Samoa Airways partnered with Samoa Tourism Authority (STA) and ground operators hosted an exclusive familiarisation trip for the New Zealand based House of Travel Agents throughout this week.
Since Samoa Airways was re-established almost two years ago, visitor numbers have jumped to 40K with visitor consumption growing over 100K, according to Samoa Tourism Authority Marketing Manager, Leituala Joe Chan Ting, who recognises that more collaboration between airline and STA is crucial to building on this growth.
“With the growing interest in Samoa we have been running ‘famils’ almost twice a month,” said Leituala. “Destination and airline go hand in hand when implementing marketing campaigns – it is vital to continue this going forward.”
Samoa Airways General Commercial Manager, Robert Rounds, echoes this statement and says the airline values its partnership with STA and ground operators.
“The only way we can build growth into the market is by working closely” he said. “Together we will work continuously on getting more famils and trade partners out in the market to showcase beautiful Samoa.”
House of Travel is New Zealand’s top selling agency and also Australasia’s largest private retail travel sales Group. Eight agents from different outlets in New Zealand are currently in Samoa to experience what Samoa Tourism has to offer their clients.
The group arrived last Thursday and are visiting various properties and attraction sites in Upolu and Savaii for review on the range of options available to suit their clients’ budgets and preferences.
New Zealand Market Representative for Samoa, Sonny Rivers, who played a key role in liaising between trade partners says the biggest advantage to these familiarisation trips is presenting a first-hand opportunity for agents to better enhance their product knowledge and understand the services offered in Samoa, and it also gives tourism operators the chance to showcase their properties.
“Having a wealth of knowledge on Samoa’s products and services allow agents to sell with confidence and elevate our position in becoming a preferred holiday destination with New Zealand consumers.” Rivers said.
He added, “We expect the travelling agents to return to their respective outlets and train their colleagues in selling Samoa Tourism.”
South Pacific Team Leader for House of Travel Auckland, Lisa Nau, was one of the Agents participating in this month’s exclusive House of Travel famil to Samoa and is eager to return and sell Samoa’s services and products to their clients.
“I love Samoa – it comes with the culture, the people and the food which already makes for a dream holiday.” Ms Nau said “There’s a lot on offer for different levels, catering to every budget from the luxury to mid-range and budget travellers.”
“I can see that Samoa is great for families and can accommodate groups of multi-generational families. It’s also perfect for honeymooners because there are so many beautiful and romantic spots where couples can enjoy a getaway holiday.
You’ve got some attraction sites that other island countries don’t offer like Tosua Trench, untouched white sand beaches, great snorkelling and then there’s Savaii which is so different but an upgrade at the same time.”