Commonwealth Broadband Pacific Forum 2017

TRAVEL

Faleolo International Airport is 35km west of Apia and is the main gateway into Samoa. The airport handles both International and Domestic flights. The new international airport was launched in 2016 with the arrivals in a makeshift area to allow completion of the new arrival section. There are ANZ and BSP banks, Western Union, ATMs, food and duty free shopping available. There is also a domestic airport at Fagalii that flies to American Samoa. . There are no airport lounges at the airport. Check-in counters are located near the terminal entrance.

ANZ, BSP and Western Union have branches in the terminal building where money can be exchanged. Pre-purchase Samoan Tala in the form of cash from Travel Money OZ.

International and domestic flights operate between Faleolo international airport and following destinations:

Airlines and destination

International and domestic flights operate between KL international airport and following destinations:

Airline Operator Flying From
Air New Zealand Aukland
Fiji Airways Honolulu, Nadi
Fiji Airways
operated by Fiji Link
Suva
Inter Island Airways Pago Pago, Tau
Polynesian Airlines Maota, Pago Pago
British Airways London–Heathrow
Samoa Air Asau, Canton, Fagali’i, Funafuti, Maota, Pago Pago, Vava’u
Talofa Airways Pago Pago
Virgin Samoa Auckland, Brisbane, Sydney

 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Visa requirement

All delegates must:

  • Have a return or onward ticket;
  • Possess a passport valid for a minimum of six (6) months after the intended date of departure from Samoa;
  • Have a valid visa or permit for transit countries to get to Samoa and return.

For further information please refer to the following website: http://www.samoaimmigration.gov.ws/VisitorServices/EntryRequirements/tabid/6858/language/en-US/Default.aspx

To ensure that delegates do not have problems at the border please hand carry a copy of the letter of invitation from CTO for the “Commonwealth Broadband Pacific Forum 2017”

GENERAL INFORMATION

Country Profile

The Independent State of Samoa is located south of the equator between Hawaii and New Zealand, with a population of 192,126 (2016 census). The total land area is 2,842 km², consisting of the two large islands of Upolu and Savai’i. The business district is Apia. The climate is tropical with an average annual temperature of 26.5 °C, and a rainy season from November to April. The main religion is Christianity. Samoa is a post card of natural beauty. People are friendly and respect foreigh people. Beautiful beaches, clear water, and awesome culture make Samoa the Treasure Islands of the South Pacific.

Host

The Commonwealth Broadband Pacific Forum 2017 will be hosted by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (“MCIT”) and the Office of the Regulator (“OoTR”).

MCIT

The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) facilitates leads and implements the Government of Samoa’s vision for information and communication technology (ICT) development. The Policy Development and Formulation Division strives to provide advice to the Minister and Government that is valid and in line with the fast pace of change in telecommunications, broadcasting, postal and ICT. The ICT Secretariat implements exciting ICT4 development projects and particularly focuses on ensuring the digital divide is kept to a minimum. MCIT is also responsible for the National Radio 2AP’s which informs the nation on social and economic matters and when disaster strikes.

Office of the Regulator (“OoTR”)

The objective of the Office of the Regulator (OOTR) is to establish a fair and unbiased regulatory and licensing environment to foster national and international investment in telecommunications services in Samoa. The Office is also responsible for protecting the interests of end-users of telecommunications services by ensuring fair and equitable competition in all areas of the telecommunications market. OoTR is guided by the objectives of the statutory framework contained in section 3 of the Telecommunications Act 2005 and the Broadcasting Act 2010. OoTR’s vision is for ‘A society where all consumers experience the benefits of well functioning ICT services and markets

Local Transport

Transport facilities to/from Airport will be provided to delegates to/from hotels mentioned in the list of recommended hotel accommodation.  The host will have a liaison officer to help coordinate the arrival of delegates at Faleolo International Airport. Transport will also be provided for transfers from hotels to the venue and to various social events organised by the host for delegates.

Local Time
+ 12 hours Greenwich Mean Time in the month of July.
Language

Samoan and English are the official languages. Most of the Samoan population are learned in the Samoan and English vernacular.

Money

The Samoan Tala is the currency of Samoa. The currency code for Tala is WST, and the currency symbol is $.

Credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners & JCB) are widely accepted in the major hotels, restaurants and stores. Travellers’ cheques are also widely accepted at major banks and hotels.

Eftpos machines are found throughout Upolu and Savai’i in major hotels, resorts and supermarkets and accept the following cards – Visa, MasterCard, Cirrus, Amex, JCB & Plus Cards and Access International Debit Card.
To check up to date exchange rates, please visit www.xe.com.

Public Transport

The specialised airport bus serves major hotels in Apia. Tickets are available from the government tourist office booth in the arrivals area. Public buses are also available and run regularly to Apia from the main road outside the airport, a short walk from the terminal.

Trips from the Faleolo International Airport to Apia cost around WS$60 whereas small trips around town will be between WS$3 and WS$12 depending on the length of the journey.

Car hire desks are located inside the terminal building. Companies available include Apia Rentals, Funway Rentals and Juliana Car Rentals. There are other Rental Car businesses that do not have a desk at the airport. You can book your car online to guarantee availability.

Health Requirements

All incoming travellers to Samoa are advised to fill in the Special Health Declaration Form in flight before arrival. Entry requirements provide that the traveller must not have health problems that would pose a risk to Samoa.

Communications

The Conference venue will be equipped with WIFI in the plenary room and break out rooms.

Electricity and Water

It is advisable to use bottled water for drinking purposes.

In Samoa the standard voltage is 230 V. The standard frequency is 50 Hz. The power sockets that are used are of Type I. Below you find pictures of these power sockets and corresponding plugs.

In Samoa the power sockets used are of type I:

Banking and Business hours

ANZ and Bank South Pacific are the two international banks found in Samoa. Both have branches at the international airport, in Apia and at Salelologa on Savai’i. National Bank of Samoa and Samoa Commercial Bank are local banks and provide services including currency exchange and ATMs.

ATMs are located in and around Apia and on the island of Savai’i. Travellers can use credit cards in the machines but you are required to have a PIN number to withdraw cash.

ANZ Bank: Open Monday to Wednesday 9am-3.30pm Thursday & Friday 9am-4pm. ANZ Currency Express onBeach Road is open for International/foreign Currency transactions Monday to Friday 9am-5pm and Saturdays 8am-1pm.

ANZ Salelologa, Savaii is open Monday to Friday 8.30am-3pm and Saturday 8.30am -12.00 noon. Beach Road, ph 69999

Bank of South Pacific: Open Monday-Wednesday 9am-3pm, Thursday & Friday 9.00am-4pm and on Saturday 9am-11am for international & money gram services. The Vaitele Branch is open 9.30am-3pm Monday to Friday.

Beach Road, ph 26019

National Bank: Open Monday-Friday 9am-3pm and on Saturday the branches at Fugalei Market and Tamaligi open 8.30am-12.30pm. The main office is opened for international and foreign exchange only from 8.30am-12.30pm on Saturdays Cnr Beach Road & Vaea Street, ph 20000

Samoa Commercial Bank: Open Monday – Wednesday 9am-3.30pm, Thursday & Friday 9.00am-4.00pm and on Saturday 8.30am-12pm. Beach Road, Matafele, ph 31233

 

Telecommunications

There are two main telecommunications providers in Samoa:  Bluesky (Samoa) Limited and Digicel (Samoa) Limited. Both providers offer extensive coverage. Prepaid SIM cards are available at Faleolo International Airport and at outlets in Apia.

The country code is +685.

Facsimile services are available in almost all hotels. Internet facilities are also available in almost all hotels or at Cybercafés.

Further Information:

For further information, please contact:

Mrs Unutoa Fonoti,
CEO, Office of the Regulator.
Mulinu’u, Apia.
Tel: +685 30282
Email: unutoa.fonoti@ootr.gov.ws

Mr. Tua’imalo Asamu Ah Sam, CEO, Ministry of Communication and Information Technology.
Level 6. TATTE Building, Apia
Tel: +685 26117
Email: a.ahsam@mcit.gov.ws

Robert Hayman,
Events Manager
Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization
+44 (0) 20 8600 3805
+44 (0) 208 600 3819