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Lalotalie River Retreat
Lalotalie River Retreat
Lalotalie River Retreat
Lalotalie River Retreat
Lalotalie River Retreat
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Lalotalie River Retreat
Lalotalie River Retreat
Lalotalie River Retreat
Lalotalie River Retreat
Lalotalie River Retreat
Lalotalie River Retreat
Lalotalie River Retreat

Tourism calms local surfing scrap

By Staff Reporter

The Samoa Tourism Authority (STA) has stepped in to calm things down as the surfing fraternity launch an on-line war of words on “exclusive” use of surfing areas. Recent letters to the editor have levelled criticism at Salani Surf Resort and particularly its purported move to make their surfing grounds “exclusive”.

The claim was vehemently denied by management of the Resort when contacted by the Weekend Observer, last week. They explained that an incident had become heated after a surfer who was not from the resort swore at a local matai who was trying to move him and his party to make way for a hotel surfing group “really for safety reasons.”

But it seems some people who call themselves Samoa Surf Association have taken up the incident and have now started an on-line petition called the Samoa Surfing Access Petition.

According to the on-line petition; “The citizens and residents of Samoa, along with international  travelers worldwide, strongly believe in allowing all local Samoans,  residents, and visitors alike to have unrestricted access to all  beaches and surfing breaks located on the Samoan Islands, regardless  of their place of accommodation or local village of residence……”

A Samoa Observer check of the site the petition is hosted on, found no one has signed on to the petition, indicating even the people who put it up in the first place have not bothered to sign it themselves.

However, a release from the Samoa S

urf Riders Association yesterday says in part,  “After a some what heated discussion over the unpleasant incidents at Salani, the SSRA all agreed there would be no exclusive rights to waves in Samoa.”

Samoa Tourism Authority has also issued a statement urging surfers and resorts to work together with villages “to ensure Samoa’s unique surfing experience can be enjoyed by all.” “The Samoa Tourism Authority is delighted with the increase of surfing interest in Samoa.

This keen interest has led to many surfing locals and tourists travelling all around the islands of Upolu and Savaii in search of these swells.”
According to STA, those who have surfed in Samoa agree that while some of the waves are reasonably easy, surfing here is ‘not for the faint hearted.’

“To enjoy the surfing experience, the surfers gain access through specific villages which provide direct entry to the beaches, sea and surfing breaks that they are keen to surf.”
“The villages normally welcome those eager to surf and swim but it is however important to note that different villages have varied systems in place regarding access to the waters through their lands,” says the release.

“STA continues to work through the respectful and cooperative manners that Samoan culture continues to uphold with the villages, surf tour operators, surf resorts as well as the rest of the tourism industry and the nation to ensure Samoa’s unique surfing experience can be enjoyed by all.”

The statement from Samoa Surf Riders Association also included the text of an apology from Salani Surf Resorts which reads; “I would like to formally apologize for the incident that occurred on Thursday the 9th of February, we have taken steps to insure that incidents like this will not happen again.”Chris Donato, Governing Director, Salani Surf Resort.

 

 

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