What is the “Agri-Tourism Park?”
The Agri-Tourism park will be a green space to relax in, Lopao’o said, with the added attraction of showcasing the fruits and vegetables Samoa grows well.
The Botanical Gardens at Vailima are up a steep hill, and the National Park at Togitogiga is a forest of trees. This park’s point of difference is accessibility and variety, Lopao’o said.
“Of course if you want you can go up to the plantations and you can have a look at the farms. But accessibility will become a problem.”
Lopao’o said he hopes the park will be open for business next year, and is floating the idea of free entry for a spell to encourage advertising by word of mouth. Then, entry fees, the income source for the facility, will kick in.
The neighbourhood ought to benefit as well, Lopao’o hopes, through developing a hospitality and retail economy.
Lopao’o’s vision goes beyond tourism. He wants a beautiful green recreational space.
“I think the environment is going to be quite tremendous for people who want to have a break from their house.
“It is a park, at the end of the day, so people can go there and enjoy,” Lopao’o said.
If he had it his way, the minister said he would love to see a babbling brook or small stream in the park as well.
“There is nothing like sitting on a bench in a park, where you can hear the water.
“You can see that I am a dreamer.”