01 March, 2018     

Gold Table Gala Dinner in support of Pacific Disability Support Trust

Pacific Disability Support Trust aims to raise funds for the care and support of spinal injuries in their own homes in Samoa.

The featured entertainment will be the Maeva Band – made up of the gardeners from Return to Paradise Resort in Samoa. Every Saturday night, the boys down their tools, pick up their guitars and island drums and entertain the resort’s guests. And every night, something remarkable happens: as the boys sing, the guests all stop to listen.

The Pacific Disability Support Trust began work in 2010 to coordinate fundraising for Ben Lei’a, a promising rugby player in Samoa who broke his neck in a tackle and became a life-long tetraplegic. A major fundraising campaign involving the All Blacks and led by then, Captain Richie McCaw raised sufficient funds to build Ben a new home, provide a mobility vehicle and an orthopaedic bed. A second fundraising dinner in 2011 involving both the All Blacks and Black Caps provided further funds which have been used for medical supplies and the care of spinal injuries throughout Samoa and Fiji.

When: Thursday 22 March 2018 

Venue: Ellerslie Convention Centre, Auckland

Tickets include dinner and drinks.
Per person: $300 or $500 per couple
Table of 10: $2000

For further information contact: ramona@returntoparadiseresort.com Ph: +64 21 103 5105 or Samoa +685 767 5002

Maeva's music – a mixture of Samoan traditional songs and dances, plus stirring renditions of well known numbers – always gets rapturous praise from international guests and due to popular demand, the band are releasing a CD that will be available on the night. Don't miss this chance to see the band in Auckland.

Maeva will be in New Zealand, courtesy of Samoa Airways and House of Travel.

  16 November, 2017     

Samoa Airways Launches

Samoa Airways launches


History was made this week with the inaugural Samoa Airways flights between Apia and Auckland (OL731 on 14th November) and Apia and Sydney (OL855 on 16th November).

Samoan Prime Minister Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi was joined by the Minister for Samoa Airways Lautafi Fio Selafi Purcell and various dignitaries, including Auckland Mayor Phil Goff at the formal welcome at Auckland Airport.

Government-owned Samoa Airways (OL) replaces Polynesian Air and operates between Apia and Auckland six times a week and Apia and Sydney twice a week. The new international airline also continues flights between Samoa and American Samoa, as well as domestic routes within American Samoa.

The airline recognises the significance of Kiwis and Aussies to Samoa’s tourism industry, and the strong family, community, cultural and business links which Samoa and American Samoa have with New Zealand and Australia. The Airline is confident that its flights, which are mostly daytime operations, will support the ongoing development of the leisure and business segments and provide consumers across the board a competitive choice.

All flights are operated using a 170-seat 2-class Boeing 737-800 with 8 seats in Business Class and 162 seats in the Economy cabin.

Samoa Airline's base is at Faleolo International Airport, Samoa.


  13 February, 2017     

Samoa Hosts Historic First for Super Rugby Champioinship

Samoa will be celebrating its 55th year of independence by making sporting history when it hosts its first Investec Super Rugby Championship match on 2nd June.
The match between the Auckland Blues vs Queensland Reds will be played under lights at the Apia Park Stadium in the nation’s capital.

The Samoan Government is backing the fixture and has indicated that it hopes to secure more Super Rugby matches in Samoa in the future.

In 2015, Samoa hosted the All Blacks when it played Manu Samoa.  The historic event was hugely successful and showcased Samoa’s ability to host international events at the highest level.
Samoa has placed great effort in building sports tourism, notably with sporting facilities which have been designed to attract international sporting events. Many of these were either built or improved upon for the 2007 South Pacific Games.
The Blues region is home to about 150,000 proud Samoans, with fifteen players in the team claiming Samoan heritage including its coach, Tana Umaga. And across the Tasman, records indicate a strong Samoan connection in Brisbane with many Samoans calling the city home and the Samoan language being listed as one of the most widely spoken around the Brisbane area.  
CEO Samoa Tourism Authority Sonja Hunter says that this momentous event cements Samoa’s growing reputation as a sporting hub in the South Pacific.
“Hosting this first ever Super Rugby match is a huge thing for our island nation. A sporting event of this calibre opens up tremendous opportunities for Samoa and the rest of the region, and we are ready to welcome all the new visitors that events such as this will bring to our shores. We are ready for you,” says Sonja.
The Blues vs Reds match will be played at Apia Park Stadium on 2nd June and ticket enquiries can be made with the Experience Group http://www.experiencegroup.co.nz/.


