Samoa is inundated with trade and media specialists from around the world who are here to participate in the Samoa Tourism Exchange (S.T.E) this week.
Tess Wilcox was present at the opening event and she is no stranger to the S.T.E. having attended for a number of years.
She is the Executive Director of World Resorts Distinction - a resort marketing company from the Gold Coast in Australia that specializes particularly in luxury travel.
The company counts Samoa’s Sinalei Resort and Le Lagoto Resort amongst their international boutique resort clients.
“I inherited the relationship with Sinalei Resort actually when I came on board and we’ve been with Le Lagoto for about 10 years. So we’ve had a good long relationship and I believe Sinalei have been through two re-builds since we have been working with them.”
In the 10 years that the annual S.T.E. has been running, this year presented a much higher attendance than before.
“There more buyers than we’ve ever had before at S.T.E., there are 72 this year which is a lot than before.”
“There are a lot of new companies so essentially you always hope to develop new partnerships and hope that we can drive more business back to the destination and resorts that we work for.”
Ms. Wilcox looks forward to networking with the local industry in a country she says has a unique marketable quality.
“I just don’t think Samoa really compares to anything else. You’re kind of forced to relax and it has every element from adventure to relaxation to retreat.”
“No one really has the people that Samoa does or the charm that Samoan people do. I guess in whichever element you would want to travel, Samoa embodies it all, which is pretty unique in any destination.”
The S.T.E. officially closes tonight with a reception at the Sheraton Samoa Beach Resort in Mulifanua.