Thanks to Bartercard, the Return to Paradise Resort in Samoa has a new wedding chapel which is helping to boost wedding tourism and travel bookings in the cash market.  Through Bartercard, and the generosity of its members, they’ve attracted a wider market of visitors with a minimal cash outlay.

How it all began

Return to Paradise is located in Upolu, Samoa’s main island and is the perfect wedding venue.  However, when John Grimwood, an Australian Bartercard member and owner of construction company Force 8 Civil, visited the island with his wife, Jenni and business partners, Jim and Linda Farrant, they quickly discovered the resort was missing something – a wedding chapel.

Normally using Bartercard to offset business costs, they covered almost the entire cost of their holiday with Bartercard Trade Dollars – accommodation at Return to Paradise, meals and tours.  While there, John started talking to the resort owner Ramona, who joined Bartercard to fill rooms off-peak, and asked how Force 8 Civil could assist.  He quickly uncovered a long wish list with a wedding chapel at the top.

Getting the team together

John and Jim then returned to Samoa with Bartercard member, Peter Hudson from Hudo Electrical in Melbourne to build the chapel.  They sourced as many materials as they could on Bartercard to keep the cash costs for the resort down, and they would do the labour free of charge.  But that was just the beginning.

“Using Bartercard Trade Dollars, we were able to source most of the raw materials to build a wedding chapel for Return to Paradise Resort in Samoa without the cash cost and provided the labour gratis.”
 John Grimwood, Force 8 Civil     

“We found out a local builder was going to add new units to the resort,” said John.  So, we said to Ramona that if we’re going send materials from Australia for the chapel, we’d also source as many materials as we could for the units on Bartercard.”

“We tracked down toilets, electricals, wiring, downlights, irrigation fittings, pipes and ten pallets of tiles from businesses on Bartercard.  We virtually filled a 40-foot container full of Bartercard products!  Our electrician Peter also brought two of his apprentices. What an amazing experience for these two young men to be involved in such a wonderful project.”

The resort covered the cost of most of the materials with Bartercard Trade Dollars, which they earned from welcoming Bartercard visitors.  “We could have charged the labour on Bartercard too, but we really just wanted to help,” said John.

The finished product

In October 2017, the wedding chapel was opened.  At the beginning of this year, John, Jim, Peter, his apprentice and Ratish, a stonemason, came back to Return to Paradise Resort for five weeks, along with three 40ft containers to finish the chapel.

These containers held steel, electrics, a large septic system and seven pallets of tiles supplied by VERSITILE at a reduced rate with a large component on Bartercard.

The wedding chapel has not only provided a beautiful setting for a wedding when it’s not in use the locals use it for community events and gatherings.  It’s opened up a bigger market of wedding tourism to cash-paying and Bartercard customers that’s also increased bookings.

Bartercard Tourism has hundreds of resort and accommodation members worldwide that welcome visitors on Bartercard when there’s availability off-peak.

Need to know more?

By spending Bartercard Trade Dollars instead of cash, hotels and resorts have saved millions of dollars on expenses from renovations, maintenance and equipment. To find out more about how to increase business profits with Bartercard, contact the friendly team today!

Bartercard NZ

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