28 November, 2008     

Tracey Spicer Media Visit

 All smiles after a great holiday experience in Samoa. (From L-R: Son Taj, Tracey Spicer, husband Jason and Daughter Grace)

Through a Samoa Tourism Authority initiative, Tracey Spicer, a well known Australian media personality and Editor of the Out & About with Kids Family Holiday Magazine and online portal, lapped up the sun in Samoa with her family for a whole week, from 21-27th Nov 08 to gain an experience of holidaymaking in Samoa with one’s family.

Ms Spicer will be writing on her own and her family’s (husband Jason and children Taj and Grace) experience in Samoa, for the Out & About with Kids multimedia publishing platform, providing other potentially interested families with a complete holiday information solution to visiting Samoa.  The magazine has a total circulation of 30,000 copies and a readership of 200,000. Ms. Spicer has scheduled the inclusion of her write ups on their Samoa trip in the Out & About with Kids’ upcoming Autumn and Winter issues.

As a renowned journalist, Ms. Spicer will undoubtedly be providing articles of Samoa as a tourist destination to other magazines of which she is also a regular contributor, such as Woman’s Day, Out There Magazine and En Route Magazine, Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph, Weight Watchers Magazine, Toyota's In-house Drive Magazine to name a few.  Ms. Spicer will also utilize her position as a popular TV Personality to promote Samoa through various televised interviews she has lined up.
Samoa Tourism Authority contributed to Tracey Spencer’s family travel experience with superb assistance from Polynesian Blue, Funway Rentals, Manumea Hotel, Le Lagoto Beach Resort and Aggie Grey’s Lagoon Beach Resort & Spa.

  21 November, 2008     

Flight Center NZ 'getting to know their Product.'

A group of Retail Travel Agents were in the country last week with the hopes of getting to know their 'Samoa' product better.

Travel Agents from Flight Centre New Zealand (NZ) carried out a four day 'Samoa Educational' familiarization exercise on island from Wednesday 12th- Sunday 16th November 2008, as an integral part of the Samoa Tourism Authority's (STA) on-going product and destination awareness program.

The main objective of this exercise was to fully educate overseas Retail Agents on the local factors they are currently selling. This arrangement was to ensure that those promoting Samoa are trained to become specialists on what Samoa has to offer, so that they can effectively promote Samoa as a great holiday destination.

A significant portion of their schedule included onsite inspections of some of the local hotel properties. Some of the hotels that the team visited were: in Upolu: Aggie Grey's Hotel & Bungalows, Aggie Grey's Beach Resort & Spa, Le Vasa Resort, Samoana Resort, Coconuts Beach Resort & Spa, Sinalei Reef Resort & Spa, Seabreeze Resort, Samoan Outrigger Hotel; and in Savaii- Siufaga Beach Resort & Spa, Le Lagoto Beach Resort & Spa, Savaii Lagoon Resort, Stevensons @ Manase, and Tanu Beach Fales.

Flight Center NZ is one of Samoa's key retail travel agents in New Zealand and regularly sends groups to Samoa for these practical expeditions.

Flight Centre New Zealand encourages these types of exchanges because they support ongoing learning and every consultant has the option to continue their travels through regular educational trips so that they can extend their knowledge about all the destinations so that they can better assist their clients when travelling to. (www.flightcentre.co.nz)

A seven person delegation made up of consultants and managers of major Flight Centre outlets around Auckland participated in this particular circuit.

A major part of the exercise was made possible through a collaborative effort between the hotel and airline industry which assisted with accommodation (Aggie Grey's Beach Resort & Spa and Aggie Grey's Hotel & Bungalows, Tanu Beach Fales, Coconuts Beach Resort & Spa); meals (Le Lagoto Beach Resort & Spa, Seabreeze Resort, Aggies); and flights (Air New Zealand).

The group returned to New Zealand on Sunday 16th November 2008 


  20 November, 2008     

Samoa a Seaport for the Cruise Shipping Market

Samoa is quickly becoming a regular ‘port of call’ for cruise ships visiting the pacific region. The number of cruise ships that docked at the Matautu wharf in the past four years has increased by more than 100% this year.


