Talimalo campaign aims to kickstart tourism
The tourism sector is not giving up in the face of challenges and closures imposed by the coronavirus pandemic lockdown following the launch of a new promotional campaign on Monday.
The launch of the "Talimalo campaign" on Monday, at the Amoa Resort in Savai'i is the latest initiative rolled out by the Samoa Tourism Authority (S.T.A.). It seeks to offer a boost to hoteliers not only in Upolu but also in the big island to boost the tourism sector in trying times.
Funded by the S.T.A., Talimalo simply means, "hosting guests" and the name of the campaign is fitting to describe Samoan hospitality, according to the President of the Savai'i Samoa Tourism Association (S.S.T.A.), Va'aelua Fa'apoipoi Gidlow.
Hotels, resorts, and beach fales in Savai'i have embraced the launch of the campaign, with nine businesses from around the island already on board with the campaign so far.
The launch was well-attended by officials and board of directors from the Samoa Tourism Authority, members of the S.S.T.A., and hotel operators on the big island.
"The talimalo [is designed] to promote domestic tourism and encourage our people to utilise our services and products offered by our tourism operators," the President of S.S.T.A., Va'aelua said.
"[Playing host] has always been a part of our culture, showing hospitality and offering the best services to our visitors.
"So it is only fitting since we are battling an unrelenting impact of the coronavirus pandemic, that is ravaging our economy, in particular, the tourism sector.
"[The] Talimalo campaign will lead the drive in pushing our locals to come out and enjoy the friendly hospitality of our hotel staff and experience what Savai'i has to offer and appreciate what makes Samoa beautiful."
Va'aelua took the opportunity to thank S.T.A. and the Government, on behalf of the S.S.T.A. for their ongoing commitment to developing the tourism sector during difficult times.
He urged other fellow hoteliers from the big island to join and work "as one" to make the campaign "a true success."
"In these difficult times, we can only look to our local markets to fill the void. Let us continue the hard work as one and make this campaign a success,” he said.
"The timing is perfect as the holiday season is upon us."
Dwayne Bentley spoke on behalf of S.T.A. to address those gathered at the launch.
He explained that the campaign is a tactical activity that will promote special deals from participating properties, hotels, resorts and beach fales.
"The campaign is part of the S.T.A.'s strategy to continue to drive domestic tourism given these trying times as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing closure of international borders,” he said.
"The campaign also provides an opportunity for business operators to begin to consider what the requirements are to be travel-ready once borders do re-open not only it's a wonderful marketing promotion."
The S.T.A. is hoping that more businesses and hotels will join the campaign as it will start now until February next year.
"We are hoping that as the programme continues, more properties will join,” he said.
“The campaign will reach out to the Savai'i Samoa Tourism Association, to encourage other members to put together special deals and packages and be a part of the Talimalo Campaign."
The nine businesses who are already part of the campaign include Amoa Resort, Jet Over Hotel, Bayview Resort, Tailua Beach Fales, Janes Beach Fales, Stevensons at Manase, Vaimoana Seaside Lodge, Falealupo Beach Fales, and Rosalote Guest House.
An example of packages now offered include Aiga packages for 2-5 people covering two to three nights, and for one-to-two rooms starting from $500.