Losa Atonio from Melbourne, Australia, is no stranger to our shores.
She is married to a Samoan and this time they’ve decided to spend the festive season here.
The family is staying at the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel and they had just arrived on Wednesday.
Dear Tourist spoke to Ms. Atonio and she says she just can’t get enough of the island food and especially the people.
“We try at least once a year to come here for a holiday,” she said.
“We like the people and the weather, but at the moment we understand it’s the rainy season.
“Another special thing about Samoa is the culture as well as the atmosphere, it is more relaxed and peaceful, but as for Australia, it’s a lot faster there.
“Almost everything is technology, but as for here, people like to take their time in doing things.
“It’s not rushed but they know how to time things and that is something I don’t get to see back home.
“Another thing is that the people are just genuinely nice and that’s another reason we chose to come here whenever we can.”
Ms. Atonio said she was looking forward to Christmas because this is the first time they will get to spend Christmas in Samoa.
“I want to see how Samoa celebrates Christmas,” she said.
“It would be a great experience because back home, getting together with families and friends and have some beers is how we would celebrate this festive season.
“But I know that Samoans are Christian people and I believe that Christmas would be the time for every family to go to church and thank God for bringing together families and for all His love.
“It would be great and I would like to go to church and see how it is and I know my husband will love that too.”
Asked about her views on how to get more tourists to visit, she said Samoa needed to improve its advertising strategy.
“Well, in terms of drawing more tourists here, I think there should be more advertisements online and then with that whole issue of Virgin Australia not being able to fly to Samoa anymore has been a big issue,” she said.
“It’s not hard to fly to Auckland and then to Samoa, but it’s just the whole process of changing flights rather than just one direct flight from there to here.
“It’s not too bad, but I reckon it would be a lot easier to fly from Australia to Samoa, but I guess that matter has already been dealt with and so we just have to go with the flow.
“But all in all, I am happy that we are here and looking forward to spending Christmas here with my husband.”