An average of four vacationing vessels has come to Samoa each year from 2003-2007. A marked improvement in this quantity is evident in this year’s records. Samoa has already hosted 15 cruise liners in the first half of the year.  An additional cruise ship docked on Saturday 08th Nov 2008 and another one arrived this morning, Tuesday 11th November 08. Ross Couper of Carnival Australia (part of Carnival Corporation) that operates Princess Cruises in this region (Pacific Sun, Pacific Dawn, Sun Princess and Dawn Princess) assures the local industry that cruise ships do benefit tourism in the country. “A typical 2000+ passenger vessel (similar to the Sun Princess) is equivalent to 12 modern 737’s. The time in port may be short (10 hours) but the economic impact can be immense.”  


This is certainly good news for Tourism in Samoa. The Sun Princess Cruise S817 which was at MatautuWharf this past Saturday morning brought to Samoa’s shores a total of two thousand and two (2002) tourists. The voyage is a '28 Day Sydney to Sydney Cruise.’ More than half those passengers were Australian, with significant numbers of onboard travelers from Great Britain, New Zealand, Germany and North America.  


The MS Amsterdam Cruise Ship V246 that arrived Tuesday 11th November is transporting 1030 vacationers to Samoa for a one day ‘Shore Excursion’ as part of its’65 Day Asia and Australia Grand Voyage’. It is obvious that cruise shipping has recently become an important addition to Samoa, especially given the improvement of the local wharfing and marina infrastructure. This is supported by Couper who acknowledges that one of Samoa’s positive features making it a likeable destination by cruise ships is the fact that it has a port alongside which is much safer for disembarking cruise guests and it enables the crew to perform essential planned maintenance.  


Couper states that other positive aspects which make cruise tourism to Samoa more attractive include “fantastic scenery and culture, enticing tours and the unique destination.” STA is working effectively at the ground level with the cruise operators, local tour operators, handicraft sellers and scenic attraction promoters to successfully plan these ship calls to maximize cruise vacationers’ exposure to Samoa. According to Couper, “the industry to date has been good in this region but has the potential to deliver increased economic benefit to the community.”  


With this in mind, STA is in active collaboration with the tourism industry, ports, cruise industry, government and the local community understanding that it will go a long way towards ensuring sustainable cruise tourism in Samoa.

  19 November, 2008     

Channel Ten - Totally Wild Samoa visit


As part of the Samoa Tourism Authority’s ongoing efforts to create awareness about Samoa as a preferred holiday destination in the Australian market, the Authority in collaboration with the tourism industry hosted the Channel 10, Australia  film-crew. The crew is part of the “Totally Wild” television show, an informative and entertaining program which reflects interests in the environment, sport, pet care and technology.


Its main target audience is teenagers and young children given that they are an educational program. However, the majority of viewers are adults. Given that the program will be aired nationally in Australia as well as internationally to seventeen other countries around the world during prime-time television, Samoa will obtain mass-exposure in what is a key source market for tourists.


Source: STA / Image: Mr. Ashley Eden - Channel Ten

  17 November, 2008     

STA Governance & Planning Project

Samoa Tourism Authority is continuing its first round of Consultation Workshops for the local tourism industry from the 13th-17th November 08, inviting an operative cooperation of  ‘all of Government all of Industry’ for the improvement of Tourism.

The Hon. Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Tourism, Misa Telefoni Retzlaff who gave the Opening address at the first round of Consultations at Hotel Millenia on 17th November, with regards to tourism in Samoa, stated “we’re sitting at crossroads and we need to know where to go from here.

The three month Project will be focusing on threeinter-related components which include:

1.        Tourism Legislation Review

2.        Development & compilation of the TDP 2009-2013, and

3.         Tourism Economic Impact Study - Stage 1

Three Consultants are working effectively with STA to obtain and utilize the necessary feedback from the stakeholders.  The Project Team consists of Leader, Cam Charlton, Director of Kleinhardt Business Consultants, Legal Consultant, Graham Powell; and, Economic Consultant, Naomi Tuioti of Kolone Vaai & Associates (KVA).

