Family time for the Mulipolas

Enjoying Samoa’s unique weather by the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel poolside was Christchurch, New Zealand couple, Tarsha and Gus Mulipola. 

This was no ordinary visit for the couple because they’re here for Gus’s family reunion. 

“We got here on the 28th of December and we’re here for mum’s 10-year family reunion. It’s a one day reunion,” Gus said while both he and Tarsha kept a watchful eye towards the pool where children enjoyed their swim. 

The Dear Tourist team learned that they were supervising their kids, Ahli, 10, and Isah, 6, who also accompanied them on this trip.

“We’re a couple and we’ve been together for 14 years,” Gus said. 

“I’ve been here in 1999 and 2001 and it’s been 16 years. When I came here, we stayed in the villages, and this is my first time in a hotel and the hospitality has been really good and friendly.”

For Tarsha, being a first timer to our shores, the only challenge she encounters is the weather. 

“I’m finding it good and hot, hotter than I thought,” she laughed. 

“In our first week, we’re in Savai’i; it was good, really good. We prefer Savai’i over Upolu because when we wake up the sea is right there and there are nice beaches too,” Gus added. 

The couple also gave their opinion on how Samoa can improve its tourism industry. 

“If you haven’t been here and then you come, I would suggest they clean up their beaches, they could make it look a lot nicer, like their resorts are good, but their beaches when you drive by, it should be cleaned up.”

“It would be nice to walk out of a nice resort and see a nice beach because we wouldn’t want to be inside the hotel the whole time,” Tarsha said. 

“Especially when you get off the plane and then you travel by ferry to Savai’i which is very beautiful and then you ask yourself, oh I wonder what Apia is like, and then you see it’s quite dirty, but a lot of good feedbacks.”

“Her parents have a lot of friends who travel here, and they love it. Maybe just clean up the beaches to make it look nicer,” Gus added. 

However, both agreed that people they know have given positive feedback about Samoa as a tourist destination. 

“Samoa is quite popular already because there are more tourists who come. Friends back home give a lot of good feedbacks, from old friends, mostly palagis, they find the people friendly, and they love it.”

For Tarsha, experiencing Samoan culture is not a shock because the 14 years she’s been with Gus, she’s learned a lot from families back in New Zealand.  

She is also in love with Samoan food. 

“I’ve been to Rarotonga and Cook Islands. Samoa is much busier then Rarotonga, but I wouldn’t call this commercialised,” Tarsha said. 

“The weather is pretty humid, and getting off the plane, one can actually feel that. “

Gus added: “But I think you spend two weeks here, you will be pretty much climatised.” 

For the rest of their stay, the family plans to visit Papaseea sliding rocks, To Sua Trench and visit families. 

“We’ve enjoyed our stay so far and as you can see, all they (kids) want to do is swim.”

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