While ecotourism has been on the rise for the last decade, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated travellers’ commitment to sustainable and responsible travel.
In fact, recent research from Booking.com revealed 83 per cent of global travellers think sustainable travel is vital, with 61 per cent saying the pandemic has made them want to travel more sustainably in the future.
What’s more, 73 per cent of travellers prefer an eco-sustainable hotel rather than a traditional one. Eco-conscious travellers looking for guilt-free travel in beautiful destinations should look no further than Beautiful Samoa.
Boasting crystal clear turquoise waters, stunning waterholes, lush rainforest trails and pristine reefs that abound with marine life, Samoa offers the perfect paradise for families, couples and adventure seekers looking to escape their everyday surroundings.
Samoa’s azure waters and lush rainforests are protected by Fa’a Samoa or ‘The Samoan Way’ – a 3000-year-old living tradition and cultural code that incorporates respect for the island’s pristine environment and a duty to protect and preserve it.
As a Pacific island – few destinations are as devoted to looking after the environment as Samoa – which is on the frontline of the impact of climate change.
Green travel is easy in Samoa with eco-conscious accommodation (stay in a traditional fale built from locally cut timber and coconut sennit perched on the beach), organic food (think: locally-sourced fruit and vegetables pulled straight from the garden), eco-tours (there’s a range of walking tours spanning from three hours to three days), and beautiful natural assets to explore (swimming, diving, snorkelling, surfing).
Plus, as one of the few countries without a locally acquired case of COVID-19, Samoa’s pristine shores are safe, secluded and only a short five-hour flight if travelling from Sydney.
Besides just relaxing, there are plenty of activities and sightseeing that can be enjoyed with a minimal carbon footprint. Here are some top tips to travel more sustainably around Samoa, while helping to maintain its untouched landscapes.
Opt for a walking tour
Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Samoa by taking a walking tour.
Cut down your carbon footprint and explore one of the many scenic walks Samoa has to offer, such as the Falealupo Canopy Walkway – a hanging bridge built approximately 40 metres above the ground that weaves through the branches of giant banyan trees.
Our other pick is the Tafua Crater, which provides magnificent views of neighbouring coastal villages once you reach the top of the crater.
If you’re looking for a multi-day trek, look no further than the Mt Silisili walk, giving travellers a chance to stay with a local Samoan family and immerse themselves in the rich culture.
Stay in eco-conscious accommodation
Being a regional leader in sustainable tourism interventions, Samoa values green living.
This focus on sustainable tourism means that Samoa is bustling with environmentally-friendly accommodation options such as the Dave Parker Eco Lodge.
Offering a unique, eco-conscious experience in an idyllic setting, the resort is built on a lush forested hillside overlooking the town of Apia and across the big island of Savaii.
Alternatively, opt for a beachside stay in a traditional beach Fale.
The Taufua Beach Fales are located on world-famous Lalomanu Beach, regularly voted in the top five “Best Beaches” in the Pacific.
Catch a local bus to see the sights
Not only is taking the bus a great way to be eco-conscious when seeing the tourist attractions of Samoa, but it’s also an attraction in itself!
The colourful and retro-style buses are caught by waving one down as it approaches.
All buses are named with their destination, which makes it an easy way to get around and explore the islands.
Just remember, you’ll be on island time here – it’s not unheard of for buses to stop at supermarkets and wait while passengers do their shopping!
Tantalise your tastebuds with an organic meal
Samoa is home to an abundance of fresh and locally grown produce, which you can enjoy and one of their many organic cafes and restaurants.
Indulge in Ocean-Farm-to-Table cuisine with a seasonal and ethical focus at venues such as Nourish or Legends Cafe in Apia, or Vailili Restaurant in Savai’i.
Support local operators
One of the best things about exploring Samoa is that by visiting most of their spectacular waterfalls, swimming holes or beaches, you are actually supporting local families.
Often these hidden gems are situated amongst private property, and for a small fee, travellers are able to enter and discover the natural wonders.
All fees go directly to supporting the individual or family who owns the land.