29 January, 2010 permalink
Samoa Tourism takes to the road in Australia
The Samoa Tourism Authority and Industry Representatives will go on a roadshow in Australia next month. Enjoy an evening with the team and learn more about what Samoa has to offer in
2010. While there, you'll be in with a chance to win return flights to and accommodation in the Treasured Islands of the South Pacific.
Be sure to catch the Samoa Tourism Roadshow at the following locations:
- Sydney (8 February), Swissotel Sydney, 68 Market Street, 5.30pm-8.30pm
- Brisbane (9 February), The Sebel & Citigate King
George Square Hotel, Cnr Ann & Roma Streets, 5.30pm-8.30pm
Adelaide (10 February), Stamford Plaza Adelaide, 150 North
Melbourne (11 February), Rydges Melbourne, 186 Exhibition
RSVP today by contacting email@example.com
28 January, 2010 permalink
Aussie travellers returning to Samoa
January 28, 2010 - 8:09AM
27 January, 2010 permalink
Samoa is back on the radar among Aussie travellers just four months after a devastating tsunami claimed the lives of 143 people, Sydney-based travel agent Jamie Strickland says.
While official numbers from the Samoan Tourism Authority (STA) aren't due until next week, the managing director of Coral Seas Travel said interest in the island has picked up post-Christmas.
"The booking profiles are certainly going back, not quite to the same levels they were pre-tsunami... but certainly the profile is starting to pick back up again," Strickland said on Wednesday.
A dozen tourists, including five Australians, died in the September 29 disaster, which also claimed 11 resorts.
Strickland said it was hard to compare figures from the previous year as recent economic troubles forced potential travellers to tighten purse strings.
"But considering what the country's been through it's actually quite surprising how quickly it's bounced back," he said.
While Fiji and Vanuatu are South Pacific favourites among Australians, Strickland said Samoa is "becoming a bit of an alternative".
"You are finding people that have been to Fiji, they've been to Vanuatu, they like the South Pacific so Samoa tends to be the next one they tick off and get the stamp in their passport."
A spokeswoman for the STA said the nation experienced a "huge increase" in visitors in the weeks following the tsunami but, "a majority of those people were her on relief work".
The number of Aussie tourists fell by almost a quarter in November and the authority aren't sure what to expect when the December figures are revealed next week.
"I can't really say at the moment, I will have to wait to see when the numbers come through, at the moment we're not really sure."
SOURCE: The Sydney Morning Herald (www.smh.com.au)
Samoa tourism booking spring back
Posted at 03:50 on 27 January, 2010 UTC
27 January, 2010 permalink
A major travel agent in New Zealand says holiday makers’ confidence in Samoa after the tsunami has picked up, with more bookings made this year than at the same time last year.
After the tsunami that swept over parts of Samoa’s south coast and destroyed homes and resorts, many travellers cancelled or postponed their bookings.
But House of Travel’s retail director, Brent Thomas, says numbers have since risen.
“The good news is that Samoa has got back on track. We’ve seen bookings from the start of this year stronger than at the same time last year. So that’s fantastic for the Samoan people. It looks like it’s business as usual and tourism being their biggest earner is back on track.”
Brent Thomas says most holiday-makers spent their holidays in areas un-affected by the disaster.
SOURCE: Radio New Zealand International (www.rnzi.com)
Samoa’s tourism authority says businesses damaged by tsunami slowly reopen
Samoa’s tourism authority says two fale-businesses have re-opened their doors to visitors, while bigger resorts are still rebuilding their properties following last year’s tsunami.
21 January, 2010 permalink
After the tsunami, many travellers cancelled or postponed their bookings to the country.
New Zealand travel agencies say things have since picked up.
The authority’s spokesperson, Tiva Imo, says people in the affected araes are working hard to ensure accomodation.
“There’s two that have already re-opened and they have bookings from tourists, but the bigger ones, they are going through the rebuilding process, but they were intending to re-open in the second quarter of this year.”
Tiva Imo says November figures show a 10 percent decrease in holiday makers compared to 2008.
Ms Imo says December and January figures have not been released, making statements about whether things have gone back to normal, difficult.
SOURCE: News Content © Radio New Zealand International
Samoa back in business
By Alanah May Eriksen
7:27 AM Thursday Jan 21, 2010
The tiny wooden motorboat taking me to the small island of Manono - one of 10 that make up Samoa - is called Lady Tsunami.
Ah, I'm not superstitious, but is there anything else we can take? The short answer: no.
