Lifting Samoan Tourism – 11. Wisdom

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rainbowIn previous posts I have shared thoughts on how to be realistic about Samoa’s Tourism troubles (the perceived crisis is actually just ‘situation normal’ here); the role of leadership (essentially politicians and bureaucrats are not business people); how to think strategically (a real mission for Samoans who have had a highly ordered life for generations); three practical steps for tourism operators to help themselves (develop niche markets, create strong productisation and work collaboratively) and the importance of applying creativity (again a mission for people who in the main only do anything if they have to, and pretty much leave their thinking to their leaders), but I cautioned that meaningful change is unlikely here due to leadership and cultural issues (best summarised by the somewhat obnoxious but accurate phrase ‘proud people’).

In this post I finish my commentary on Samoan Tourism by detailing the key to getting it right when moving forward, that of plugging into what I believe is God’s primary strategic purpose for Samoa, sacrificial giving in faith. If we get this right, then we will be acting with wisdom. It’s a hard message (to both elicidate and probably to receive). [Read more...]

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Lifting Samoan Tourism – 10. Projects

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Umu fire-starting - a regular Samon Sunday experience but mesmerising to a tourist!

Umu fire-starting – a regular Samon Sunday experience but mesmerising to a tourist!

Over the 3 1/2 years I’ve lived, worked and played in Samoa I’ve seen many opportunities to lift Samoa and Samoan Tourism at a local, regional and national level. Projects to develop better marketing of great resorts, natural resources and tourism-related experiences need not be complex or expensive but usually require vision, commitment and in many cases cooperation.

Most of them therefore have remained simply ideas, for Samoa struggles with all three.

[Read more...]

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Lifting Samoan Tourism – 9. Relationships

tagaloa-and-guests
tagaloa-and-guests

Guests with a local Matai – memorable to all. There is commercial potential and social benefit from retaining the relationships.

While there are tourists who prefer to remain aloof, and to see the Samoan people and culture from a distance, most visitors to Samoa wish to engage. Building relationships is central to the Samoan culture and fits naturally with the desires of the market. Building and maintaining relationships needs to be systematised at a country/industry level.

[Read more...]

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Lifting Samoan Tourism – 8. Voluntourism

Voluntourist 'enjoying' plantation work on the WWOOFing programme
Voluntourist 'enjoying' plantation work on the WWOOFing programme

Voluntourist ‘enjoying’ plantation work on the WWOOFing programme

Voluntourism is a growth industry worldwide – the combination of tourism and volunteering. Sitting somewhere uncomfortably between corporate, NGOs, Religious and government endeavours, voluntourism can be formalised (like VSA, Peace Corp, AusAid or SWAP) or it can be as simple as a direct barter between a willing offshore donor and a recipient business in Samoa (I’ll help you with your [needed goods/services], if you give me a cheap/free holiday, sort of thing).

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Lifting Samoan Tourism – 7. Value Adding

Floating flowers - a form of art, is a simple way that Sinalei adds value, but there are ways to increase the perceived value.
Floating flowers - a form of art, is a simple way that Sinalei adds value, but there are ways to increase the perceived value.

Floating flowers – a form of art, is a simple way that one resort adds value, but there are easy ways to increase the perceived value still further.

One of the simplest ways to increase the health of a business is by value -adding. Applicable at all levels from a simple street vendor through all aspects of the tourism industry to a national level. I explain this important business principle and how it can be applied and used practically in Samoa.

[Read more...]

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Lifting Samoan Tourism – 6. A Samoa Day

Children walking home. A simple every-day experience such as this has great interest to many from other cultures.
Children walking home. A simple every-day experience such as this has great interest to many from other cultures.

Children walking home. A simple every-day experience such as this has great interest to many from other cultures.

http://www.dennis.co.nz/2013/07/lifting-samoan-tourism-6-a-samoa-day/

A Samoa Day, an internationally recognised day to celebrate the people, country and culture of Samoa has merit, and if developed creatively, carefully and with intelligent use of available resources will generate plentiful goodwill and clean business for Samoa.

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Lifting Samoan Tourism – 5. Strategy

Author, Dennis A. Smith on tour on the South Coast of Upolu. A strategist, specialising in the strategic use of modern Internet technologies
Author, Dennis A. Smith on tour on the South Coast of Upolu. A strategist, specialising in the strategic use of modern Internet technologies

Author, Dennis A. Smith on tour on the South Coast of Upolu. He is a natural strategist, specialising in the strategic use of modern Internet technologies

Strategy is simply planning to achive a stated purpose or goal – working out HOW to get something done. Sadly, to put it simply, STA has consistently failed to develop wise strategies.

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George Pitt on Samoan Tourism Crisis

Roasting Peanuts in Paradise - a fascinating trip into the rural Samoa for some of our guests, and a potential for tourism value-adds
Roasting Peanuts in Paradise - a fascinating trip into the rural Samoa for some of our guests, and a potential for tourism value-adds

Roasting Peanuts in Paradise – a fascinating trip into the rural Samoa for some of our guests, and a simple potential for tourism value-adds.

George Pitt of Rarotonga has written an opinion piece in the Samoa Observer*, “Tourism crisis solution – ban reporting of it”.

There are some good words in his piece although I object to some solutions he proposes.

My commentary follows.

[Read more...]

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Samoa Observer on Samoan Tourism Crisis

Dennis on tour at Fagaloa Bay setting a vision of where we will be going. Leaders and visionaries set out the future for others who believe in the vision as shared and participate with commitment levels equal to their belif in the vision.
Dennis on tour at Fagaloa Bay setting a vision of where we will be going. Leaders and visionaries set out the future for others who believe in the vision as shared and participate with commitment levels equal to their belif in the vision.

Dennis on tour at Fagaloa Bay setting a vision of where guests will be going. Leaders and visionaries set out the future for others who believe in the vision as shared and participate with commitment levels equal to their belief in the vision. Tourism in Samoa lacks visionaries.

Mata’afa Keni Lesa, editor of the Samoa Observer, the main daily newspaper of Samoa responded to Prime Minister Tuila’epa’s comments to members of the Samoa Hotel Association.

My comments intertwine his.
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Tuila’epa on Samoan Tourism Crisis

Smiles all round - and they are genuine. Just copying Fiji is a foolish way to think. Samoa has much more than this to offer. A genuine village experience in the photo here remains memorable indeed.
Smiles all round - and they are genuine. Just copying Fiji is a foolish way to think. Samoa has much more than this to offer. A genuine village experience in the photo here remains memorable indeed.

Smiles all round – and they are genuine. Just copying Fiji is a foolish way to think. Samoa has much more than this to offer. A genuine village experience in the photo here remains memorable indeed.

Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Tuila’epa wrote to the members of the Samoa Hotel Association on 6 June 2013.

His letter follows with my comments intertwined. [Read more...]

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