Developing your expertise in a destination gives you the best chance of inspiring travellers while helping you curate the right packages for every type of consumer. It’s easy to become a Samoan travel specialist by using the many tools, resources, and online training modules that you’ll find available on our frequently updated Samoan Specialist platform.
The effects of the pandemic are likely to stick around for some time after borders reopen, and there’s no doubt that the importance of safety and managing risk will be top of mind for the first wave of travellers. Information and assurances around Samoa’s vaccination program, which is on track for a fully vaccinated population, and the availability of COVID-19 testing through Samoa’s Ministry of Health should feature heavily in your travel advisory to consumers. Other features of Samoa’s Travel Ready Toolkit include the introduction of Samoa’s contact tracing app and operator training around COVID-19 health and safety measures and protocols.
While it’s already mandated that all visitors to Samoa must be fully vaccinated, raising awareness of any current airport protocols or national guidelines around social distancing, mask wearing, or other measures could help to give more confidence to a cautious market. All the most up to date information will be readily available from the Samoa Tourism Authority when travel resumes.
Everyone knows that we’ve had to do things a bit differently for some time – often referred to as the ‘new normal’ – and how we travel will probably be no exception once our borders reopen. Unsurprisingly, the big question that’s likely to be on most people’s minds when they think about booking a trip to Samoa will be “how will the ‘new normal’ affect the quality of my experience?”
When advising clients, it’ll be important to use your specialist destination knowledge to instil confidence that their time in Samoa won’t be negatively impacted by the consequences of the pandemic. For example, this might include explaining how tours are operating effectively in accordance with any government measures or offering assurances around access to resort facilities and services and the availability of cultural experiences (such as Samoa’s popular Fia Fia nights).
Your customers will also know that resorts in Samoa have had low occupancy for some time, as they have been in tourist destinations all around the world, which could raise concerns about their state of maintenance and cleanliness. Sharing stories about how Samoa’s tourism operators have been pulling together to prepare and refresh their products in the lead up to restarting could help to turn a potential negative into real excitement about visiting Samoa. As enquiries and bookings increase in the months ahead, many operators in Samoa will be creating revitalised marketing content around their products which you can promote to consumers.
Everyone has grown accustomed to having plans change quickly over the past few months – it’s become a part of life. But while Samoa is now carefully preparing for a safe and reliable return of travel with our Travel Ready Toolkit which includes a national vaccination rollout, contact tracing, and operator training around COVID-19 health and safety, consumer’s will still expect to book with confidence that they will be supported and have a clear plan should things change.
Showing that you’re prepared to assist with your customers’ bookings and itineraries in the event of cancellations or changes to national rules or guidelines will be vital to offering peace of mind to the post-COVID traveller. Meanwhile, being across operator policies when it comes to refunds and date changes, for example, and having knowledge about insurance considerations and how these will impact travellers’ trips, will be more important than ever before.
There’s a lot of pent-up demand for travel, but when it comes to the crunch, consumers probably won’t dive in feet first. As an advisor of Samoan escapes, there is a huge opportunity to leverage the many steps Samoa is taking right now to prepare for a safe return of tourism while delivering exceptional visitor experiences.