  13 January, 2017     

Seabreeze takes the gong at inaugural awards

Seabreeze Resort took top honours at the inaugural Samoa Tourism Excellence
Awards held last Saturday at the Taumeasina Island Resort.

The adults-only resort won the National Tourism Excellence and Best Accommodation awards. It had been nominated in five of the 12 categories. Resort owner Wendy Booth, who dedicated the awards to staff, says it is an honour to be recognised. ‘Being acknowledged at this level, especially in our home country is just an amazing achievement.’

The awards, attended by Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi, have been hailed a successful event for the industry in Samoa.

Award decisions were the result of 2016 visitor surveys and the Tourism Standards Committee, which conducted inspections during 2016.

Other winners were:

Best Car Rental - Blue Pacific Car Hire;

Best Airport Transfer - Aga Reef Resort;

Best Bar & Hangout - The Edge Marina;

Best Cultural Entertainment - Saletoga Sands Resort;

Best Tour Operator - Coconuts Beach Club Resort & Spa;

Best Attraction - Robert Louis Stevenson Museum;

Best Restaurant - Paddles;

Best Taxi Service - Magik FM Taxis;

Best Elei Uniform - Ministry for Revenue;

Best Hygiene - Amoa Resort.

Source - Travelinc MEMO

  23 December, 2016     

Nominees announced for the Inaugural Samoa Tourism Excellence Awards 2017


The Nominees for the first ever Samoa Tourism Excellence Awards have been announced by the Samoa Tourism Authority (STA) based on surveys and inspections carried out by the Tourism Standards Committee and the STA Research and Statistics team. The Awards will kick start the New Year and will be held on 7th January.

Three nominees have been revealed for each of the 12 Awards categories, which reflect the various aspects of the Tourism Industry and Visitor Experience (as listed below).

National Tourism Excellence Award  

Return to Paradise Resort
Saletoga Sands Resort & Spa
Seabreeze Resort

Best Accommodation   

Seabreeze Resort
Saletoga Sands Resort & Spa
Sinalei Reef Resort & Spa

Best Restaurant   

Seabreeze Resort

Best Bar & Hangout

Ace of Clubs
Club X
The Edge Marina

Best Attraction Site   

Falealupo Canopy Walk
Lalomanu Beach
Robert Louis Stevenson Museum

Best Tour Operator   

Coconuts Beach Club Resort & Spa
Dive Savaii
Seabreeze Resort

Best Car Rental   

AA Rent a Car
Blue Pacific Car Hire
Jetz Rents

Best Taxi Service   

City Cabs
DB Taxis
Magik FM Taxis

Best Airport Transfer   

Aga Reef Resort
Saletoga Sands Resort
Seabreeze Resort

Best Cultural Entertainment   

Saletoga Sands Resort
Samoa Cultural Village
Taufua Beach Fales

Best Elei Uniform   

Central Bank of Samoa
Ministry for Revenue
Ministry of Finance

Best Hygiene   

Aganoa Lodge
Amanaki Hotel (Restaurant)
Amoa Resort

2017 is designated by the United Nations as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development and the Samoa Tourism Excellence Awards will especially celebrate the outstanding performances of those businesses which have been nominated.

The Awards have been judged by Visitors, who were surveyed throughout the year and the Tourism Standards Committee which conducted inspections during 2016. The survey and inspections were alluded to by the Prime Minister, Hon. Tuilaepa Fatialofa Lupesoliai Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi at the beginning of this year as part of the launch of Visit Samoa Year 2016.

The Inaugural Samoa Tourism Excellence Awards will take place at 7:00pm on Saturday 7th January at the Taumeasina Island Resort and tickets are available from the STA Head Office.


For further information contact:
Su’a Hesed Ieremia
Communications and Liaison Officer
Samoa Tourism Authority
T: +685 63500 | M: +685 7247865 | E: hesed@samoa.travel

  21 December, 2016     

Inaugural Samoa Tourism Excellence Awards to kick start 2017


2017 designated by the United Nations as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development promises to be a wonderful year for Beautiful Samoa.

The New Year will kick start with the ‘Inaugural Samoa Tourism Excellence Awards’,
which will be held on 7th January.

The Inaugural Samoa Tourism Excellence Awards celebrates the outstanding
performances of those who have made exceptional contributions to Samoa’s Tourism Industry within the past 12 months, as measured and judged by visitors and the Tourism Standards Committee during the Survey.

