Samoa is truly a paradise. So says Kennedy Short from Auckland, New Zealand.
This is her second time to Samoa. She came with her husband and seven top performers and their partners for their annual work trip. She works in the marketing and sales department back at home.
Kennedy suggested Samoa to the team after her first trip here a year ago.
“I came last year with my husband, I had such a great time and I organized the trips, so I said to my managing director, we have to send the guys to Samoa.
“I am hosting the guys, they have been working really hard and I am here to make sure that they enjoy the paradise here and the cocktails are flowing. It is work with cocktails,” she joked.
Like her first trip, they are staying at the Taumeasina Island Resort.
“To be honest, while finding destinations, Samoa has been nearly on our radar, but recently it started to get a higher profile and we started having a look.
“I would say over the past two years, the advertising for Samoa increased. I think whoever is doing the work around promoting Samoa as a destination is doing a great job because it has gone from not being talked about to be quite popular at this point now.
“I noticed people doing editorials and magazines around their experience in Samoa.
“It is still really rustic and true to the culture. You know when you’re in Samoa you are in Samoa not like being in big resorts, which makes you feel like you’re in other touristy destinations.
She has been to Fiji, Rarotonga, Tahiti, Hawai’i and travelled through Europe and Asia.
“This area and especially Samoa is one of our favorite places,” she said.
“I think there is a real charm about Samoa. I think the people are beautiful and what we loved the most is going to see the trench and the sliding rocks; we have been quite wowed by them.
“Somewhere like Rarotonga you got beautiful beaches of course, but you don’t have those sights, I feel like the Toa Sua Ocean Trench is one of the most beautiful places in the world.
“So you got the beautiful beaches, the lovely people, the sights and the natural wonders, that you wouldn’t find anywhere else in the world.
“I will definitely go home and recommend my friends to come to Samoa anytime and I will come back again. When someone will ask where to go, I would say forget Fiji, Rarotonga or even Tahiti and go to Samoa and you would not regret it,” she said.
In terms of tourism, she still sees some potential to improve the experience on the island.
“I think until you get here, you don’t realize how beautiful it is.
“Maybe it is perception in New Zealand, but it is not very developed, you aren’t coming here and get that luxury experience.
“If I were doing the marketing for Samoa as a tourist destination, I would invest by making people aware of the art. I think there are still some things to do to raise it proper. Fiji has this thing about it that everyone thinks this is it and Samoa has so much more to offer,” she explained.
“This is probably the only resort around Apia in the area I think maybe they could do it with another couple of places like this, but without going out of the top. With too many, it could be that it looses some of its charm, but a few more would be good for them, I think,” Kennedy said.
“There is so much great food here. Just going out, you would probably not find the places very fast.
“I hope to come soon again and definitely visit Savai’i.”