Samoa tourism

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.

Samoa wants Dwayne The Rock Johnson to 'come home' in video appeal

Releasing a 60-second video the Tourism Authority has put the case to The Rock why his mother's island homeland should be the first place he visits once borders reopen.

In anticipation of a safe travel bubble - the video features rainforest and swimming holes of Togitogiga Waterfall and white sands of Vavau Beach on Upolu.

Most importantly, there are generous helpings of Johnson's favourite tipple - Samoan inspired tequila – in an attempt to lure him to the islands.

Loss of tourism hits Samoan economy hard

The loss in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was heavily impacted by a complete loss of income to the country's tourism sector.

The latest economic update from the Central Bank of Samoa shows Samoa's annual GDP dropped to $US753 million in the year.

After January 2020, covid restrictions meant income from tourism plummeted to zero.

70 percent of jobs in the sector are estimated to be lost.

Samoa's finances have been cushioned by international aid funds of more than $US130 million.

STA leads renovation works at local tourism sites

The initiative has been made possible with kind assistance from the Government of New Zealand through the Samoa Tourism Growth Partnership, which is a five-year investment that includes broader support of product development, tourism training and destination marketing.

Samoa Tourism CEO, Faamatuainu Lenatai’i Suifua said they have listed all projects that needs to be renovated.

“These are some of many valuable tourism projects we continue to implement for our members, which in turn increase economic value for our country.”