A Papua New Guinean owned Luxury Resort in Samoa, the Taumeasina Island Resort’ has won Samoa’s prestigious ’National Tourism Excellence Awards’ 2017/2018.

A Papua New Guinean owned Luxury Resort in Samoa, the Taumeasina Island Resort’ has won Samoa’s prestigious ’National Tourism Excellence Awards’ 2017/2018.

The Awards are given by the Samoa Tourism Authority celebrating the outstanding performances of those who have made exceptional contributions to Samoa’s Tourism Industry within the past 12 months.

The multi-million dollar Taumeasina Island Resort in Samoa is owned by three PNG joint venture partners; the Lamana Group (50%) Gobe Landowner company Petroleum Resources Gobe (19%) and Mineral Resources Development Company (31%).

Despite strong competition from two other finalists, Seabreeze who has won this award several years in a row and Return to Paradise, both established resorts, who have been in the market for many years, Taumeasina snatched the main category award of 2017/2018 Samoa Tourism Excellence from right under, as well as securing the Best Hygiene Award.

Deputy Prime Minister of Samoa, Hon. Fiame Naomi Mata’afa, presented the award at the awards ceremony hosted at the Taumeasina itself and congratulated the resort staff and management.

The resorts General Manager Nathan Bucknall received the awards with a joyful heart stating that Taumeasina Island Resort has been open for 19 months and the journey, has been incredibly challenging, but equally rewarding.

“We have had the opportunity to host many celebrities and dignitaries from aboard, and a large number of tourists from around the globe.

“We are proud that we have become the first-choice accommodation for Samoans returning home to visit family and relatives, and a popular destination for weddings, events, reunions, meals and a place to hangout”, said Bucknall.

Bucknall acknowledged and dedicated the win to the resorts ever dedicated staff and management.

“Taumeasina Island Resort, is blessed with an amazing team of people, who work together, to achieve a common goal”.

“Without the support and hard work of the people around us, we would not be able to have received this award”.

Bucknall said many of the staff were very proud of the resort in Samoa, as many were involved in the development of the building and in the official opening of it.

“This gives them an ownership rarely seen in staff who work in hotels. I believe the reason why we were able to secure this award, is because of the hard work of the collective team”, he said.

The awards were set up in 2016 by the government through the Samoa Tourism Authority. All tourism businesses performances were rated through a survey at the departure lounge of the Faleolo International Airport where visitors could rate and share their experiences of their visit.

There are 12 Awards categories designed to include various aspects of the Tourism Industry. Taumeasina Resort was nominated in 5 categories, eventually winning two including the main award.

Bucknall thanked the Samoa Tourism Authority and the government of Samoa, for their support, and for enabling such award nights and events, that recognise achievements in the industry.

“Through these events, the Samoan hospitality industry continues to grow and improve, our service standards, accommodation and tour options, resulting in a stronger and more versatile tourism industry.”

Bucknall stated that to win again next year will be a challenge, as other competitors were keen to gain the same recognition but he has big plans lined up.

“Taumeasina will continue as it has done since July 2016, with training of staff and managers, developing new food and beverage concepts and promotions, and working closely with our tourism partners, in both Samoa and PNG, to ensure the best chance to achieve the same recognition next year” he said.

The resort was developed and constructed by the Lamana Development Limited which is a branch of the Lamana Group of Companies.

The Taumeasina Island Resort officially started its operation as of the 1st of July 2016 after a soft opening. It is a 45 minutes’ drive from the Faleolo International Airport, and 5 minutes from the capital city of Samoa, Apia.

The resort has 80 rooms and 25 villas, shops, world class restaurants, a bar, water sports pavilion, day spa, gym, beach and wedding chapel.