This is the only vessel that takes tourists from Cape Lefatu, on Samoa's main island Upolu, to my destination.
I'm told the unfortunate boat name was chosen before the fatal 15m
tsunami which destroyed the southeast coast of Upolu earlier and refers
to the fact that "the waves are bigger over here". Not helping.
But I should really be thankful. In the 1980s the boat had no motor and was paddled across to Manono.
And anyway, as the nonchalance over the name indicates, Samoans are
doing their best to put the horror of the tsunami behind them.
Their tourist industry is definitely open for business, since little of
the tourist infrastructure was on the coast which took the brunt of the
when we get to Manono the picturesque surroundings make the 20 minutes
of uneasiness during the voyage all worth it. It's much quieter than
the tiny nation's biggest islands, Upolu and Savaii, with only a
handful of beach fale accommodation.
Manono is home to less than 1000 people. There are no roads on the
3.2sq km island but the dirt paths around the coast take less than an
hour to navigate.
Electricity was only installed in 1995 and there are just a few small
village stores which are closed most of the time. Dogs, horses and
bicycles are banned.
After we arrive my friendly guides with Samoa Scenic Tours take me for
a short walk through the villages - there are four - showing off the
local landmarks and spilling their legends.
One of the island's most visited attractions is the Grave of 99 Stones at Lepuia'i village.
The history of the grave differs depending on who you talk to.
So the story goes - according to one of my guides - over a number of
years a chief married 99 virgins, killing them off once he'd had his
way with them and placing a stone in a pile representing their life.
The villagers eventually captured and killed the chief as he tried to
escape with his 100th wife. A hole remains in the pile where the 100th
stone was to be placed.
As I soon find out, every Samoan has a story, every village a legend and every activity an elaborate history.
"Samoa was the first country in the world to have coconuts," my guide
Sio Bernard tells me as we walk to the next village. "The other islands
only have them because the fruit fell off our trees and floated there."
A few hundred metres away from the grave, by one of the several
churches on Manono, is a monument for Rev Peter Turner, the first
European Methodist missionary to Samoa, who landed in 1835. The Scenic
Tours adventure on the island includes an ava drinking session with a
host family in their fale. Ava is the same as the Fijian kava plant
which can be ground to produce a beverage which is drunk to relax.
My hosts then give a brief lecture on Samoan etiquette and demonstrate
what a usual day for them consists of - the women weaving and the men
preparing the food.
After a dip and snorkelling in the clear sea - which did seem choppier
than the main beaches - I tuck into a plate of locally sourced fruit
Then the guides announce it is time for a nap. It's only 2pm but Lady
Tsunami is my only way back, and I'd rather my guides are refreshed
when driving her back, so I don't object. The 30C-plus heat is enough
to put me out for at least an hour anyway.
Back in Upolu, one of the most popular visitor attractions is the
Papase'ea Sliding Rocks, located at Seesee, about 5km out of the
capital, Apia, in the midst of a Samoan rainforest.
an entry fee of $2 paid to the women sitting in a fale - if they're
paying attention - you get access to three natural waterslides after
walking down a set of steep stairs.
The mossy rocks make a relatively smooth slide.
The first slide is about 6m high and you land in a deep, freshwater
pool; the next dip is shorter but lands you in a deeper,
horseshoe-shaped pool; the last slide is a little higher and bumpier
and lands you in a bigger pool.
I didn't get a chance to slide down myself as we were running late for
the next activity but the shrieks of delight coming from the dozens of
people - young and old, tourists and locals - spoke volumes.
Luckily we went during the rainy season so there was plenty of running
water but I'm told during the drier months sliding isn't possible so
check on the conditions before heading out there.
Another tourist hot spot is the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum, or Villa
Vailima, the former home of the Scottish author who arrived in 1889
seeking a warmer climate in an effort to cure his sickness, probably
tuberculosis, and died here five years later.
Stevenson wrote 13 books while in Samoa and became involved in local
politics. The locals often came to him for advice and he took on the
Samoan name Tusitala which means "Teller of Tales".
When he died he left his wife Fanny along with her two children, his
step-daughter's husband and their child, his mother, and their maid who
also came with them.
Stevenson's body is buried at the top of Mt Vaea and when Fanny died a
few years later in England her ashes were brought back to Samoa to be
buried next to her husband.
Their massive former home - preserved by American millionaire Rex
Maughan - sees thousands of tourists take part in the $15 guided tours
It includes several of the family's original pieces of furniture,
clothing and artefacts and Stevenson's office boasts the first
fireplace in Samoa which - understandably - has never been used.