Two consultation workshops for the private sector took place at Hotel Millenia in Apia and at Saleapaga’s Faofao Beach Fales for Upolu as well as a workshop on Savaii.  Discussions with the public sector take place this week.

  07 November, 2008     

Amsterdam cruise ship: One Thousand and Thirty Tourists to Samoa in one day

On one day, a total of one thousand and thirty (1030) tourists will be entering Samoa at the MatautuWharf.

The MS Amsterdam Cruise Ship Voyage 246, arrives at Samoa’s shores this coming Tuesday (11th November 2008), with a vessel full of vacationers from around the globe. 

The holiday makers aboard the MS Amsterdam come from all over the world with North Americans making up more than half the passenger list.  Canadians are the second biggest group of travelers onboard, with significant numbers of people from Australia, United Kingdom, Netherlands and China.  The rest of the visitors come from Mexico, Spain, Germany, Turkey, Singapore, Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Panama, South Africa, Sweden and Switzerland.

Samoa is one of the highlighted destinations of the Amsterdam’s ‘65 Day Asia and Australia Grand Voyage,’ which originated in the United States of America, at Seattle, Washington and will wind up back in USA at a port in San Diego, California.  The sea tour takes its guests through the Asian region to Australia and the Pacific.  The Amsterdam’s one day ‘Shore Excursions’ are also benefiting pacific island countries, New Caledonia and Fiji, while en route to Samoa for its day stop.  From Samoa, the Amsterdam heads to its final destination via Hawaii.

The Samoa Tourism Authority (STA) and some of the local tourism industry providers are taking advantage of the infrequent opportunity to market Samoa in one day to a substantial group of visiting tourists. 

Apia the country’s capital, the RobertLouisStevensonMuseum, SaleapagaBeach, Le Vasa Village Resort as well as private scenic tours are some of the main attractions of Samoa that are highlighted on the Amsterdam’s main website for interested customers.  Local tour operators, guides and transport will be on hand this Tuesday to make viewing and enjoyment of these spots possible.

STA has arranged entertainment for the coming tourists to give them a glimpse of the culture.  In combination with this, art and handicraft stalls will also be set up at the wharf making our products more accessible to keen buyers.  As part of its usual tourism services, a STA information booth at the wharf will also be open throughout the day to respond to any travelers’ queries. 

The MS Amsterdam is scheduled to set sail from Samoa at 3pm.


  03 November, 2008     

Samoa Tourism Exchange '2008'

The Samoa Tourism Authority held a two day Exchange, from Thursday 30th to Friday 31st October 2008, at the Hotel Kitano Tusitala, to improve understanding of the market requirements and foster product development enhancement.

More than 70 local and foreign tourism industry partners came together to effectively share ideas on attainable market tactics, and take a deliberate approach on how to improve product development.

The local tourist industry body capitalized on the rare opportunity to ‘listen’ to foreign investors’ guidelines on how to better sell Samoa as the preferred tourist destination to the rest of the world.  The overseas tourism promoters from both New Zealand and Australia pinpointed universal tourist concerns.  The foreign colleagues came to the same conclusion that overall, the intending tourist would be looking for a quality product and would be expecting value for money they spend.

In response to tourist requirements, the overseas representatives also had the chance to hear from the local tourism industry.  As the Exchange mediator, the Samoa Tourism Authority (STA) in joint partnership with the Samoa Hotel Association (SHA), led the way in providing necessary insight into Samoa’s present tourism performance, the trends and influences affecting its progress, and attempts to ‘lift its game to the next level’.  Other productive courses of action being undertaken by local tourism promoters as well as achievements were explained by local industry participants.

In efforts to strengthen the united front STA is working actively on the local and global levels.  There currently exists a good partnership between the public and private tourism sectors.  Internationally, STA is continuing to work hand in hand with the key source markets, namely New Zealand and Australia.  Additionally, STA will maintain its optimistic pursuit of the North America/Canada and United Kingdom/European Markets.   Dynamic preparations and organization by STA of Samoa’s participation in the World Expo Shanghai, China 2010 is confirmation of the Tourism Authority’s commitment to other countries which are great potential markets for Samoa.

The STE 08 concluded on Friday 31st October 2008.


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