Miss Samoa Melbourne offers key to unlock Samoa's potential
Performing arts is the key to put Samoa on the map and boost the tourism industry, says Miss Samoa Melbourne Australia, Latisha Sialaoa Ioane.
The 19-year-old was born in Samoa to parents Mataifono and Sialaoa Ioane from the villages of Sili, Satupaitea and Iva. She has ten siblings.
“Tourism can benefit Samoa in a lot ways," she said. "The more tourists coming in the country the more it can help with Samoa’s economy,” she said.
She said that attracting tourists to Samoa can be a challenge because so many competing holiday destinations are emerging around the world.
“We love to promote our white sandy beaches, but how does that differentiate Samoa from other destinations?," she said.
“Performing arts can be one of the strategies that can attract tourists in Samoa. Recently we have seen the success of movies like Hobbs and Shaw that has put Samoa on the map and gave [us] visibility."
Ms. Ioane said that Samoa has some of the most talented singers, dancers and entertainers in the world.
“We should encourage our natural performing artists to nurture their talents," she said.
“I would suggest as a strategy to [grow] thriving businesses and community projects to consider investing more in the performing arts [arena] which in return [increases the exposure of] our talents and Samoa in the long run.
“Performing arts is a career path for those with the passion [for] it: Who knows maybe in the next ten years time we might have [another] Seiuli Dwayne Johnson?"
Ms. Ioane is a junior reporter for Seki Media and Suga Magazine.
She graduated from St. Albans Secondary College in the western suburbs of Melbourne.
“It is important to showcase our God given talents and the Samoan traditional dance is something unique and no one has that in the world," she said.
“I joined [this] pageant only for experience and it has taught me so many things that I did not know before.
“I want to express my gratitude to all my supporters especially God for all the never-ending opportunities and the gift of life and I think that all glory must be given back to our Father in Heaven.”