Let’s give it up for the local tour guides who not only take the initiative in setting up their own sole trader businesses but also provide a one on one service that ensures tourists get the most out of their travel experience.
Just ask Linda and Royce of Australia who were negotiating with a tour guide when Dear Tourist met them.
It appeared that they were all getting along like a house on fire.
“We just met our tour guide now,” laughs the couple.
“He’s a good sales man, I reckon - so we are going to go with him and have a look around the island, do some snorkelling and a bit of swimming. Basically all the different places that he pointed out to us were already on my to - do list.”
Royce added: “You can hire a car and drive around yourself but you might miss a lot of spots too. If you get a tour guide, I’m sure you’ll hear some great stories about how this was built and what cultures and what ceremonies were used and things like that so yeah its good to get a local to learn all that stuff.”
For Linda, it’s important to get a really good idea of the place you’re visiting and try to get underneath the surface as best you can in the short amount of time visiting.
She shared with us her initial thoughts about seeing Samoa’s landscape for the first time.
“We try and do some different tours in each of the different places we visit so we get to know a little bit of the place instead of just sitting by the pool,” she said.
“We had visited a few different islands and we just liked to get an idea of the different cultures. We have been to Fiji, Hawaii and the Cook Islands.
“What stuck in my mind when we were driving from the airport to our hotel was all the open pavilions that are everywhere. I was just like, wow - this is something we have not seen anywhere else is this concept of open living.”
Both Linda and Royce were all about the relaxed lifestyle that the islands offer and it was one of the main reasons they came to Samoa.
“Yeah for me it’s about the lifestyle, nice and laid-back and plenty of food,” said Royce.
“Nice oceans and good swimming. In Bali where most Australians go, it’s just too commercial there. It’s like one big market and everyone wants to sell you something all the time. I guess you have to have a balance of keeping the culture without becoming too Americanized.
“Oh we would for sure recommend this place, it’s all good. The people here are so friendly and it’s nowhere near as busy as Sydney so it’s even better. We just wanted to get away from the hustle and bustle and relax a bit.”
Linda added: “I’ve never been to Bali but I have no desire to go. For me the biggest thing that I think is important to a place like this is keeping the culture.”
Staying at the Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Hotel, both Linda and Royce gave the thumbs up saying they loved it.
They said it was beautiful staying in the bungalows, which they found nice and comfortable.
They complimented the staff on how friendly and professional they were.