Shopping on Upolu is more for souvenir-type goods than anything else.
The Savalalo flea market in Apia had a raft of weaved items, sarongs
and jewellery. And if you linger around a particular stall for long
enough the shopkeepers start lowering their prices.
The food stalls at Savalalo are for the more daring. My guide told me I
needed a "Samoan belly" if I wanted to eat the fried fish heads or
kekepuua (pork and noodles surrounded by dough).
The nearby Fugalei food market is more appealing with mountains of fresh fruit at cheap prices.
An hour-long ferry from the Mulifanua Wharf, on the northwest coast of
Upolu, is all it takes to get to Savaii, Samoa's bigger island which
arguably has nicer beaches and accommodation.
trip across is in itself an experience. You have to manoeuvre around
the hundreds of Samoans packed on the top deck of Lady Samoa, several
sprawled on the ground snoozing, and make sure you nab a spot in the
sheltered area of the boat, otherwise it's outside in the
However you won't have to put up with screaming children on the water
as they are sure to be engrossed by the entertainment on board. Samoa's
biggest broadcaster, TV1, was playing Flipper
on the way over for us.
The only noise you'll hear is when a hip-hop artist appears on the box.
I swear, the entire top deck of the boat started singing along to Wild
Out by Samoan rapper Savage, who lives in New Zealand, which appeared
on a TV1 advertisement.
One of the coolest - and possibly cheapest - attractions on Savaii is
Lover's Leap in the village of Falelima, along the southwestern coast.
The legend goes that a woman and her granddaughter jumped off the
100m-high cliff on the coast to escape the local villagers because they
had done something bad. The woman turned into a turtle and the girl
into a baby shark.
The legend says that every time a person looks over the cliff a turtle
and a shark can be seen. The legend didn't fail my visit. The two sea
creatures swam below me until someone pointed down at them which,
according to another legend, scares them away.
There are several secluded white sand beaches on Savaii of which, as
far as I'm concerned, the finest is the beautiful Falealupo on the
The Samoans claim it was the last place to see the sunset before the
millennium and the spot was inundated with tourists in 1999.
Falealupo is mentioned in several Samoan legends. It is said to be the
gateway to the underworld, Pulotu, where aitu, the spirits of deceased
King Kapisi, a hip hop artist in New Zealand, is from Falealupo and filmed his music video Reverse Resistance
there in 1999.
Despite the horror of the tsunami tourists are starting to return and
several head to the devastated southeast coast to help with the
rebuilding or to bring over clothing, food and water to the victims.
Such charity is not pushed - or even suggested - by guides or
accommodation providers but those curiously driving through the
wreckage may feel compelled to chip in.
There are several charities and other organisations already on the
coast that encourage tourists to join them even just for a few hours.
The villagers are welcoming of any help, especially those living in the
bush with barely anything, but too scared to venture out to the coast
where many of their family members perished.
But if you don't fancy a working holiday you'll be welcome if you just go to Samoa to sit in the sun.
Samoa Tourism Authority is begging foreigners to still take their
holidays as that's what the country needs - tourists injecting money
back into the country to get the industry flourishing again.
SOURCE - New Zealand Herald (www.nzherald.co.nz)
Alanah May Eriksen flew to Samoa with Air New Zealand and was accommodated by Aggie Grey's Hotel and Aggie Grey's resort on Upolu and Suifaga Beach Resort and Le Lagoto Resort in Savaii.
20 January, 2010 permalink
Warwick unveils Vavau plans
Written by Jaydin O’Grady
Wednesday, 20 January 2010 10:37
Warwick’s much-anticipated hotel at Vavau has been re-designed after the
tsunami. As a result, the construction has been delayed by six months.
“We aim to commence construction before the end of 2010,” said Tammie Tam,
Senior Vice President/ Executive Director- Pacific of Warwick International
“We are reviewing the location of various accommodation units and public areas
that were originally planned.
“If construction starts before the end of 2010, we would expect operation
commencing in 2013.”
The Warwick Samoa Resort will be the 38th branch of Warwick International
Hotels and Resorts.
With 23 locations in Europe, five in North America, three in Asia, three in
Africa and three in the South Pacific, Warwick International Hotels is one of
the world’s largest hotel and resort chains.
Warwick Hotel Fiji. Warwick says it plans to build a 4 to 5 star hotel in Vavau
which should be completed by 2013. The
South Pacific Warwick Hotels are in Fiji and Vanuatu. Ms Tam believes there is great potential for resorts in Samoa.
