There is no denying the beauty of Samoa, but according to 30 year old Loma Ioasa, from the village of Lufilufi, everyone can benefit if we made better use of that beauty.
“Tourism is a big part of Samoa’s economy,” he tells the Village Voice while looking over a beautiful cliff-side view.
“But what is the main reason why people visit Samoa? It’s the beauty that is Samoa. We have beautiful natural surroundings, white sandy beaches, breath taking views and so much more to offer.
“I believe that we have just scratched the surface of it all and I think the government would do well to seek other places in the rural villages to start more tourism projects.
“It will provide employment for the village people and it will bring more people to Samoa. It’s a win-win situation for all.”
Loma continued to speak on how tourism projects could help out the villages in the rural areas.
“I like what the government is doing right now with Samoa but there are so many other opportunities that can benefit everyone,” he said.
“The government has done a great job with the town area but in the villages, we need jobs to get a bit more money.
“I look forward to the time when the government will start doing projects to bring more tourists out to the villages. If you look out there you’ll see a beautiful view; we can easily attract tourists out to take advantage of the view or the beach.
“Yes we have Lalomanu and other beaches but there are so many other opportunities the government can expand on.”
But aside from the missed opportunities, life is great in the village.
“Life back here is very nice and simple,” Loma says.
“Yes there are many village activities such as funerals but we have very good Village Councils who help keep the peace out here.
“It’s very different to the life in Apia because every child answers only to their parents which is good sometimes but there are no strong Village Councils to set guidelines for them in town.”
And the greatest thing about the village life is the land.
“The one thing I love about being out here in the village is the land,” Loma says.
“We can easily live on the land like what we’re currently doing here at our plantation. The people of the village always have the option of leaning on to the land for survival.
“We get our food from our plantation and we can also sell the crops to get a bit of money.”
But what about the ongoing debate in Samoa? Is there poverty in this country?
“I agree with what our Prime Minister always says about poverty,” Loma says.
“There is only poverty when people don’t work. There is no poverty in Samoa; you can’t expect to sit around all day and get money.
“In town areas, people have options to get jobs to survive, out here in the village you can survive on the land if you don’t have a job.”