Samoa tourism

Samoa records continued increase in visitor arrivals

In its latest report released this week, visitor arrivals rose by 13 percent for May.

That month recorded just over 15,300 arrivals, compared to April's 13,271.

In 2019, Samoa recorded more than 173,000 visitor arrivals, the highest over the past decade.


Samoan tourism bouncing back, but recovery ongoing

The Samoa Observer reports this is according to Chief Executive Officer Pativaine Petaia-Tevita, who spoke to the recent Samoa Tourism Industry Meet 2023.

The STA boss said one of the challenges faced by the industry is that accommodation properties are not 100 percent back in full operation.

Pativaine said some of the operators are partially opened while some are fully opened but have yet to come up to standard, and some operators have complained about the new licensing requirements, which is delaying the roll out of the latest stimulus package.

Samoa Tourism designs five-year recovery plan

The recovery plan is aimed at mitigating the economic and social downturns of the measles epidemic, and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Minister of Tourism, Toeolesulusulu Cedric Schuster said, “The Plan fundamentally aims to not only restore, but to surpass the success of 2019 which was the peak year for tourism, by dreaming big, and laying down the gauntlet for a new benchmark of 250,000 bonafide visitors per year.”

Samoa airways no longer flying long-haul

Samoa Tourism Authority's Acting CEO Kitiona Pogi said Samoa Airways no longer flies between Apia and Sydney, Brisbane and Auckland.

These routes were available prior to the pandemic which closed Samoa's borders in March 2020.

Pogi said the airline continues to provide inter-island flights between Samoa and American Samoa.

Meanwhile, Samoa Airways outgoing Board Chairman, Muagututi'a Lafaele Ngau Chun, is disappointed at the manner he and his two fellow board members were relieved of their appointments last week.

Samoa tourism boss looking for help

This comes as the government looks to slash the Samoa Tourism Authority budget by more than 10 million tālā for the 2022/2023 budget.

Parliament is debating the national budget this week and is expected to be passed before the end of the month.

Tupa'I says the tourism industry will be knocking on doors for help, including the government.

However, the Minister of Tourism, Toeolesulusulu Cedric Schuster says the authority's budget is sufficient, and says there's a lot of unused funding from the previous year.


Samoa's tourism boss gets the sack

TV1Samoa reports that Fa'amatuainu was advised of the decision in a letter from the deputy chairman of the authority's board, Tuiataga Nathan Bucknall.

The letter advises that the Minister of Tourism, Toeolesulusulu Cedric Schuster, told the board of the Cabinet decision.

Fa'amatuainu has been on leave since February while an investigation into allegations of misconduct against him was carried out.

He had reapplied for his job in February after his contract ended.


Samoa Tourism Board says CEO should be given just a warning

Fa'amatuainu was placed on leave in February this year, pending an investigation by the Board following complaints by current and former staff at the Authority.

He has been accused of misconduct, and of fraudulently taking government materials for use at his residences.

Fa'amatuainu has denied the claims.

The Board says there is insufficient evidence to warrant the dismissal of the chief executive, and they agreed he should be issued a "warning" and allowed to return to work.

Samoa Tourism encouraged by one-way travel bubble with NZ

Samoa Tourism Authority CEO, Faamatuainu Lenatai Suifua said under the new arrangement, Samoan residents who wish to travel to New Zealand quarantine-free must be fully vaccinated.

“Samoa Tourism welcomes this announcement as an important step towards establishing a two-way quarantine-free travel bubble with New Zealand in future months.”

“We have been ramping up our travel-ready preparations to ensure a tried and tested framework is in place well before borders reopen.”

Samoa’s tourism operators support COVID-19 vaccination drive

Ketesemane and three employees of the resort traveled from Savai’i to Upolu to receive their vaccine.

 “I traveled to Upolu on the 24th of May and got my COVID-19 shot. I was determined to get vaccinated because when borders open tourists will visit our beach fales and we are safe.”

“Also to support the Ministry of Health as they are rolling-out COVID-19 vaccine and motivating other people of our nation to get vaccinated.”

Samoa: Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson hasn't answered the call to come 'home' - yet

Make a short video that asks the most famous Samoan to come home- that would be Seiuli Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson.

Since its release a month ago, the one-and-a-half-minute video highlighting Samoa's best tourist spots has gone viral.

The Rock has not yet answered the call, and some people have taken to social media, accusing Dwayne Johnson of using his Samoan heritage to further his career without being true to the cultural values.