Posted inStory / Samoa

Savai’i resort operator concerned about climate change effects on tourism

Resort operators like Leota Lu on Savai’i Island in Samoa have over the years observed parts of the beaches disappear into the ocean.

According to Lu, he has not seen anything like this in his 30 years of operating the Vacations Beach Fales in Itu o Tane district.

“It’s so strong and the tides continue to rise that we eventually had to find ways to fight the erosion,” said Lu.

“Climate Change affects our oceans and beaches strongly. So with the assistance of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the Samoa Tourism Authority we built this seawall. And since last year we’ve managed to keep our beaches,” he added.

The entire project including the seawall and a bridge on the eastern side of the resort cost a total of $990,000 tala.

“I’m only thankful to God because he is the reason we got to keep this beach. We kept moving inland further and further until we started building the wall. Now my business of 30 years, even when I was a Minister is thriving,” said Lu.

“It’s a struggle and even we don’t understand some of the technology we see out in our beaches used to fight off the erosion, but it’s something we knew we needed to have if we were to remain here,” he said.

Resort operators like Lu rely on the beaches that are known for pristine white sand and sparkling blue lagoons to attract tourists.

Lu said tourism in Savai’i is just as important as it is Upolu and he hopes the attention and resources are shared by both islands to address the effects of climate change on the tourism sector.

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