Editor’s Note: The Samoa Observer Newspaper is starting a new feature of its daily paper. The Dear Tourist pages to be published three times a week are designed to help boost efforts to promote Samoa as a tourism destination. On these pages, we will be talking to different tourists about what brought them to Samoa, what they love about our paradise and what can be done to make their visit a lot more memorable and enjoyable.
Thirty-six-year-old Alex Romeo has travelled the world.
Originally from Italy, he has been in Samoa since the beginning of the year and he said he is absolutely in love with the place.
He is passionate about the ocean, outrigger canoeing and he said Samoa is just beautiful the way it is.
Speaking to the Samoa Observer yesterday, Mr. Romeo said there are massive differences between his country and Samoa.
“For instance, Italy’s population is about 60 million and Samoa is 200,000 so you see it’s a huge difference,” he said.
“But having been here for quite some time it has made me realise how much this country can offer to people.
“It is such a beautiful place and the people are even more beautiful with the way they present themselves.”
Asked for his thoughts on what Samoa needs to do to improve its tourism industry, Mr. Romeo said he would recommend the construction of more resorts.
“I would build up more resorts, promote more sustainable tourism because it’s beautiful,” he told the Samoa Observer.
“Other than that I wouldn’t change any of this because this is what makes Samoa unique.”
In Samoa, Mr. Romeo loves the ocean. So much so he has joined local outrigger club, Pualele, and is this week tackling the toughest race on the calendar, the Savai’i Crossing.
Mr. Romeo has been training hard. He has been paddling as much as he can and he is excited about Friday’s 42km Challenge.
“I love paddling,” he said. “It’s a hobby for me to go paddle and it’s unique and because I love the sun as well so I really love it.
“Not only that I enjoy paddling with some of my Samoan friends and they are very friendly so it really makes me feel like I’m at home and then I don’t get to miss my family often because I have these beautiful people who surround me all the time.”
One of the things he likes about Samoa is the food. He’s impressed by how Samoans cook their pork
“I went with one of my friends to his family and they were preparing a umu with a pig as well,” he said.
“I just loved how they make their food and the taste of the pork was just rich and beautiful I loved it.
“It’s just amazing how the people make their food in the traditional way and when it’s cooked it tastes so beautiful.
“Not only that but the fruits as well as the coconut juice that’s healthy. I feel healthy as a matter of fact when I first came I was 116kg now I’m 102kgs so not only I’m eating and living healthy but I am happy.”
Would he tell his friends and family about Samoa?
“O course,” he said. “I would so recommend Samoa to my friends.
“They have to come here for a vacation and they have to see how beautiful this island is and experience how great the people are.”