Work and pleasure all found at one destination

By Anina Kazaz ,

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COMING BACK FOR A VACATION: Graeme Gardner at the Food and Wine Trade Expo plans his next stay in Samoa with his family.

COMING BACK FOR A VACATION: Graeme Gardner at the Food and Wine Trade Expo plans his next stay in Samoa with his family. (Photo: Anina Kazaz)

Graeme Gardner sees his trip to Samoa as an escape from the cold temperatures of Hamilton, New Zealand. 

He is in Samoa for work purposes and he enjoys his visits to Samoa every time. 

Samoa is not new to the man from Hamilton, New Zealand. His job for Betty Crackers allows him to travel to the Pacific Island about four times a year.

 “I love Samoa. I like the atmosphere, the locals are friendly, it is a beautiful place,” Mr. Gardner said.

He arrived last Sunday and will stay until Thursday. Usually his trips are about one week.

 “This time it is nice to come here to get away from the New Zealand winter and having the nice warmth. It was nice stepping out the plane on Sunday and it was 30 degrees, lovely,” Mr. Gardner said.

Dear Tourist met him at the Wine and Food Trade Expo at the Taumeasina Island Resort.

 “This show is a great initiative. I have been to lots of trade shows in New Zealand, Australia and the U.S.A. It is different here and I mean it is the first year, so it is kind of hard to compare yet,” Graeme said.

Through his job, he has travelled to most of the Pacific Islands. He has been to Fiji, Tahiti, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Tonga and American Samoa, where he was able to highlight the differences between the islands. 

 “The difference here is it still feels like the island. In Tahiti or New Caledonia, it could be in Europe, it is very European, which is fine I enjoyed it there, but I probably prefer the island style better. It is kind of relaxed and the atmosphere is right.

 “Because we only started off here, it is quite hard to say a lot about the market here. It has been good so far.

“I have been coming here about two years, but our business just recently started off in Western Samoa about three or four months now. American Samoa for us is really good. We sell a lot of our products there and we have been there for quite a few years. 

 “I would say it is much the same here in Samoa as in other island nations. The workers here are really good to work with, they are happy to do anything for you, very hospitable. 

 “The relationships I have in the Pacific are probably more established than here. This one with Samoa is just starting on, so it is difficult to say a difference between the nations,” he explained.

Apart from work travels to Samoan, he enjoys the island life and would probably travel to the islands for a holiday.

 “I come here because of the business, but I do get the pleasure and enjoy it here. I would definitely come as well for a vacation. For my brother in law’s 40th birthday, we will come to the island. I am looking forward to it.”

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