Why we must value our Samoan culture
Our visitors are interested in our culture, so it is our duty and responsibility to keep that interest alive.
So believes 61-year-old father, Pule Anelu, from the village of Lalomanu.
Pule told the Village Voice team that the most important thing that attracts tourists to our shores was how the Samoan culture and tradition were portrayed.
“Everyone has a role to play,” Pule said.
“I think these days we hardly see tourists visit many of hotels in our villages compared to the past years.”
“The only time we’ve seen so many visitors in Samoa is during holiday seasons like Christmas up to New Year but most of them are based in overseas countries.”
Pule believes that it’s something that we should work on.
“As I’ve mentioned earlier, everyone has a role to play and bringing more tourists to our country is very important because it will create a lot of job opportunities for many of our people, so it’s not just the hotel that will benefit,” he said.
“The people of Samoa and the fa’asamoa are unlike, in many ways, any other part of the world.”
“Let them (tourists) see the love of family, culture and the almighty God.”
“In my own opinion, showing the world our good-hearted love and respect is a great way forward for everyone.”
“I mean we are the frontline of it all, we should put taking care of our tourist as our priority because our country gets a lot of money from them,” he said.
Pule added allowing tourists to experience the Samoan family life also impacts their lives and perspective of our country.
“Yes you can show them this and that but if they don’t understand what they are looking at, then their trip won’t have an impact,” Pule said.
“Take them home, show them the reality of everyday life in Samoa, and enjoy the fresh environment out there.”
Pule said tourists were here for enjoyment.
“Giving tourists an experience rather than just another ....about Samoan culture is important because they want to learn something and enjoy their experience.”
“If we deliver who we are and the reality our people live from day to day we will attract more tourists to our shores.”
“We must remember that they don’t come here to live in fancy hotels, they want to experience our lifestyle and the way that we are living in from day to day.”
“I tell you, they would come back and ask for more from us.”
Furthermore, Pule says village life is very important and that’s why village visits are important for the tourism sector to grow and we need to focus our attention on that as well.
“If tourists are invited to village-stays and are able to observe some of the amazing geographical features that describe Samoa, then we would develop our tourism sector,” he said.