Moves are afoot to have four UNESCO Geoparks established in the Pacific, a development expected to boost tourism in a sustainable way while focusing on not only geology but also culture.
It is possible that these and others may form a ‘Geopark trail’ around the Pacific.
At a South Pacific Tourism Office (supported by the South Pacific Community, SPC) webinar this week, it was noted that a number of steps needed to be taken at all sites (some more than others) before a submission could be made to UNESCO.
Taumeasina Island Resort, close to Apia’s CBD, will soon complete the addition of new villas.
According to general manager Tuitaga Nathan Bucknall, the new development consists of 12 self contained three-bedroom villas offering views of the Pacific Ocean.
The new villas are larger in size compared to those which are part of the original build. All are on the mainland by the main entrance and directly face Taumeasina Island.
Samoa looks likely to welcome only vaccinated travellers once borders reopen, attendees at a Beautiful Samoa webinar heard yesterday.
The two Sheraton properties at the destination – Sheraton Hotel and Bungalows and Sheraton Samoa Beach Resort, have already signalled that they will insist on proof of vaccination before entry to the properties.
Sonny Rivers, NZ sales and marketing representative with Samoa Tourism, says that the requirements have not been finalised by the government.
With increased prospects on a widening Pacific travel bubble in the next few months, Samoa Tourism Authority held a casual lunch and informative presentation for trade and media partners at Swashbucklers in Auckland last Friday.
Sonny Rivers, who handles the New Zealand market for STA, says that the opening of trans-Tasman borders and continued hope that Rarotonga and Niue will open to Kiwis soon are steps in the right direction for Pacific travel.
The Samoa Tourism Authority (STA) is leading ongoing renovation works for sites within the country with assistance from the New Zealand Government through the Samoa Tourism Growth Partnership (STGP).
The partnership is a five-year investment since 2017, which also includes broader support of product development, tourism training and destination marketing.
Agents who deal with group travel of various sorts were the target audience of a joint destination Pacific event at Villa Maria Estate near Auckland Airport mid October.
Organiser Faye Spooner says Meet the Pacific was aimed at incentive, meeting and conference organisers but beyond that had appeal to wedding planners and organisers of sports and educational tours, as well as travel agents who send inter-generational and other family groups to the Pacific. While most of the ‘buyers’ were from Auckland, agents also came from Wellington, Christchurch, New Plymouth and Rotorua.
Turama Pacific Travel Group has launched a Premium Collection, highlighting high end product and new exclusive travel experiences.
Robert Skews, managing director, says the collection reintroduces The Coral Route Experience for modern day travellers, utilising Air Rarotonga’s Pacific private jet.
Three or four-day bike tours around Upolu and Savaii are growing in popularity and make an excellent add on for agents to sell with a hotel stay, according to Ross and Frances Bidmead, owner operators of Outdoor Samoa.
The company started 10 years ago, exclusively offering tours around Savaii (supported largely by school groups) but now has expanded into kayaks, bike hire and day tours, and four-day, three-night ‘taster tours’ on Upolu as well.
Aga Reef Resort is offering frontline consultants ( and a companion) a two night self famil deal of WST$530 advises Eye 4 Travel.