As an outer island destination with no international point of entry, Savaii faces major inter-island and international access challenges, which have been further exacerbated by the 2019 measles outbreak and of course the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to the prolonged impacts of these events, the local tourism industry has had to adapt and diversify accordingly. Some businesses have given a much needed boost to their businesses by using their existing set up and teams to expand into catering as well as restaurants and cafes to respond to domestic tourism demand.
Savaii Samoa Tourism Association (SSTA) President, Va’aelua Fa’apoipoi Gidlow, said that the unexpected benefit of the pandemic was that it forced businesses to move out of their comfort zones. “Pre-Covid businesses’ main focus was international visitors and local market for in-between seasons. The pandemic has strengthened our resilience and we have now pivoted to exploring sustainable opportunities in the domestic market with a Farm to Table approach. Once borders open, anything on top of that is simply icing on the cake”.
In that regard, Supo Povi (local beef soup) has become a renowned Savaii specialty, particularly favored by locals travelling to Savaii for business and other cultural events. Adrias Café at Lalomalava has notably one of the best and a hot favorite for lunch by many Savaiian residents. The choices in Savaii have expanded since border closures and locals are quickly adapting to the café and coffee culture from overseas. With the number of associates we have within our membership including Lata Plantation, Amataga Farm, Tailua Beach Fales and Lalomalava Plantation there is enough quality supply to support our operators.
Being a 100% Covid-Free destination has given Savaii tourism operators the freedom to explore their own backyard and if you haven’t visited Savaii for a while there are noticeable changes in the restaurant scene. New operator Harbourside Café & Bar is open 7 Days and offers evening entertainment of a Friday popular among locals.
For more information about Savaii, visit www.takemetosavaii.com
(Photo Credit: Tailua Beach Fales)