Why govt. is right to back Parker

Dear Editor,

Re: Samoa supports Parker 

I realise you are new to the world of debating but I guess I’ll have to spell out for you.

1. Fiji have natural resources like sugarcane that they can hitch their ride on and they have done exactly this for the past 40 years. Samoa does not have anywhere near a resource like this.

2. The land tenure system has been very flexible with it’s leasing of customary land to the mainly Fiji-Indians who have worked the land hard. Samoa does not have such a workforce and Samoa does not have such a big history of leasing on customary land.

3. The Fijian tourism industry is light years ahead of Samoa because they did a few smart things a) they won a big contract when Qantas chose Nadi as the stop-off for their LA-Sydney flights years ago; b) they vigorously promoted that side of Viti Levu for tourism investors. They now have many of the major hotel brands in the world setting up there. Samoa’s tourism industry only took off in the last 16 years. Tourism was controversial with Samoa because too many samoans in the past didn’t want too many foreigners coming to the country wearing bikinis etc.

So what does Samoa have? What natural advantages do we have that we can use to our advantage?

Well, unlike Fiji, Samoan athletes around the world are much more recognised and achieve to much higher levels in than the Fijians (who only had Vijay Singh for a while and the Fijian 7s team). Samoa has the NFL stars; Hollywood stars like the Rock, the Samoan 7s team, the Samoans in the NRL and the All Blacks (who are the most recognisable rugby team in the world) and world heavy weight boxers - David Tua; Alex Leapai; and now Joseph Parker.

So there you go. That is why the promotion of Parker’s boxing match is in Samoa’s economic interest. It serves to increase Samoa’s brand recognition around the globe where Fiji and Tahiti have dominated for so long. Without brand recognition, there is no starting point for Samoan tourism. That is the starting point for future foreign investment in Samoan tourism.


PS Jeffrey 

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