Tourism industry

‘Smile’, a key to staying open: Le Lagoto Resort Manager

Matai’a Seti Sa who is one of the only three employees remaining at Le Lagoto Resort in Savaii believes his guests are attracted to and stay at his resort because of his personality and his smile.

“Your smile is everything,” he said. “It can kill any burden the guest is coming with to your resort.

“Even if I feel and know that I am the grandfather of this resort, I try my best to smile all the time and you know what, I feel proud and get goosebumps whenever a guest shakes my hand and tips me off with at least a $50 all because of that smile.”

Tourism industry calls for clarity on border reopening plans

In December, Cabinet agreed in principle to establish a travel bubble with Australia in the first three months of this year.

While the news was welcomed, those in the tourism industry said they needed to ensure there was enough time to get ready for an influx of overseas visitors.

The managing director of the Scenic Hotel Group, Brendan Taylor, said it would take two to three months for the airlines to ramp up, if the borders reopened.

He said operators needed time to prepare and ensure they have enough staff to cater for incoming guests.

'Time of sacrifice' in Samoa as tourism suffers under Covid-19 lockdown rules

Samoa ordered a state of emergency three weeks ago, and was the first Pacific nation to enforce border measures in early February. 

One of the reasons for the caution will the memory of the measles outbreak four months ago, which infected 5000 people and killed more than 80 - mainly children under the age of five.

The country's tourism sector has seen more than 4000 job losses so far, and there are no flights in or out of the country, Tagata Pasifika reported.

Coronavirus deals another blow to beleaguered Samoa tourism

The measles epidemic in November and December saw much of the country shut down as the country fought the outbreak, which killed 83 people. 

The chief executive of the Samoa Tourism Authority, Fa'amatuainu Lenata'i Suifua, says the emergence of Covid-19 has dealt another blow, as the measles recovery was about to begin. 

To prevent the arrival of coronavirus, the government has imposed travel restrictions and slashed the number of flights to the country.

Fa'amatuainu told RNZ Pacific about the effect it is having on Samoa's largest industry. 

Pacific must be prepared for long battle with coronavirus-Op piece PIPSO's Stephen Lyon

A radio interview with NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on New Zealand’s Newstalk ZB (0740 09/02/20) it seems to indicate the New Zealand Government has not learned from the measles epidemic in Samoa nor have they accepted the criticisms of their own Ministry of Health. And that head in the sand attitude has been continued with this far more deadly new disease.

Cooks PM axes departure cards

Mr Puna says anyone leaving the Cook Islands will now only have to check in and follow the normal security checks before departure.

However, arrival cards will still need to be completed.

Meanwhile, Mr Puna arrives in New Zealand today for a week of events marking the country's 50th anniversary of self government.

It follows gala events on Rarotonga last week.

Niue on track for 10,000 tourists in 2015

New Zealand's High Commissioner to Niue, Ross Ardern, says there has been a push by the governments of both New Zealand and Niue to increase tourism in order decrease reliance on remittances and aid money.

He says it appears to be paying off, with the country of 1,500 people on track to reach its goal of 10,000 visitors this year, a significant increase from 4,000 in 2009.

Ardern says this increase has brought a significant cash injection to Niue's economy.