20 travel and tour agents from all the top travel agencies in Australia are in the country to sample what Samoa has to offer for the Australian holidayer.

The Australian source market has seen a steady climb in recent years, particular with the advent of Polynesian Blue, which now operates five weekly flights to Samoa from Sydney and Brisbane.

According to figures, Australians coming to Samoa has been averaging 23,253 the last five years. That number is expected to increase to around 28,000 this year.

Delivering the keynote address to welcome the Australian participants Monday evening at the STA convention center, Prime Minister and Tourism Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malilegaoi said,

“You will find that Samoa can now cater to all ranges of holidays for families, young couples, wedding parties, romantic honeymoons and active tours of rugby, soccer, swimming and lawn bowls.

“In marine adventure such as surfing, scuba diving and game fishing. We have them all.”

The opening of an 800-seat state-of-the-art convention center in the heart of Apia in November, the Prime Minister said, “will add another exciting facet to tourism in Samoa, targeting regional and international meetings, conventions and exhibitions.”

All of the Australian participants – bar  two – have never been to Samoa before. But they all agree Samoa has much to offer the Australian holidayer.

“It’s certainly an exciting destination with a growing dynamism,” said Kathryn Wilson of Travelocity.

“We’re certainly looking forward to exploring what Samoa has to offer and how we can further market this growing Samoan product in the Australian market.”

The three-day roadshow will include a visit to Savaii.

Australian agencies represented are as follows,

  • Travelocity
  • World Surfaris
  • Surf Travel
  • Coral Seas
  • Island Escapes
  • Specialist Holidays
  • Travel.com.au
  • The Perfect Wave
  • Go Tours
  • Corporate Fishing Charters
  • Harvey’s Choice
  • Ultimate Sports Travel
  • Eclipse
  • Tours of History
  • Qantas Holidays