"Samoa is a beautiful place and has pristine beaches and beautiful
landscape that is unique in the South Pacific,” she said.
“We see great potential for resorts in Samoa, provided there is increased
awareness in the market place and increased accessibility through the number of
airlines coming into Samoa.
“The stable Government and consistent fiscal and other policies provide confidence
of investments in this country.
“Every hotelier is expecting to make a return in investment and therefore, we
need the Government’s assistance in providing the infrastructure and marketing
budget for destination marketing to increase the number of visitors to the
Warwick Samoa Resort is to be a 4-5 star hotel.
It will offer premium class accommodation with conference facilities to attract
FIT and MICE markets to spend their holidays in Samoa.
With Warwick International Hotels’ network and marketing accessibility, it
would promote Samoa as a premium holiday destination in the South Pacific.
Most of the staff will be locals. Heads of Department and Managers would be transferred from sister properties in
The hotel will be built in two stages. First stage will comprise of 100 rooms
accommodating 200-300 people. The second phase will add another 50-70 rooms of
accommodating 200 people.
SOURCE - Samoa Observer (www.samoaobserver.ws)
06 January, 2010 permalink
December brings Inter-Samoa air traffic boost
Polynesian Airlines flew over 2,000 passengers more last month between Samoa and American Samoa than in December 2008.
06 January, 2010 permalink
The Chief Executive Officer, Taua Fatu Tielu, says he believes the increase is due to the closure of competitor South Pacific Express. SPEX suspended its service in September.
Another factor which contributed to the increase is the re-opening of Fagalii Airport in Apia.
Travelling to American Samoa from Fagalii is 15 minutes faster compared to flights from Faleolo Airport.
SOURCE: News Content © Radio New Zealand International
CBS announces castaways for “Survivor: Heroes Vs Villains”
CBS announces the 20 Former Castaways who will return to seek Revenge and Redemption, on “Survivor: Heroes Vs Villains”
20th Installment of the Hit Television Series, Hosted by Emmy Award Winner Jeff Probst, Premieres with a Special Two-Hour Episode on Thursday, Feb. 11
Twenty former castaways will return to compete on SURVIVOR: HEROES VS. VILLAINS, when the 20th installment of the Emmy Award-winning series premieres with a special two-hour episode, Thursday, Feb. 11 (8:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
SURVIVOR: HEROES VS. VILLAINS will reunite some of the most memorable, heroic and controversial castaways from previous SURVIVOR seasons. The series’ best strategists will face off in their attempt to overcome - or embrace - the label placed upon them when they return to seek revenge or redemption, all in an effort to win the title of Sole Survivor.
These memorable castaways will compete on the breathtaking island of Samoa deep in the South Pacific and will be divided into two tribes of 10 comprised of the best HEROES and biggest VILLAINS ever to play the game. The HEROES have been defined by their decisions of integrity, courage and honor, while the VILLAINS have mastered their skills of deception, manipulation and duplicity.
The series will follow the relationships and conflicts that develop among the two divergent groups. Ultimately some castaways will be forced to choose between pre-existing relationships or tribe loyalty in the spirit of competition. What happens on a tribe full of HEROES? Will the VILLAINS self-destruct or will they be able to co-exist?
Castaways competing on SURVIVOR: HEROES VS. VILLAINS (in alphabetical order):
JESSICA “Sugar” KIPER
JAMES “JT” THOMAS JR.
BENJAMIN “Coach” WADE
SURVIVOR: HEROES VS. VILLIANS is hosted by Emmy Award-winning host Jeff Probst and produced by SEG, Inc. Mark Burnett is executive producer and David Burris and Leisa Francis are co-executive producers.
The SURVIVOR premiere will be preceded by a one-hour special, SURVIVING SURVIVOR (working title), on Thursday, Feb. 4 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT), revisiting some of the greatest moments in SURVIVOR history and following up on life after SURVIVOR with some of the most memorable castaways. The special, executive produced by Susan Zirinsky for Eye2 Productions, contains fresh interviews with SURVIVOR favorites, and offers a sneak peak at the new HEROES VS. VILLAINS.
The 20th installment of the groundbreaking series coincides with its 10-year anniversary. For more detailed information on the previous installments of SURVIVOR, please log on to www.cbs.com/survivor
For more detailed information on SURVIVOR: HEROES VS. VILLAINS and the 20 castaways, log on to www.cbs.com/survivor. Photos available at www.cbspressexpress.com.