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Samoa Airways defends timing of Maxim models marketing campaign

Samoa Airways has defended its decision to launch a promo of Samoa as a tourist destination after a New Zealand newspaper published a story that questioned its timing amid the measles epidemic.

The New Zealand Herald newspaper published an article on December 4 titled “Samoa Airways hosts Maxim models' Instagram campaign as measles crisis deepens” and made reference to Samoa's measles crisis. 

The models can be seen promoting the airline in ie lavalavas and bikinis and wearing seis in a Samoa-set modeling shoot. Pictures were also taken of them visiting popular tourist attractions on the island, such as the To Sua Trench.

But in response to questions from the Samoa Observer, Samoa Airways C.E.O. Tupuivao Seiuli Alvin Tuala expressed his surprise at the focus of the New Zealand publication on one of many destination marketing campaigns that they support throughout the year.

“Major destination marketing campaigns driven by the industry are planned well in advance and it is a team effort that requires coordination between all stakeholders such as Samoa Tourism Authority, hoteliers and tourism operators, to ensure its success," he said.


Seiuli says that at the time being, Samoa Airway’s focus and hearts are with the people and that the airline is doing everything they can to ensure that aid reaches Samoa during the measles epidemic.

“International emergency medical personnel and supplies receive top priority and (will be) delivered to the front line to help fight this disease.” 

Samoa Airways is working with various international aid agencies and volunteer groups to coordinate transport of donations, medical personnel and supplies free of charge. 

These aid organizations include ADRA, NRL Australia, Bella Vista Medical Group and the help of Samoans who are supporting the cause.

“We are expecting more people to reach out to Samoa Airways for freight and flight support in the coming weeks. At this time, I would like to take this opportunity to humbly thank the generous support, assistance and friendship that our neighbours, friends and families overseas have shown us during this very sad and difficult time in our country.”

The following is Samoa Airways response in full: 

Samoa Airways Responds to New Zealand Herald questioning timing of Maxim Destination Marketing Content. 

 It is surprising that the NZ Herald has chosen to focus on one of many, industry driven destination marketing campaigns that Samoa Airways supports throughout the year.

Major destination marketing campaigns are planned well in advance and it is a team effort that requires co-ordination between all stakeholders such as Samoa Tourism Authority, Hoteliers and Tourism operators, to ensure its success.

Right now, our focus and our hearts are with our people. Samoa Airways is doing everything we can to ensure that international emergency medical personnel and supplies receive top priority and delivered to the front line to help fight this disease.

We are still working with many different international aid agencies and volunteer humanitarian groups such as ADRA, NRL Australia, Bella Vista Medical Group and supportive Samoans offshore to coordinate the transport of donations, medical personnel and supplies free of charge. We are expecting more people to reach out to Samoa Airways for freight and flight support in the coming weeks.

At this time, I would like to take this opportunity to humbly thank the generous support, assistance and friendship that our neighbours, friends and families overseas have shown us during this very sad and difficult time in our country.

 Tupuivao Seiuli Alvin Tuala 

CEO Samoa Airways


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