Award compels resort staff to aim higher

While some look at achievements as celebrations, others see it as a challenge to always be the best. 

The latter is true for Return to Paradise Resort in Lefaga, who took out the overall National Tourism Excellence Awards 2019 last Friday at the Taumeasina Island Resort. 

General Manager, Melanie Toailoa, said this is the first time for the resort to receive the award, but they were nominated in 2017 and 2018. 

“We are so proud to have won this Award and have so many people we are thankful to. Winning also reminds us to challenge ourselves to be our best always,” she said.

Melanie highlighted the key to their success in Samoa’s tourism industry, including always striving to be the best versions of themselves. 

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“Building the best team - people who have genuine care and interest for our guests and have hope for their own future. Knowing our guests and promoting Samoa as a destination so they can have the best experience of our beautiful country.” 

She said what makes them different from other hotels is the Return to Paradise movie in 1953, which was filmed in Lefaga and changed the lives of the people. 

Melanie attributed their success to God and their understanding that every good thing they have has comes from God. 

“Hardwork, the overwhelming support from our village family of Lefaga, our people, their love for the resort, the way they care for our guests as if they were family,” she added. 

For 2019, the resort will focus on sustainability and becoming greener. 

“The natural environment is so important and something we never want to take for granted,” Melanie said. 

“We will continue to work hard to build the reputation of Samoa as destination and to provide as many opportunities as we can for meaningful employment and prosperity for Lefaga.” 

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