People make the destination, says Carole and Tom Ryan of Auckland, New Zealand.
They agreed it isn’t the infrastructure or the landscape that give visitors a full experience of any country, but the people.
Tom had worked for the Polynesian Airlines in Samoa 25 years ago and his wife used to visit him.
From their past experience, they said the most memorable moments were the ones spent with the locals.
The have enjoyed the colourful surroundings and this to them is a good change for Samoa.
“This resort (Taumeasina Island Resort) for example hasn’t been here, there were no traffic lights on the streets and I have seen so many more cars on the road then the last time,” Carole said.
Despite the changes, they said Samoa didn’t lose any of its charm and still is the place they have been to a long time ago.
“The people are still very charming and that is what makes it in any holiday destination,” Carole said.
“It is good to see these job opportunities coming within the tourism industry for the people, it is really good. I believe people need work for a living as well as to help their families, which is really important.”
“This sort of industry is great as long as it doesn’t take away from the locals. I think there isn’t much in economy export basically and tourism is the big opportunity.”
Taumeasina, for instance, is located at a perfect spot because it does not affect the daily lives of the locals and tourists can go and out and do their own sightseeing.
“There are way more churches, bigger, more colourful and impressive,” Tom added.
He said money used in constructing more and bigger churches could be used on families who live below the poverty line in the outskirts of the town areas.
Their food experience at the Scalini’s Restaurant, according to them, has been fantastic.
They are spending one week on the island.
“I think there is something for everyone here to do and we really enjoyed our stay, it is lovely,” Carole said
They are thinking of bringing their three grown kids and grandchildren with them for their next visit.