Tuesday, 11 April 2017

SAMOA: Travel Gurus Overwhelmed By Authentic Samoan Experience


The Travel Trade and Media experts from around the world who visited Samoa for the Samoa Tourism Exchange (STE) 2017 have relished their time in Samoa, following a busy interactive three days of exhibitions, property inspections, Food and Wine Tour and activities across the country.

“I’ve had a great time at the Samoa Tourism Exchange, where we’ve seen beautiful and outstanding resorts and properties, each with something different to offer families and couples alike.” Said Anita Gatley of Wedding Travel from New Zealand.

Cristina Cali of Flight Center Travel Group from Australia said that, “Samoa is absolutely an appealing place for my clientele because it is cultural, the people is what makes it and the place here is very unique, raw and genuine.”

Mr Aries Leopold of Voageurs Du Monde of France also enjoyed the destination. “Samoa is a very authentic destination with a unique culture and very friendly people, which is something I absloutely enjoyed, and an experience that fits well with our people in France.”

STE continues to be a successful event since it was initiated in 2008, and in a special year for Samoa being the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, similar positive feedbacks were widely received from all influential travel trade and media representatives who attended from across the world including American Samoa, China, South Korea, Japan, North America, United Kingdom, European Union, Australia and New Zealand.

On the theme, Beautiful Samoa, the three day event hosted by Taumeasina Island Resort, began on the 3rd of April, with the Minister of Tourism, Hon. Sala Fata Pinati officially welcoming the overseas Buyers and acknowledging the support from the local Tourism Industry, the Sponsors and the Government of Samoa for making the event possible.

The country’s hard working Prime Minister has displayed one of his many talents as he entertained the public and the village of Poutasi, Falealili by singing and playing the ukulele.

Showing his support for community development, Hon. Tuilaepa Fatialofa Lupesoliai Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi this week attended the opening of the ukulele and craft workshop at Poutasi village, hosted by Tuatagaloa Joe Annandale and the Poutasi Development Trust.

Known also for his humorous nature, Tuilaepa played and sang ‘Afitusi’ - match stick, and kept everyone amused.

A video of his performance was posted on social media and the public acknowledged his leadership. “I just admire this about our PM – his ability to show his many sides – the romantic, the musician, the humourist, the leader.” Said one comment. “Tuilaepa serenades us by playing a ukulele made by local artisans.” Said another comment.

The Government Leader acknowledged the work by Poutasi village in further developing this craft, and also shared with all how he learned to play the ukulele during his early days, which was widely applauded and appreciated by everyone.

The Poutasi Development Trust is a charitable trust that engages in the social, cultural and educational development of Poutasi Village in Samoa.

New resorts and an airport terminal, faster internet, port redevelopment and better service standards were among the hot topics at the Samoa Tourism Exchange (STE) held at Taumeasina Island Resort in Apia this week.

Dwayne Bentley, Samoa Tourism Authority (STA) Marketing and Promotions Manager, says tourism is top of people’s minds in Samoa, and everyone is working to increase visitor numbers.

Kiwi visitor numbers for 2016 were up 8% from 2015 to around 66,000, securing their place as our biggest market.

Australians were just under half that at 31,000, with American Samoa sitting third with about 15,000. In total we welcomed 145,000 tourists last year – a 4.4% growth from 2015, he says.

It’s a positive result that can be attributed to awareness of the destination and the effort everyone is putting in to get people here.

Bentley revealed there is much work going on in the background to ensure numbers remain strong, including the construction of a new arrivals terminal that is timetabled to open in January 2018.

The speed of the internet is also being addressed and Bentley says the country can expect to be connected to the Southern Cross cable before the end of 2017.

Meanwhile, Kate Payne, consultant with Samoa Hotel Association, says moves are afoot to address service standards - a situation that has been a sticking point in the past.

But in the past two years we have made positive progress in food and beverage delivery, kitchen standards and housekeeping skills for the members of the Samoa Hotel Association and the wider community.

The Travel Trade and Media experts from around the world who visited Samoa for the Samoa Tourism Exchange (STE) 2017 have relished their time in Samoa, following a busy interactive three days of exhibitions, property inspections, Food and Wine Tour and activities across the country.

I’ve had a great time at the Samoa Tourism Exchange, where we’ve seen beautiful and outstanding resorts and properties, each with something different to offer families and couples alike.

Said Anita Gatley of Wedding Travel from New Zealand. Cristina Cali of Flight Center Travel Group from Australia said that, Samoa is absolutely an appealing place for my clientele because it is cultural, the people is what makes it and the place here is very unique, raw and genuine.

Mr Aries Leopold of Voageurs Du Monde of France also enjoyed the destination.