The Survey for this first ever Awards was launched by the Prime Minister, Hon. Tuilaepa Fatialofa Lupesoliai Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi on 7th January at the beginning of the year, as part of the launch of Visit Samoa Year 2016.

2016 saw, among other exciting achievements, the opening of new first class Hotels
and phase 1 of the Faleolo International Airport re-development, the progressive
developments in the Samoa submarine cable project (targeting improved connectivity), and son of Samoa, Joseph Parker creating history by claiming the World Boxing Organisation Heavyweight Champion Title.

In launching the Awards, the Prime Minister spoke about the Tourism Industry’s
tremendous impact on the economic and social development of Samoa.

“Tourism is the mainstay of our economy and we have selected to continue pioneering sustainable tourism, as we have stated in our tourism sector plan and vision that by 2019 Samoa will have a growing tourism sector.”

There are 12 Awards categories designed to include various aspects of the Tourism
Industry. The Nominations and Venue for the Inaugural Samoa Tourism Excellence
Awards will soon be announced.


  09 December, 2016     

Samoa's Main Gateway Receives a Makeover - Phase One Unveiled

Samoa’s Faleolo International Airport is undergoing a makeover and last week, the grand unveiling of Phase One of the refurbishment project took place with the completion of the departure terminal.

With an emphasis on crowd processing efficiency, technological upgrades, cleanliness and increased capacity, Faleolo's refurbishment is in line with the country’s mission to meet the growing demands of increasing passenger traffic and to improve infrastructure.

The airport refurbishment is a three phase development.

Phase One is the upgrade and expansion of the departures building. Phases Two and Three will be the upgrade and development of a new Arrivals Terminal and public areas. The last two phases are set to be completed by the second half of 2017.

New aerobridges will also feature at the completion of the project and as the new arrivals hall is built, a temporary terminal, now in operation, will be used to cater for all inbound flights into Faleolo.

Sonja Hunter of Samoa Tourism Authority has expressed confidence in the project, welcoming the development as part of efforts towards the establishment of Samoa as a major hub for travel and trade in the South Pacific.

“The new airport is a fabulous representation of our country’s growth. Samoa is fast becoming a feature in many traveller’s bucket lists and an expansion to cope with increasing visitor arrivals will also promote an improved airport experience. It could not have come at a better time and we are ready for greater accessibility and for new carriers to come and consider Samoa as a new destination,” says Sonja.

Faleolo International Airport is expected to complete its final refurbishment phase by August 2017.


Photo credit - Elemesi Latu Schmidt


  08 December, 2016     

Get Ready for a Samoan Knock-Out at the Joseph Parker Fight

The nation of Samoa has delivered a knock out deal, stepping in to fund Joseph Parker’s heavyweight WBO title fight against Mexican Andy Ruiz Jr in Auckland this Saturday. 

Joseph Parker was born in New Zealand but is of Samoan heritage. He follows the footsteps of another Polynesian great, David Tua, who also went for the title against the great Lennox Lewis sixteen years ago in Las Vegas. With his stature and rigorous training regime, pundits believe the odds are in Parker’s favour.

In a sponsorship deal, Samoa’s majestic land and seascapes, white sand beaches, lush forests and rich culture will be showcased during the televised fight, with a special role for the Prime Minister, The Hon Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi who will be present to introduce the main event. There will also be a ceremonial introduction prior to the national anthems being performed.

At a press conference just two days out from the much anticipated fight, Parker’s trainer says he’s the best prepared he has been in the last two years. "This is an epic event with historic values with two young fighters trying to cement their place in their countries' histories," Barry said.

Although born in Auckland and a ‘hard-out Kiwi’, 24-year-old Parker speaks Samoan and visits Samoa every year to spend time with family and enjoy the Samoan way of life. In Samoa Parker is referred to as Lupesoliai La'auli – the name is a sign of respect and was bestowed upon him from his mother’s village as appreciation for what he has achieved for Samoa – La’auli can be translated as warrior.

Parker goes into the fight with a 21–0 record with 18 wins by KO, while Ruiz has a 29–0 record with 19 KO victories.

The man himself says he is more than ready to take on Andy Ruiz, "I want to win it well, I want to be a part of history," Parker said.

The fight will take place at Auckland’s Vector Arena at 7.30pm on 10 December 2016.

Watch a tour of Joseph Parker's Samoan backyard. 

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