Make it easy for tourists, Samoa

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Dear Editor 

Re: Aura of reality on the wall

I would say, as an extended-tourist who spent six months in Samoa, there are plenty of amazing, life-altering things to do in Samoa, yet little-to-no adequate marketing / advertising [at a Global standard] of viable options to tourists, from those who fly in to those who dock for a day.

To give an example: one day in Apia, I spent a few hours with someone who had just docked via a cruise line from USA. 

This person and I were bombarded by taxi drivers who offered outrageous prices to transport viable distances: I get it, this was the taxi’s driver’s chance to “cash in” on some rare palagi money; that said, the greed presented at the opportunity made nothing come to fruition, except gave a sour impression to the tourist of both the island and its people. 

So, instead of the tourist swimming with turtles or jumping from waterfalls or seeing the true life of Samoa beyond Apia, they were accosted repeatedly at local markets to buy wares they had no intention of “hauling,” all the way back to Stateside.

If given a chance, I believe the Samoan Tourism MAY flourish, on a global scale. 

The peoples of Samoa and the fa’asamoa is unlike- in many ways- any other part of the world: the love of family, culture and the Lord, and respect towards each other has great potential to flourish and be observed by those visiting, impacting the entire peoples of the world with the Samoan ways of good-hearted love and respect.

If a tourist were offered trips outside Apia, invited to village-stays, and able to observe some of the AMAZING geographical features ENTIRELY unique to Samoa, then your Tourism would abound beyond current presuppositions.

Yet, the Tourism Ministry needs help, outside help, and until walls of pride and self-determination are let down, all of Samoa will suffer in the singularity of a “No, we can do this ourselves, we need no one else,” mindset and that too shall sadden both the Samoans and the world for the opportunities lost on both sides.

Because, at the end of the day, Samoa is another island nation, and other island nations can put forth information necessary to entice the “lowest common denominator of traveler.” 

The palagi of the world work hard for their money, and yet, do not want to work hard to find the most exquisite leisure spot to spend their money; they are already exhausted and want to show up and be entertained; if Samoa does not make it easy for the palagi, then the palagi will go where it is made easy.

Advice? 

Perfect your travel app, grant all visitors via travel app a free Digi or BlueSky sim with limited credit, and advertise your travel app on FB on a global marketing campaign: once the palagi download the FREE app from anywhere in the world, and they are able to experience (before arriving) a slight taste of ALL they MAY yet experience, you’ve got them hooked, and they are there before you can count your tala.

Love you, Samoa. 

Best to you.

Miranda Gothard

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