Local families, groups capitalise on cheap rates
Discounted hotel room rates and the re-opening of trading hours for hotels and resorts on Sundays has seen the return of customers.
Some residents are taking advantage of the reduced rates and have checked into resorts such as the Taumeasina Island Resort.
One of them is Laumuaotumua Fata, from Magiagi, who told the Samoa Observer that most of the guests she has seen at the resort over the weekend were local families who booked themselves there in order to get a feel of the ‘hotel experience’.
“We’ve been planning to come here the moment we heard that the prices have gotten low,” she said in an interview.
“It’s a once in a lifetime experience to check into such an expensive hotel and for a second there, I hoped that the lockdown continues for a long time because the experience is just right and fascinating.”
Samoa Hotel Association (S.H.A) President, Tupa’i Saleimoa Vaai, said the current price range for hotels as per their advertisements are around $80 to $100 tala.
During a recent weekend visit to a hotel, the S.H.A. President said he was happy seeing people going to hotels after church on Sunday for their family to’ona’i [lunch].
Asked what was the feedback from the local residents capitalising on the discounted rates, Tupa’i said they were enjoying the experience.
“The ability of our people to spend at the hotels depends on their income,” he added. “So the only disposal income that’s available and ready at the moment are the people that work for the Government, businesses owners and we’re hopeful that some of the specials and we’ve been seeing this with all the bigger hotels being used within the week.
“But we are encouraging our people more and more to try coming into our hotels and the only way for that is of course our price range.”
The S.H.A. is hopeful that local residents would support the industry and it will push for a good domestic market price for the locals after the pandemic, as well as to keep the employees employed.
“Of course our prices will go up again for the international market but the industry will look at normalising something for the domestic market, to ensure that we keep in touch for our people and to come and spend the time at our hotels and it’s doable and our main aim to keep our people employed,” Tupa’i reiterated.
“That’s the main aim for the hoteliers in terms of trying to open up. It’s not going to cover everything but at least it will enable us to keep our people employed.”