As one of the few pilot hotels in Samoa that participated in a 2018 Sustainability Monitoring Programme, Amoa Resort Savaii continues to reap the benefits of the lessons learnt from the programme.
Made possible through support from SPTO, Samoa Tourism Authority, Sustainable Travel International and the UNDP, the programme developed data collection systems and analysis skills which in turn has given the resort the confidence to categorize and monitor resource consumption such as water and energy use, waste generated, conservation efforts and procurement patterns which included looking at how much the resort spends on local products as opposed to imports.
Resort Manager, Elisabeth Siaosi, acknowledged the positive impact of the programme particularly for up and coming properties in the industry. “ Initially, sustainability monitoring simply did not exist for us but since putting the correct systems in place we have noticed a huge difference in staff awareness in terms of monitoring operational costs which in turn has been great for us from a business perspective”, she said.
“As islanders naturally we want to support our neighbors made up of local farmers, fisherman and artesian craftsmen and women. We’ve always had the mantra local where possible, particularly for the menu and souvenirs. We are on an island so it makes sense to operate this way and our overseas markets and locals appreciate knowing where their money is going. We have a growing variety of quality meat, seafood & vegetables grown on the island, not to mention koko and coconut oil and the quality is far superior to what our guests can find overseas. This in itself is a unique selling point to travel to Savaii and taste our very best produce. Farm to table was already a way of life long before it was trendy overseas. But as a resort we also know that we have some destructive behaviors that can long term affect the environment. It’s good to be aware of this and look at ways that we can reduce our footprint. Our goal is to minimize the impact we have so that we can handover to the next generation the paradise we are so fortunate to live in today. We needed a place to start and collecting the data was key. We are learning as we go but this was certainly the right push for us.”
Amoa has implemented simple yet impactful changes such as offering a filtered water fountain as an alternative to bottled water so that guests can refill as needed. Moreover, the resort has become more proactive in sharing their sustainability journey via social media, which has encouraged meaningful engagement from their guests.
To get guests more involved in the process Amoa Resort introduced some simple walking tours and resort activities where guests can experience the nearby plantations, to better understand their food systems and where it comes from. The tours are popular as guests get to see what they normally can’t if they just drive around the island. Most guests come back with a great appreciation for the Samoan way of life.
As Pacific Tourism continues to work towards becoming a resource efficient sector, monitoring consumption and production levels will become increasingly important. This initiative responds to SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production) as well as Goal 4 of the Pacific Sustainable Tourism Policy Framework
Learn more about Amoa Resort Savaii here
(Photo Credit: Amoa Resort Savaii)