On their way to have breakfast in Apia yesterday were Dallas and Elaine Walton of Melbourne, Australia.
It was a gloomy and cloudy day in the central part of Upolu when Dear Tourist bumped into the happy couple who are in Samoa for an eight-day holiday.
Coming from the Land Down Under to a place where they have never been before was not really what the Walton’s had expected.
They planned their travel to our shores because they wanted to learn the Samoan culture and feel a little bit of island life.
Unfortunately they said this was not so because there was not much for them to do since their arrival on Sunday.
Been married for 25 years and travelled to some of the world’s renowned tourist destinations, the couple said Samoa had potential to attract more tourists and it needed to market the destination well.
“There is not much to do really since our arrival. There was no tour bus organized by the hotel to take the visitors around the island and there’s not much activity organized in the hotels,” Mrs. Walton, 66, said.
“We love lazing around the poolside and there was also a show put on by the hotel last night (Wednesday) and it was really great. That’s been the best experience so far. It was really fun and enjoyable.
“I think there should be more activities as such organized so tourists can enjoy their stay. We have not really done any sightseeing because there was nothing organized for visitors who want to take a trip around the island,” she added.
“There should be day trips to villages to learn about the Samoan village life and this not only benefits the country, it also attracts more tourist to that village which means money for the villagers.”
Mrs. Walton said the heat was also unbearable for her especially when trying to brush through the busy Apia flea market which was why they planned to buy souvenirs today.
“I think the Samoa travel guide also needs to direct tourists to accommodations where we are able to travel and visit sites and learn about the Samoan culture,” Mr. Walton, 65, added.
Despite their experience, the friendly hospitality of the local Samoans is a highlight for the couple.
“Local staff members of the hotel have been great and they provide good service,” Mr. Walton said.
“Yeah, the locals have been really friendly, something unexpected but they have been really great,” Mrs. Walton added.
“Local food tastes good and I love it,” Mr. Walton said.
The couple leaves our shores with hopes that Samoa will improve and develop their tourism sector and marketing strategies so that more tourists can visit.
They have planned their next trip to Vietnam and Thailand in 2018 and as for Samoa, well time will tell.