Samoa is a very authentic destination with a unique culture and very friendly people, which is something I absloutely enjoyed, and an experience that fits well with our people in France.

STE continues to be a successful event since it was initiated in 2008, and in a special year for Samoa being the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, similar positive feedbacks were widely received from all influential travel trade and media representatives who attended from across the world including American Samoa, China, South Korea, Japan, North America, United Kingdom, European Union, Australia and New Zealand.

On the theme, Beautiful Samoa, the three day event hosted by Taumeasina Island Resort, began on the 3rd of April, with the Minister of Tourism, Hon. Sala Fata Pinati officially welcoming the overseas Buyers and acknowledging the support from the local Tourism Industry, the Sponsors and the Government of Samoa for making the event possible.

Samoa Tourism Authority 7th april 2017 STE 2017: Susie Williams - Return to Paradise, Natalie von Dincklage - House of Travel, Wendy Graham - Lifestyle Holidays, Chris Martin - Seabreeze Resort, Laura Wadsworth - Samoa Scenic / Taumeasina Island Resort, Carole Thorburn - Return to Paradise, Raumati Barbara - Saletoga Sands Resort, Fiona Wozney - Sinalei Reef Resort.

Travel experts overhwelmed by authentic Samoan experience

7th April 2017 2 Working Prime Minister sings and plays the ukulele The country’s hard working Prime Minister has displayed one of his many talents as he entertained the public and the village of Poutasi, Falealili by singing and playing the ukulele.

Showing his support for community development, Hon. Tuilaepa Fatialofa Lupesoliai Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi this week attended the opening of the ukulele and craft workshop at Poutasi village, hosted by Tuatagaloa Joe Annandale and the Poutasi Development Trust.

Known also for his humorous nature, Tuilaepa played and sang ‘Afitusi’ - match stick, and kept everyone amused. A video of his performance was posted on social media and the public acknowledged his leadership. I just admire this about our PM – his ability to show his many sides – the romantic, the musician, the humourist, the leader.

Said one comment. “Tuilaepa serenades us by playing a ukulele made by local artisans. Said another comment. The Government Leader acknowledged the work by Poutasi village in further developing this craft, and also shared with all how he learned to play the ukulele during his early days, which was widely applauded and appreciated by everyone.

The Poutasi Development Trust is a charitable trust that engages in the social, cultural and educational development of Poutasi Village in Samoa.

Faster internet, top service - the road toward tourism success New resorts and an airport terminal, faster internet, port redevelopment and better service standards were among the hot topics at the Samoa Tourism Exchange (STE) held at Taumeasina Island Resort in Apia this week.

Dwayne Bentley, Samoa Tourism Authority (STA) Marketing and Promotions Manager, says tourism is top of people’s minds in Samoa, and everyone is working to increase visitor numbers.

Kiwi visitor numbers for 2016 were up 8% from 2015 to around 66,000, securing their place as our biggest market.

Australians were just under half that at 31,000, with American Samoa sitting third with about 15,000. In total we welcomed 145,000 tourists last year – a 4.4% growth from 2015,he says.

It’s a positive result that can be attributed to awareness of the destination and the effort everyone is putting in to get people here.

Bentley revealed there is much work going on in the background to ensure numbers remain strong, including the construction of a new arrivals terminal that is timetabled to open in January 2018.

The speed of the internet is also being addressed and Bentley says the country can expect to be connected to the Southern Cross cable before the end of 2017.

Meanwhile, Kate Payne, consultant with Samoa Hotel Association, says moves are afoot to address service standards - a situation that has been a sticking point in the past.

But in the past two years we have made positive progress in food and beverage delivery, kitchen standards and housekeeping skills for the members of the Samoa Hotel Association and the wider community.

TRAVELinc Sharon O’Brien of Live Breathe Travel and Wendy Graham of Lifestyle Holidays receive a warrior’s welcome at Seabreeze Resort Ruzanne Keresoma of helloworld; Amanda North of STA and Sibyl Hauraki of GO Holidays ‘take five’ with Air New Zealand’s Hylda Bloomfield at STE 2017 The food and wine tour: Natalie von Dincklage, HoT Product; Emma Cameron, Our World; Sarah Bedford, STA; Wendy Graham, Lifestyle Holidays and Sharon O’Brien, Live Breathe Travel Prime Minister, Hon. Tuilaepa Fatialofa Lupesoliai Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi during his performance as Tuatagaloa Joe Annandale listens on.

7th April 2017 3 The Samoa Tourism Exchange 2017 concluded on a high with an evening of fun and celebration, as all International Buyers and Sellers alike dressed up to the theme Moana. The ceremony culminated an eventful three days of exhibitions and activities, and celebrated Samoa’s unique culture and what makes Samoa a genuine and sustainable destination. Held at the Taumeasina Island Resort, a prayer was led by Rev.

