Double your birthday fun after Samoa time-zone move
Samoa's prime minister says tourists can double celebrations by holding them once on each side of the international date line.
May 9th, 2011
08:32 AM ET

Double your birthday fun after Samoa time-zone move

Got a special day you'd like to celebrate twice next year? Say your birthday or maybe that 25th wedding anniversary.

Then book a trip to the Samoan Islands in the South Pacific, where, come 2012, you can redo the previous 24 hours with just a 30-minute flight.

The Cabinet of Samoa last week approved a plan to move the islands of that nation to the western side of the international dateline. But the islands that make up American Samoa, a U.S. territory, will remain to the east of the dateline. The islands are a little more than 80 miles apart.

Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said the change is necessary to facilitate business, as his country conducts most of its commerce with New Zealand, Australia, China and Southeast Asian nations.

"In doing business with New Zealand and Australia we're losing out on two working days a week. While it's Friday here, it's Saturday in New Zealand and when we're at church Sunday, they're already conducting business in Sydney and Brisbane," Tuilaepa is quoted as saying in the government-owned newspaper Le Savali, reprinted on

Samoa and American Samoa were moved east of the dateline in 1892, according to the Le Savali report.

"A local trader lobbied successfully for the change as it was convenient for trading ships from Europe and the United States that were servicing Samoa at the time," the prime minister is quoted as saying.

But besides helping Samoa conduct business, Tuilaepa says it could bring tourists to American Samoa, too.

"I think there will be a very exciting experience and it is an experience that we could exploit jointly for tourist promotion, especially with the need to have a holiday, have a birthday celebrated in western Samoa, and then hop over and have the same birthday celebrated in eastern Samoa, that will be very exciting," he told ABC Radio Australia.

Tuilaepa told Radio Australia that the change has been cleared with international time zone authorities. It awaits expected approval in Samoa's Parliament.

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Filed under: Samoa • Time zones • Travel
soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. Scottish Mama

    With an exotic drink ...........

    May 9, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  2. alanine

    First they changed from right hand drive to left hand drive, then they added a day light savings even-though it is less than 2 hours change in day length from June to December and now he wants to change the days? this guy is a dictator. Because he has the 2/3 majority he is playing with everything law in Samoa to fit his party's agenda.
    Samoa will be taken over by China after Tuilaepa leaves office.

    May 9, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  3. RJ Trede

    On the broadcast version of this story CNN made a mistake... They said that crossing the International Date Line from left to right (west to east) would cause you to gain a day and right to left (east to west) would cause you to loose a day... Actually it's the other way around.

    May 9, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nobel

      Sorry, RJ Trede, but you're wrong. Think about a flight going from Tokyo to San Francisco, for example. It takes around 9hrs. If you leave Tokyo in the afternoon, you'll get at SFO in the morning, the same day.

      May 9, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      It depends on whether by "gain a day" you mean "move one day ahead" i.e. go from Sunday to Monday, or "get another day" i.e. go from Monday to Sunday.

      May 9, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. banasy

    It's 25 of 6 to 4...o'clock.

    May 9, 2011 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
  5. brown

    Another subtle reminder that the empire is losing its influence.

    May 9, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
  6. vietnamitas en madrid

    Back to the future
    Vietnamitas en madrid

    May 10, 2011 at 2:27 am | Report abuse |
  7. lenareif

    This past week the TLC network premiered a new series called Extreme Couponing. It has drawn a great deal of controversy across the internet. one smart source for coupon is "Printapons" check it out

    May 10, 2011 at 6:56 am | Report abuse |
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