Beach party aims to give Savaii its mojo back

Putting Manase back on the tourist map and giving Savaii its mojo back as a nightspot is the aim of a new bar crawl every Saturday night on the big island. 

The “Manase Beach Party”, according to Ietitaia Sanerivi of Tailua’s Beach Fales, offers the opportunity for tourists and locals in Savaii to mingle and have a good time.

“The main aim or goal is for everyone to sort of, like, have a night life in Savaii,” he told the Samoa Observer.

“We know our friends from Upolu always mock us saying that there is no nightlife here in Savaii and usually at around 8:30pm people are already in their mosquito nets. But that is something we are trying to change.

“We want to welcome anyone, especially our friends visiting from overseas to have a good time and get to enjoy their stay here.”

The event has begun with support from three participating businesses: Stevensons Hotel, Tailua’s Beach Fales and Janes Beach Fales, in partnership with Taula beverages.

The planned bar hopping will be good for business, says Mr. Sanerivi.

“This isn’t just about the whole going out and drinking idea. For our fales here, we host a lot of solo tourists from all around the world and they love to mingle.

“And, as usual, you always spark conversations when you’re having a beverage and we love to offer our visiting friends the opportunity to make new friends and to mingle with other guests.

“The Manase Beach party isn’t just for tourists. We’ve had a number of locals with us and they get to share stories with tourists.

“Our aim is to make sure our visiting friends have a good time and as hosts, we want to make sure they have something to do at night.”

Manase, has been well-known both locally and internationally as a tourist destination. However, according to Mr. Sanerivi, they “lost their mojo” somewhere along the way and they are working on getting it back. 

“You know Lalomanu is like one of the places where tourists always go to in Apia. And what we are trying to do here is to put Manase back onto the map and the tip of people’s tongue.

“Back then people would always talk about Manase, but then we lost our mojo down the way and we trying to gain our momentum back in terms of tourism.

“But we also want to welcome our locals and our own people because the truth is, there are people from Samoa who have been to Australia and New Zealand but have never been to Savaii because they say there is nothing to do here in Savaii.

“But things are coming up in Savaii and we want people to know that there are a lot of things happening in Savaii.”

The initiative was first discussed in April this year and Mr. Sanerivi admits that it is still in its earliest iteration.

“We’ve been talking and planning since April and we ironed and sorted some things out at first but now I can say that this is good practice for us heading towards the end of the year and the beginning of a new year.

“Our aim is to develop this initiative and we are positive that, in one or two years time, this will really kick off and work well.”

How does it work?

“You register at Stevensons hotel starting from 5pm and you will get a free t-shirt as a souvenir.

“You will then enjoy happy hour drinks at Stevensons for an hour then foot patrol down to Jane’s Beach Fales at Blue Magic bar for free pupu and another hour of happy hour prices.

“Then you will make your way down to Tailua’s to finish the last hour of happy hour drinks.”

The activity is well-supported by the village and the young men and matai (chiefs) of the village have given their support to make sure the tourists are safe at night time.

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