Samoa, Kiribati to be the first to welcome 2020

The tropical islands of Samoa and Kiribati will be the first in the world to welcome 2020 as they are located just west of the International Date Line which runs down the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Fireworks to welcome in the new decade will explode over the Samoan capital Apia for locals and tourists who have timed their visit to be ahead of everyone else on the planet to enter the New Year.

In 2011 Samoa took a leap into the future by shifting its time zone west of the International Date Line in a bid to boost tourism, beating New Zealand into the New Year by just one hour.

The island nation’s celebrations are expected to be somewhat muted by the tragic measles outbreak which killed 81 people since October.

A six-week state of emergency was only lifted by the Samoan Ministry of…

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