Savai'i looks to palolo, tourism rising

Savai'i will host a Palolo Festival on 7 October 2020 in conjunction with a range of events designed to kick off tourism and events on the big island to coincide with the annual palolo rising. 

The festival is the combined effort of Savai'i hoteliers to build an events programme around the palolo season as they hope to jumpstart domestic tourism. 

The selling point will be the unique attractions of their locations and ensuring visitors will have a range of events at which they can catch Samoa's favourite, rare seafood delicacy.

Palolo fever is expected to hit the big island next week; a lineup of activities have been planned by the Savai’i tourism industry to celebrate the spirit of the palolo rising in the Savai’i way.

In the northwest end of Savaii, the Vaimoana Seaside Lodge will open the Palolo Festival next Wednesday, with a live performance by cover band, Poly Flavour, who will also be playing throughout Savai’i during the festival.

The hotel will be taking their guests on a journey of local traditions and culture related to palolo catching over three days.

Attendees will also learn about raising awareness on the protection of our coral reef.

According to the owner of Vaimoana Seaside Resort, Tupa’i Saleimoa Vaai, now is a perfect time for Savai’i’s tourism industry to host a festival especially when visitors from Upolu spike in search of an abundant palolo harvest. 

“We wanted to create something that is uniquely Savaii and celebrate the gift of palolo with a festival,” he said.

He said that palolo has always brought people to Savaii every year.

Hotel guests at the Palolo Festival will be taken through the preparations of making ula lei (flower adornments) and a’a’ (hand nets) as well as learning about the importance of marine environment protection. 

For an authentic experience, guests and visitors are invited to join the locals in locations where the palolo is harvested in Asau.

Tupai added that it’s also important for us to raise awareness about protecting our coral reef so that the tradition of palolo can be enjoyed and celebrated for generations to come.

“With the support of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, we will be educating our guests and visitors with information about preserving our precious marine resources by incorporating it into our activities during the festival,” he said. 

Meanwhile, in Siufaga, the Amoa Resort will be paying tribute to the ‘faiga faiva’ (fishers) of Savai’i and hosting a “white night” themed dinner with live music on Friday 9th October.

The evening will open with a parade of canoes, made by local fishers from the village making their way to Amoa pier at dusk followed by a re-enactment of “Ta Palolo” performed by the women of the village.

The Palolo festival will close with a show put on by the island’s best entertainers in the village of Manase who will be hosting the Vodafone Manase Beach Party on Saturday 10 October.

The event will seek to bring together the entire village community and will feature live music, food stalls, games and activities, giveaways, dance performances and traditional food demonstrations.

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