30 May, 2010     

Manu Samoa 7's Team Win Final Sevens Leg and International Sevens Tournament

The magnificent double was achieved by the Manu Samoa Sevens at Murrayfield, Edinburgh, this morning, after thrashing Australia, 41-14, in the final. “Thank God and thank you for your support,” coach Stephan Betham said. “The world title is for Samoa, it’s for our people. I’m proud of the players but I’m especially grateful about the support from our people.” Pale Toelupe, who spoke on behalf of the team to the international media, said the tough wins over England and Australia in the final came on the back of doing the basics right.

After two periods of extra time against England in the semifinal, the team appeared physically drained at the beginning of the final.

But they soon picked themselves up and speedster Mikaele Pesamino scored a hatrick to help his team. Fautua Otto contributed a double with Uale Mai and Reupena Levasa chipping in with a try each.

The team played their hearts out. By the end of the final, they were just about out on their feet. Coach Betham huddled his team in the middle of the field as they sang a hymn “Samoa ala mai e fa’afetai” before they accepted their trophy.

They hoisted the Samoan flag as an appreciate Murrayfield crowd applauded their efforts. The most memorable aspect about the Scotland Sevens has to be the semifinal clash between Samoa and England.

Samoa beat England 15-12 with a drop goal penalty by captain Lolo Lui in the last seconds of extra time to win a heart-stopping semi-final match. Afa Aiono put the Samoans ahead against England but Tom Powell levelled after the break.

Mikaele Pesamino looked to have given the Samoans the win and the Series but Greg Barden scored to level it up. Ben Gollings missed the conversion and the game went into extra time.

As the tension mounted Lolo Lui missed with a long range drop goal and England withstood concerted Samoan pressure. Not until the last second of extra time did Samoa work a position where Lolo Lui was able to opt for a penalty drop goal, which he cooly slotted to land Samoa their ever World Series crown.

Earlier, Samoa put in a much better performance to beat South Africa 19-0 and put themselves one win away from a first World Series title. In the overall points table, Samoa finished with 164 points while New Zealand finished second with 149 points. Fiji finished third.

Source: Samoa Observer

  28 May, 2010     

Samoa to Celebrate 48yrs of Independence

This year marks the 48th Year that Samoa gained Independence. Samoa will mark the auspicious occasion this year with Celebrations on the 31st May - 2nd June 2010. While festivities will begin on Monday 31st May, the Official Independence Public Holidays will be Tuesday 1st and Wednesday 2nd June 2010.

Highlights of this years 48th Independence Anniversary Celebrations will include: the two Fautasi races - the international race for the boats being rowed with spoon oars and the local race for the fautasi being rowed with wooden oars; the March Pass; Traditional Entertainement by Schools and Villages; and the Official Retreat prior to the Government Reception which will conclude the year's celebrations. Sporting events which will provide action packed fun during the celebrations include the Samoa Pro-Am Boxing Fights, Outrigger/Kayak Boat Racing and the International Rugby League Match between Toa Samoa and Fiji Bati.

A detailed Independence Celebrations Programme will be made available to the Industry soon.

Source: Samoa Tourism Authority Circular 20

  22 May, 2010     

Samoa being promoted at BFTE 2010

The warring views of Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi and Fiji’s military leader Frank Bainimarama have not affected relations between the two countries, in tourism at least.

Despite the strong condemnation of Fiji’s military government by Samoa’s Prime Minister, the Samoa Tourism Authority (STA) is attending the Bula Fiji Tourism Exchange (BFTE), hoping to sell Samoa to the world there.

STA’s Marketing and Promotions manager, Dwayne Bentley told the Fiji Times Samoa was pleased to be at the annual event held at Denarau Island. He said it was an opportunity to tell wholesalers things are normal in Samoa. Come to sunny Samoa…this is the message being spread by the Samoa Tourism Authority (STA) at the Bula Fiji Tourism Exchange. After the tsunami last year, Mr Bentley said people of Samoa had rebuilt their lives and begun attracting tourists. The Marketing Manager said Samoa has been attending the BFTE for the past eight years.

