Research Output

Slow hospitality: Family perspectives of holiday experiences at beach fale in Samoa

  In Samoa, customarily most tourism accommodation is locally owned and operated. Against a backdrop of increasingly foreign-owned large hotels and resorts, local families have built low-cost beach fale accommodation (consisting of thatched beach huts) in coastal locations. These beach fale, traditionally frequented by the backpacker market, are proving increasingly popular with visiting families from overseas. A major attraction at these beach fale is the local food experience. Yet, only a superficial understanding exists of the tourists’ perspective on food preferences and beach fale experiences, especially for families and their children. There have been several development research studies on fale operations but none on the growing international family tourism market. This article provides insights into the neglected family perspectives of social hospitality experiences at Samoan beach fale accommodation and to elicit the key elements of the emerging slow hospitality concept. This exploratory study is based on ten semi-structured whole-family group interviews conducted with New Zealand and Australian families (30 parents, grandparents and children [aged 7‐17]). The findings support a trend towards families seeking more authentic, immersive and socially interactive experiences on holiday that are more akin to the local way of life or Fa‘asamoa. It emerged that beach fale tourism provides culturally, culinary, socially and sensually richer experiences as part of slow hospitality offerings for families. This study contributes to broader academic debates about whole-family perspectives on holiday, slow hospitality, beach fale accommodation, seaside or thalasso tourism and understandings of family well-being.

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  • Date:

    31 March 2022

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  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded


Schänzel, H., Urie, G., & Lynch, P. (2022). Slow hospitality: Family perspectives of holiday experiences at beach fale in Samoa. Hospitality and Society, 12(1), 95-116.



beach fale accommodation; children; cultural immersion; family tourism; family well-being; food preferences; thalasso tourism; whole-family method

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