Samoa, located in the South Pacific and often overshadowed by its famous neighbours like Fiji and French Polynesia, is a destination that offers an authentic and rustic experience to visitors who are willing to endure the long journey from the UK. In contrast to the common perception of Samoa as a place of burly, tattooed rugby players and tropical islands, this study explores what makes Samoa unique from its South Pacific neighbours.
The experience begins in the Samoan capital of Apia on the island of Upolu, where visitors can feel the humidity rising from the runway and hear the sound of ukulele melodies drifting from the arrival hall. The island of Upolu is the more developed of the two main islands and offers a variety of accommodations ranging from rustic, traditional “fale” on the beach to 4 and 5-star luxury hotels.
Samoa’s formation from volcanic eruptions and its topography, which includes lush mountains, waterfalls, black rock lava fields, and turquoise lagoons, is a source of attraction for visitors. However, Samoa’s culture and values are what set it apart from its neighbours. Family is the cornerstone of Samoan culture, and everything centers on this value. Samoans have strong family bonds and familial duties to perform, which means that wealth is shared, and everyone has a role to keep the family ticking over. Development is a slow process, and traditional values are strong.
Samoans have a subsistence lifestyle, and there are some controls on land ownership, which prevent large chain hotels from being built. This has resulted in family-run businesses that offer a unique experience to visitors. Organic produce is king, and there are few restaurants outside of those offered by accommodations. The whole extended family works together, with each member having a different role, and living sustainably.
Samoa’s natural attractions are a source of interest to visitors. To Sua ocean trench is Samoa’s most well-known natural tourist attraction, offering visitors the opportunity to swim in a giant swimming hole connected to the sea by underwater tunnels. Alofaaga Blowholes on the island of Savai’i, located on the southwest side, are also a popular destination for visitors.
Samoa is a destination that offers an authentic and unique experience to visitors who are willing to embrace its values and culture. The subsistence lifestyle and strong family bonds are a source of pride for Samoans, and they offer visitors a glimpse into a different way of life. Samoa’s natural attractions are also a source of interest to visitors. The To Sua ocean trench and Alofaaga Blowholes are just two of the many attractions that visitors can explore. Samoa is a destination that should not be overlooked by those seeking an authentic and rustic experience.