First time visitors to Samoa, Anne-Laure Campergue and Olivier Casalta from Christchurch, New Zealand have been impressed with Samoa.
Originally from France, the couple has been living in New Zealand for two years.
They heard about Samoa through a friend who recommended Samoa because of the affordable accommodations and the people.
Another reason they chose Samoa was to escape the winter in New Zealand.
The differences between Samoa and New Zealand were evident when they first set foot on Samoa’s shores.
“There are so many churches everywhere. Everything here is kind of different, the people who are very relaxed, the infrastructure, the organisation of how, when and what kind of work people do,” Anne-Laure said.
Olivier added: “The people are very cool here, at the first approach the facial impression seemed a bit rough but when you start talking they open up with a big smile.”
While travelling through Morocco and other countries, their experience with the locals was not good.
According to them, as tourists, Samoa never disappointed them because they feel so comfortable and welcomed.
In terms of commercialising the country, they explained that for them it isn’t so much about the number of businesses but the kind of stores and offers.
Anne-Laure said: “There is the fast-food culture arriving, which we personally aren’t a big fan of and they have so many amazing fruits here.”
Olivier mentioned that they had to search for fruits even in the market but they were not available.
The big variety of the valuable local food is, according to them, not promoted enough, especially for tourists who wish to have a taste of tropical fruits.
“It is not a problem to find chips, those are everywhere, especially here where they have very good fish and fruits I would like to see that more,” Anne-Laure said.
Olivier added: “There is plastic everywhere and in my point of view, something should be done about it because there are beautiful beaches and this disturbs it,” he said.
They hope to experience more of the village life in Samoa by driving around the island and visiting Savai’i too.
They are spending two weeks at the Olivia’s Accommodation in town and for them, Samoa exceeded their expectations.