“Attending this BFTE is a good opportunity for us to assure the wholesalers and tourism operators that Samoa is normal,” he said. The New Zealand market remained the main generator of inbound arrivals with 42 per cent share followed by Australia and American Samoa with 19 per cent and 18 per cent respectively in 2010.

Majority of inbound travellers from NZ, Australia and American Samoa went for business-related activities and family-oriented matters. Despite the political problems in Fiji, however, tourism appears to be on the rise again in that country.

The Warwick hotel chain has plans to build a Hotel at Vavau, Aleipata.

Source: Samoa Observer (www.samoaobserver.ws)

  03 May, 2010     

New Hotel Opens in Solosolo

A family's dream came true when they finally opened a new resort. Galusina Village Resort is located at the village of Solosolo with a unique view near the deep blue ocean.

Owned by the Lamositele Family, Leota Laki Sio explained it was a project planned by their family through sharing on Sundays Toonai two years ago. It started in July last yea and immediately encountered difficulties - not only financial but disputes over land. "But I thank God it's finally completed," Leota said.

The resort with a restaurant and bar, reception and activities centre offers a range of services for guests. It has 22 rooms available now with mmore still to be completed.

Suiotupu Meredith cuts the ribbon to officially open the new resort.

Leota thanked all government ministries, businesses and individuals who have helped make this dream a reality. In his address, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi thanked the Lomositele family for this project.

"It will help push teh economy and to attract more tourists to enjoy Samoa's beautiful environment," he said

the openeing ceremony was led by Fr Nimo Pilimai and Suiotupu Fonotoe Meredith cut the ribbon to officially open the resort.

source: Samoa Observer (www.samoaobserver.ws)

  01 May, 2010     

Samoa seeks Visitors from Neighbor American Samoa

Officials also push for tourism cooperation

By Rosalia Setefano
APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, May 1, 2010) - Efforts to encourage our American Samoa cousins to bring their American dollars here are being made.

A part of these efforts include a seven-member delegation from American Samoa in Apia this week to familiarize themselves with what Samoa offers.

The delegation of travel agents, media representatives and airline officials visited hotels in Upolu and Savai’i.

American Samoa-based Salamasina Ripley said it was important for people in American Samoa to be aware about accommodation providers here. This is so that they know exactly where to go when they land in Samoa.

"This trip is also to strengthen the relationship between the two Samoans in tourism and travel," she said.

Salamasina thanked Aggie Grey’s Hotel, Manumea, Vacations Beach Fales and Eden’s Edge for their help.

Inter Island Airways Executive Vice President, Barney Sene said the number of visitors to Samoa from American Samoa has dropped since entry permits were introduced.

Mr. Sene said it was vital these fees are reconsidered to attract more visitors.

"And it is up to either Pago or Apia to take the first step to drop these fees because the amount of traffic will pay for these fees," he said.

More travelers to Apia helps the local economy, Mr. Sene said.

"Promoting more packages means to increase more traveling," he said. "If you go on vacation, you have to be well prepared and well organized so you are not stranded at the airport for hours.

"This is why we are here – we have to know the field of Samoa and other places you haven’t seen before so we will promote it over there in Pago)."

On Thursday evening, Owner of Polynesian Xplorer, Vaimasenu’u Zita Martel hosted the group at her home, Tulaele.

She said the opportunity to do so was for two reasons. One was to show her appreciation to the American Samoa people for hosting them during their visit with Segavao.

The other was to promote the partnership between the two Samoans in tourism.

Vaimasenu’u acknowledged the drop in visitor numbers from American Samoa "due to the visa issues.

"The two countries are working together to get across that hurdle and to try and get people from American Samoa to revisit Samoa," she said.

The visit this week was important, she said, so the industry could look into what packages are there and what can be done to improve things.

"Part of it is networking because if there is none of this, the plan will not happen," she said. "This is the first time in a long time that a group of this kind has come to Samoa – we get a lot of visitors from Australia, New Zealand even Germany but not American Samoa and they’re just next door."

Vaimasenu’u commended the Samoa Tourism Authority for the initiative.

"Samoa’s low tourism season is from November to March so we are trying to get visitors from American Samoa to come during this time since they are our closest neighbors," she said.

"Besides they will spend the US dollar here."

SOURCE: Pacific Islands Report

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