Afamasaga Mautofu Fuimaono, and the keynote address delivered by the Minister of Tourism, Hon. Sala Fata Pinati.

As the curtain falls on STE 2017, I thank all the Buyers from around the World, both new and existing, for accepting our invitation, and we trust your experience has given you that fresh understanding about where Beautiful Samoa is and where it’s heading.Said Sala

To our Industry and Sponsors, thank you for your support. Your assistance as always is appreciated and we hope that the past few days have provided the opportunity from which strategic partnerships will continue to flourish and grow.

Tourism as many of you know is Samoa’s leading industry with numerous direct and indirect benefits. And as market segments and their respective behaviour and purchasing preferences evolve and as competition intensifies, it’s those partnerships and networks which will help us all in our ongoing efforts to improve and grow. Sala added.

Two lucky Buyers will to return to Samoa, after they won best female and male Moana themed dresses of the night, namely Rosanne Keresoma of Helloworld Travel from New Zealand and Joe Dolphire of Scoopon Travel from Australia.

Each received prizes from the hosts Taumeasina Island Resort, of three nights Villa accommodation with free meals of breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The Travel Trade and Media experts from around the world who visited Samoa for the Samoa Tourism Exchange (STE) 2017 have relished their time in Samoa, following a busy interactive three days of exhibitions, property inspections, Food and Wine Tour and activities across the country.

I’ve had a great time at the Samoa Tourism Exchange, where we’ve seen beautiful and outstanding resorts and properties, each with something different to offer families and couples alike.” Said Anita Gatley of Wedding Travel from New Zealand.

Cristina Cali of Flight Center Travel Group from Australia said that, “Samoa is absolutely an appealing place for my clientele because it is cultural, the people is what makes it and the place here is very unique, raw and genuine.

Mr Aries Leopold of Voageurs Du Monde of France also enjoyed the destination.

Samoa is a very authentic destination with a unique culture and very friendly people, which is something I absloutely enjoyed, and an experience that fits well with our people in France.” STE continues to be a successful event since it was initiated in 2008.

In a special year for Samoa being the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, similar positive feedbacks were widely received from all influential travel trade and media representatives who attended from across the world including American Samoa, China, South Korea, Japan, North America, United Kingdom, European Union, Australia and New Zealand.

On the theme, Beautiful Samoa, the three day event hosted by Taumeasina Island Resort, began on the 3rd of April, with the Minister of Tourism, Hon. Sala Fata Pinati officially welcoming the overseas Buyers and acknowledging the support from the local Tourism Industry, the Sponsors and the Government of Samoa for making the event possible.

Samoa Tourism Authority 7th april 2017 STE 2017: Susie Williams - Return to Paradise, Natalie von Dincklage - House of Travel, Wendy Graham - Lifestyle Holidays, Chris Martin - Seabreeze Resort, Laura Wadsworth - Samoa Scenic / Taumeasina Island Resort, Carole Thorburn

Return to Paradise, Raumati Barbara - Saletoga Sands Resort, Fiona Wozney - Sinalei Reef Resort.

Travel experts overhwelmed by authentic Samoan experience

7th April 2017 2 Working Prime Minister sings and plays the ukulele The country’s hard working Prime Minister has displayed one of his many talents as he entertained the public and the village of Poutasi, Falealili by singing and playing the ukulele. Showing his support for community development, Hon. Tuilaepa Fatialofa Lupesoliai Dr.

Sailele Malielegaoi this week attended the opening of the ukulele and craft workshop at Poutasi village, hosted by Tuatagaloa Joe Annandale and the Poutasi Development Trust. Known also for his humorous nature, Tuilaepa played and sang ‘Afitusi’ - match stick, and kept everyone amused.

A video of his performance was posted on social media and the public acknowledged his leadership. I just admire this about our PM – his ability to show his many sides – the romantic, the musician, the humourist, the leader. Said one comment.

Tuilaepa serenades us by playing a ukulele made by local artisans.” Said another comment. The Government Leader acknowledged the work by Poutasi village in further developing this craft, and also shared with all how he learned to play the ukulele during his early days, which was widely applauded and appreciated by everyone.

The Poutasi Development Trust is a charitable trust that engages in the social, cultural and educational development of Poutasi Village in Samoa.

Faster internet, top service - the road toward tourism success New resorts and an airport terminal, faster internet, port redevelopment and better service standards were among the hot topics at the Samoa Tourism Exchange (STE) held at Taumeasina Island Resort in Apia this week.

Dwayne Bentley, Samoa Tourism Authority (STA) Marketing and Promotions Manager, says tourism is top of people’s minds in Samoa, and everyone is working to increase visitor numbers.

