Samoa features in international travel publication

By Tina Mata'afa-Tufele 06 January 2021, 3:00PM

Samoa and eight of the unique attractions it offers tourists have been featured in the online tourism magazine ‘Travel Awaits.’

The feature on Samoa included eight different attractions unique to the island, from a Sunday church service, the ancient art of tatau (tattoo), Samoan food, beach fales and volcanic features. 

The article titled “8 Incredible Experiences Not to Miss in Samoa” was posted on the Travel Awaits site on Sunday, 3 January, 2021.

The magazine has a total of 50,000 online Facebook subscribers. 

Featured on its list of "incredible experiences" were iconic pieces of Samoan culture including: Samoan buses, the traditional Samoan fale, a church service, the Robert Louis Stevenson Home, volcanic attractions, swimming, waterfalls and sharing food.

The author, Nadine Cresswell-Myatt, describes Samoa as “not overly touristy” and “despite the arrival of a McDonald’s in 1996” it has received an uncommercialised island paradise. 

Even if you don’t have religious affiliations attending a Samoan church service is “a wonderful way to immerse yourself in Samoan culture,” says Cresswell-Myatt.

“It is an experience my daughter has never forgotten,” she said.

“The congregation is a sea of white as young girls wear white dresses, the women white hats, while the men are in lavalavas (ie faitaga) and white shirts. Apia’s churches are impressive, but even the village churches have beautiful craftsmanship and wonderful choirs.”

Each bus, writes Creswell-Myatt, “is uniquely, brightly colored, and totally [decorated] with names like Blessings Transport, Jesus is the Way or Bon Jovi”.

She notes there are no bus stops and riders need only wave a bus down to get on and knock on a buses’ wooden interior to signal for the bus to stop.

“Stay in a fale (traditional Samoan house),” the article advises.

”Young travellers often stay in fales on the beaches – traditional fales on the beaches with no walls, offering the thrill of falling asleep to the sound of lapping waves.”

Culture is number-one on the list. 

Cresswell-Myatt advises readers to “experience Samoa’s heartwarming culture” by visiting the Samoa Tourism Authority’s (S.T.A.) cultural village in Apia.

“In Samoa, sharing a meal with others is an important aspect of the culture,” said Creswell-Myatt.

Samoa’s borders are currently closed to tourists and have been since March.

Several hotels and resorts have shut down due to the absence of visitors, including, most recently Sinalei Reef Resort, which announced it would be temporarily closing its doors.

By Tina Mata'afa-Tufele 06 January 2021, 3:00PM

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