The following policies are updated from time to time.
Effective October 2023
Deposits and Payments are fully refundable up to 3 months from the event date, with the exception of events with limited spots and their specific refund policies. In cases where there's no specific refund policy for an event, the following rules apply.
Updated on March 3, 2023 – in effect now.
Cancellation at any time - 20% of the Event Fee paid. This covers the Booking Fee, which has a minimum of $100. This rule only applies to the Event Entry Fee and doesn't include Accommodation travel packages, which have their own cancellation policies.
Two months from the Event date - You'll receive a refund of sixty percent of the fee paid, plus the Cancellation Fee (Booking Fee). For Accommodation Packages, Cancellation Fees also apply.
One month from the Event date - No refunds are given. Cancellation fees apply to accommodation packages.
Forward option - If no refund is issued, your fee and payments will be carried forward to the next event, minus any Specific fees.
Cancellation fee - 20% of the fees paid. The minimum cancellation fee is $100.00 NZD. Sāmoa Events reserves the right to charge a higher fee when a reasonable amount of work has been done by the organization in collaboration with the client, including consultations and communication via email or teleconferencing.
Specific Fees - These are the costs associated with items like race numbers, equipment, swim caps, etc., which are prepared in advance for athletes.
Sāmoa and the Pacific Islands, where we operate, are conservative societies with values deeply rooted in cultural traditions and Judeo-Christian faith. The core values include courtesy, respect for property and people, and maintaining peace. Some behaviours that may be considered normal in other societies are not well-received here. Here are some essential things to remember when visiting the islands and participating in events:
Public Nudity: This is not allowed. No skinny dipping or bathing nude in any area of the islands, including hotel grounds.
Semi-nudity: Avoid posing with bare buttocks, topless sunbathing for women, or wearing bikinis in villages for women.
Emergency Bathroom Breaks: Sometimes, during events, you may need to go to the restroom outdoors. This is acceptable, but you must ensure complete privacy and avoid being seen by the public while taking an emergency bathroom break.
Village Protocols: Keep in mind that villages have their own rules established by village councils for the well-being of their residents. Visitors may encounter village rules such as evening curfews for prayers and devotion, no swimming on Sundays, and other regulations. Additionally, in some areas, villages or individual families may charge visitors for access to sites and attractions on private land.
This policy is similar to policies in other island areas and nations in the Pacific Islands.
Sāmoa Events organises many events throughout the year at various locations in the Pacific Islands. The marine environment in the islands is known worldwide for its abundance of fish, sea turtles, and coral reef systems. Many of these ecosystems are fragile and vulnerable to the impacts of human activities like snorkelling, swimming, and sailing. Additionally, reef ecosystems are in the process of recovering from global warming, global sea pollution, and natural disasters such as tsunamis and volcanic activities.
This Environmental Impact Statement will focus on the potential effects of ocean-based events on the marine environment in Samoa and suggest ways to avoid, reduce, or mitigate these impacts.
Polynesia Environment and People
The coasts of Upolu and Savaii, Sāmoa's two largest islands, are characterised by lagoon environments surrounded by coral reef systems. These ecosystems are home to a wide range of marine life, including sea turtles, whales, and fish. Sāmoa is the habitat of several endangered species, such as the Loggerhead sea turtle and humphead parrotfish, as well as various coral species. Many areas of the marine environment remain pristine and are sensitive to impacts from human activities and natural phenomena like tsunamis.
A significant portion of the population depends on the ocean for food and income. Any changes in the marine environment that affect fish populations can have adverse effects on local economies and community well-being.
The Effects of Events on the Environment
Recreational activities can significantly impact the fragile marine ecosystems found in the islands. While more substantial human activities related to fishing and boat movement are known to disrupt the marine environment and harm reef systems, even minor activities like swimming and snorkelling can have environmental impacts.
Ocean-based events are held both within lagoons and in the open ocean. When swimmers enter the water, there is the potential for trampling on sea life, such as urchins, sea anemones, and coral. These species may also be affected by turbulence caused by a high number of swimmers in concentrated areas.
Another impact of swimming events could be the disruption of natural habitat for marine species like sea turtles and reef-dwelling fish. Swimmers moving through the water might alter the feeding environment for these species by displacing prey and affecting visibility due to sediment disturbance.
Sea turtles, some of which are endangered, are a significant concern because their breeding habits can be disrupted by swimmers and others associated with the event. However, research shows that the sea turtle nesting season in Samoa is from October until June, meaning the Swim Samoa Series will be held outside of this season.
Indirect effects may also result from the series of events, such as waste associated with event organization and spectators. Such rubbish has the potential to enter the ocean and other waterways, where it can be ingested by fish and entangle birds, turtles, and other marine species.
Managing the Effects of Ocean-Based Swimming Events
One of the main ways to manage the series' effects on the environment is by educating competitors about reducing their impact on the marine environment. Damage to reefs can often occur because swimmers who are unaware of their fragile nature step on coral and other organisms. Informing swimmers about how they can minimize their environmental impact before the events may help reduce these effects.
Another method to reduce environmental impact is waste minimization. Such events can generate a significant amount of waste from competitors, organizers, and spectators. Visitors are asked to remove any rubbish and waste they bring onto a site since there will be no rubbish bins available at the sites, encouraging visitors to take their waste with them.
Internationally, there is a trend towards holding recreational or multisport events in increasingly remote and natural environments. This increases the potential for environmental impacts.
The events, in their current format, have minimal environmental impacts on Samoa's natural terrestrial environment. Sāmoa Events will not propose events that cross protected areas or ecologically sensitive areas without consulting and obtaining approval from the Ministry responsible for the Protection of the Environment.
Protected areas face increasing human access, which also provides entry points for invasive species. This is a major concern for the ecological integrity of the cloud forest ecosystem in Sāmoa, which is extremely rare and fragile. We are committed to avoiding any type of human disturbance in intact natural terrestrial areas at all costs.
Problematic invasive species can be introduced into protected areas through soil and dirt on shoes and carried equipment such as bags, tents, and clothing.
With this understanding, Sāmoa Events is actively committed to the following:
Maintaining an understanding of the impact of events on the environment.
Minimizing and removing the risk of introducing invasive species in remote and at-risk areas.
Avoiding any type of human disturbance in intact natural terrestrial areas.
Eliminating the use of throwaway plastics, including single-use paper bags and water bottles.
Adopting relevant and appropriate environmental objectives and targets and monitoring progress against them.
Reducing pollution resulting from our activities.
Taking care of the marine environment during our ocean-based events.
Considering environmental criteria when procuring goods and services.
Properly disposing of waste generated at sites from our activities.
Promoting environmental awareness among our participants.
Encouraging athletes and visitors to bring their own refillable drink bottles to use while in Sāmoa.
Providing clean bulk water supply for athletes to use during events.