Kiwi visitor numbers for 2016 were up 8% from 2015 to around 66,000, securing their place as our biggest market. Australians were just under half that at 31,000, with American Samoa sitting third with about 15,000. In total we welcomed 145,000 tourists last year – a 4.4% growth from 2015,” he says.

It’s a positive result that can be attributed to awareness of the destination and the effort everyone is putting in to get people here.

Bentley revealed there is much work going on in the background to ensure numbers remain strong, including the construction of a new arrivals terminal that is timetabled to open in January 2018. The speed of the internet is also being addressed and Bentley says the country can expect to be connected to the Southern Cross cable before the end of 2017.

Meanwhile, Kate Payne, consultant with Samoa Hotel Association, says moves are afoot to address service standards - a situation that has been a sticking point in the past. “But in the past two years we have made positive progress in food and beverage delivery, kitchen standards and housekeeping skills for the members of the Samoa Hotel Association and the wider community.

TRAVELinc Sharon O’Brien of Live Breathe Travel and Wendy Graham of Lifestyle Holidays receive a warrior’s welcome at Seabreeze Resort Ruzanne Keresoma of helloworld; Amanda North of STA and Sibyl Hauraki of GO Holidays ‘take five’ with Air New Zealand’s Hylda Bloomfield at STE 2017 The food and wine tour: Natalie von Dincklage, HoT Product; Emma Cameron, Our World; Sarah Bedford, STA; Wendy Graham, Lifestyle Holidays and Sharon O’Brien, Live Breathe Travel Prime Minister, Hon. Tuilaepa Fatialofa Lupesoliai Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi during his performance as Tuatagaloa Joe Annandale listens on.

7th April 2017 3 The Samoa Tourism Exchange 2017 concluded on a high with an evening of fun and celebration, as all International Buyers and Sellers alike dressed up to the theme Moana.

The ceremony culminated an eventful three days of exhibitions and activities, and celebrated Samoa’s unique culture and what makes Samoa a genuine and sustainable destination. Held at the Taumeasina Island Resort, a prayer was led by Rev. Afamasaga Mautofu Fuimaono, and the keynote address delivered by the Minister of Tourism, Hon. Sala Fata Pinati.

As the curtain falls on STE 2017, I thank all the Buyers from around the World, both new and existing, for accepting our invitation, and we trust your experience has given you that fresh understanding about where Beautiful Samoa is and where it’s heading.” Said Sala.

To our Industry and Sponsors, thank you for your support. Your assistance as always is appreciated and we hope that the past few days have provided the opportunity from which strategic partnerships will continue to flourish and grow. “Tourism as many of you know is Samoa’s leading industry with numerous direct and indirect benefits.

And as market segments and their respective behaviour and purchasing preferences evolve and as competition intensifies, it’s those partnerships and networks which will help us all in our ongoing efforts to improve and grow.

Sala added. Two lucky Buyers will to return to Samoa, after they won best female and male Moana themed dresses of the night, namely Rosanne Keresoma of Helloworld Travel from New Zealand and Joe Dolphire of Scoopon Travel from Australia.

Each received prizes from the hosts Taumeasina Island Resort, of three nights Villa accommodation with free meals of breakfast, lunch and dinner. STE 2017 ends on a high with Moana-themed finale A fun filled closing ceremony for all to end the Samoa Tourism Exchange 2017 at the Taumeasina Island Resort. Best Moana dressed female and male, Rosanne Keresoma and Joe Dolphire with Taumeasina Island Resort General Manager, Nathan Bucknall, flanked by STA Staff. Minister of Tourism, Hon. Sala Fata Pinati closes STE 2017.

7th April 2017 4 Samoa’s first and only Olympic Medallist, Ms Ele Opeloge has gone down on the world sporting history books as one of the very few Pacific Islanders to have won those hard earned Olympic medals.

Though her moment has come eight years too late, she has nevertheless further lifted Samoa’s name in the highest level of world sports, by winning an Olympic Silver medal for her country.

Ele was recently awarded the Sliver Medal, after two competitors failed doping tests from the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Ele was congratulated by the Government in a public parade and ceremony held infront of the Government Building in town. The Prime Minister, Hon. Tuilaepa Fatialofa Lupesoliai Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi spoke on behalf of the Government, and applauded Ele and for winning the Silver Medal, and acknowledged the support of her family, as well as the hard work by the Samoa Weightlifting Federation.

Ele was officially presented her Silver Medal by the Minister of Education, Sports and Culture, Loau Keneti Sio. She was also presented a monetary donation of over twenty five thousand tala, put together by Samoa Observer.

Also attending the ceremony were the Cabinet Ministers, Associate Ministers, Government CEOs, members of Samoa Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee, Ele’s parents, family, friends, public servants and the wider public.