Samoa’s tourism looking bright

Resorts in Samoa are recording an occupancy rate of 70 per cent and this number is tipped to increase.

It has been just over a month since Samoa opened its borders after being in a lockdown for more than two years and with increasing flights, the resorts are slowly getting back to pre-COVID state.

September is expected to be a busy month with the nation celebrating its independence and the Miss Samoa pageant.

Samoa Tourism Authority (STA) communications officer Tutuila Farao said the industry is anticipating better days ahead.

Tourists arriving on yachts is another positive outcome and a record high of 16 yachts have reportedly visited Samoa in the month of August. Picture: STA

“We’re expecting at least one flight every day from September 1 to September 11  from Air New Zealand, Fiji Airways and QANTAS,” Mr Farao said.

“Some resorts have confirmed having up to 70 per cent of booking for this month.

“Tourists arriving on yachts is another positive outcome and 16 yachts have been recorded visiting Samoa within the month of August, not including other yachts coming through private visits.”

The STA, alongside the independence committee, is preparing for the two main events in Samoa, the Miss Samoa pageant and the country’s 60th independence celebrations.

Miss Samoa contestants at Sunday mass at Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church Siusega. Picture: Miss Samoa Pageant

“We are preparing to host the weeklong festival and promise to deliver fun activities and cultural entertainments suitable for the whole family and tourists,” Mr Farao said.

The Miss Samoa Pageant will be the finale for the celebration. Part of the activities building up to the two main events also involves villages participating in the national beautification competition.

“The competition will be judged based on three different categories – best urban village, best rural village and best district – and the Committee is in the process of conducting its final inspections ahead of the prize giving which will be held during the week celebrating Samoa’s 60th independence anniversary,” STA said in statement.

Samoa International Game Fishing Association presents Junior Fish To The Max Tournament on September 17. Picture: STA

Other festivities and shows lined up for September include the 60th Independence 7s tournament, Samoa V8 independence car show, Samoa international gaming fish, golf club championships and horse racing.

The country everyone wants to come to – 1 September 2022

Samoa is gearing up for a boost in tourist numbers as more international flights are expected to touch down at Faleolo International Airport from September.

This is a boost to Samoa’s economic recovery since Covid and border closures as flights will be ramping up via Air New Zealand, Virgin Australia, Fiji Airways and QANTAS.

These airlines will increase their weekly flights from four to five in the coming months.

Air New Zealand currently operates four weekly flights to Samoa and according to the their online bookings as of today there are no available seats for the month of September.

Qantas aircraft in Samoa. Picture: Australia High Commission Samoa

September will be a month of hype for Samoa as the country will be celebrating its 60th Independence and also the festivities of the Miss Samoa Pageant that will commence next Saturday September 10.

From October Air New Zealand will increase its weekly flights to five and in November the airline will be operating these flights using a mix of Airbus 321 narrow body and Boeing 787 wide body aircraft.

Last Friday Fiji Airways commenced its four weekly flights from Nadi to Apia and will increase its weekly flights to five in October.

“From Australia, additional Qantas flights between the eastern seaboard and Samoa’s gateway Faleolo International Airport are in the pipeline with online travel platforms displaying an expanded schedule from November that enables connectivity with the airline’s domestic and international networks,” the Samoa Tourism Authority said in a statement.

Last Friday Fiji Airways commenced its four weekly flights from Nadi to Apia and will increase its weekly flights to five in October. Picture: Fiji Airways

Virgin Australia will also be operating two weekly flights from Brisbane and three weekly flights from Sydney. According to pre-COVID figures, 181,000 tourists came to Samoa in 2019 making tourism a AU$1.1 million industry.

Tourism is an important contributor to the Samoan economy. The sector accounted for 24.5 per cent of gross domestic product in 2019  and is second only to remittances as a source of foreign exchange earnings.

New Zealanders topped the list of visitor arrivals followed by Australians. Samoa Tourism Authority believes increased flights will definitely help them tap into new markets.

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