Amateurs hope. Professionals work.
Tourism is definitely an industry that can thrive here in Samoa but it’s going to take some work for it to thrive.
The obvious reasons that attract tourists are the tropical landscape, sunshine and the beaches that face the Pacific Ocean that surrounds all ten of the Samoan Islands. Here’s the problem.
Our Samoan people are not customer service friendly. It’s not really in our nature to make a customer feel good to buy something. Case and point. I went into a few stores to buy something and the store keepers didn’t welcome me or respond when I said hello.
They just stood there dumbfounded or too busy judging me. It felt discouraging because I’m Samoan and Samoan people are not even speaking back.
I’m not going back to those stores but look at it on a larger scale. Who wants to go an island where people don’t respond to a hello?
Tourists want to see smiles on our Samoan faces. Tourists want to see an attitude that welcomes them not judging them.
If we Samoans are not welcoming than we are going to lose in the tourism industry. If we don’t smile with our service-we’ll lose. If we don’t make an effort to shift our attitudes to a customer friendly environment in our small stores than we’ll keep losing.
I try not to forget that you’ll never get a second chance to make a first impression. People of Samoa, what kind of first impressions do you want to make on tourists?