An open letter to the Samoa Tourism Authority

Dear Editor, 

I humbly ask and request from The Minister of Tourism and The CEO of The Samoa Tourism Authority to please form a council that will oversee and enforce regulations and procedures demanding that these old, new and future hotels, who are charging over $150 USD comply to a universal island approved standards of what a 3-5 star hotel should follow when it comes to checking in, employee training and development (HR practices), restaurant service and especially the horrendous HOUSEKEEPING practices that is currently a nightmare.

I have stayed in many of the new and 4-5 Star hotels on the island and each of these hotels have inconsistent housekeeping standards, these hotels will charge anywhere from $150 to $750 USD per night, these are the rates you see at a 4-5 Star hotel in Las Vegas, so if Samoa wants to charge these kind of rates, then we expect them to have high housekeeping standards.  

But the experience should start from the reservations, guest check in, food and beverage, room service, dining and HOUSEKEEPING.  There should be no excuses for HOUSEKEEPING, that should be a must and a higher standard to follow all hotels on the island.

I am in shock that some of these hotels don’t use vacuums to clean the carpet, use clean mops to mop the floors and use one rag to clean the toilets and then clean the kitchens.  There is no dusting or wiping of certain common areas.  The cleaning is all surface and just what you see.  

And you wonder why ants and bugs remain in your rooms.  This is disgusting and a disgrace in 4-5 star standards. 

Some of these new hotels I have stayed in I have had to call housekeeping to come back and clean the room, all they did was change the face cloths and left the bed the way I left the room in the morning. 

 This has happened in many of the new hotels but I will say that I believe that the housekeeping must think that I am Samoan and think that its ok to leave the room messy because we as Samoans are messy people.  

Nothing could be more far from the truth than we Samoans weather here in Samoa or outside are very clean people.  I expect the same from the housekeeping people as well.

A standardized checklist needs to be done for all hotels, fresh soaps, fresh towels, new toilet paper, clean floors, clean sheets, replace all the shower gels, body wash, shampoo and conditioners, lotions and wipe and clean everywhere, not just a surface wipe of the sink and leave the toilets alone without cleaning them every night.  

The toilet area needs to be cleaned “thoroughly” every day.  

A simple replacing of towels is not best practices, it’s just pure damn lazy.

As a tourist, we don’t mind spending money, but in return, we expect 4-5-star housekeeping in our rooms, especially if I’m paying 4-5 star rates. 

I am proud of Samoa tourism, the hotels, the tourist spots throughout the island, the restaurants and the friendly people.  

I work hard and come to Samoa ready to spend money and support the best Tourism in the Pacific.  

But if there are no standardized best practices or a council to oversee and enforce these standards, then the tourism will quickly diminish and people will go elsewhere to spend their money.  Someone else will build a better and bigger and cleaner hotel.  I implore our Hospitality Industry to please take a few dollars a day to train your employees to handle the front desk duties with profession, food and beverage issues, housekeeping procedures for each room, each day and security needs to be on point as well.

Please Samoa Tourism Authority, we need to enforce these standards across the board and if they don’t comply then they should not be allowed to charge these high US Dollar prices per night.  Once these practices are complied and strictly followed then STA should issue their 2-5 star rating.  

Then us as tourist from outside will know that STA has approved their rating.   If these procedures and regulations are followed and enforced I only see our tourism booming more and everyone spending more of their vacation dollars throughout the entire island.  

It will be a win win for the tourist and for Samoa’s economy.

Ma le fa’aaloalo lava,


Papali’i Junior

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