Falealupo Attractions Hit By Measles Epidemic Economic Pinch

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  • Popular Falealupo Canopy Walkway
    Popular Falealupo Canopy Walkway

Revenue collections dropped noticeably at the Falealupo natural attractions for the festive holiday season just ended last Christmas and New Year.

The Falealupo Canopy Walkway, Giant Footprints of Moso and ‘Inailau a Tamaita’i’ are money makers for the village at the end of every year.

But what used to be revenue intakes of up to $3000 tala from a steady stream of entry fees collected from holiday makers, business fizzled poorly.

“Doubt if we even collected $2000,” said a village resident, who did not want to be named.

The Falealupo tourist attractions have been a source of village revenue at the end of the year holiday season for more than three decades.

The majority of visitors are family groups, who are charged entry of  $10 for adults and $5 for children, to visit all the three sites of interest.

“This year there were hardly any people turning up at our popular Canopy Walkway, at the most one or two families.

“It was easy to see also that they were from Apia, unlike the past when up to 4 or 5 family groups would arrive, and we could tell that some of them were from outside Samoa.”

General discussions in the village agreed that health concerns over the measles epidemic is largely to blame for the revenue setback.

Normal family gathering for cultural activities like title bestowals, reunions or unveiling were noticeably down as well.

The revenue woes for Falealupo were also felt in neighbouring villages on this western end of the big island by local businesses.

Owner of one of the main shops in the area complained about the huge drop in sales for the holidays.

“ I usually stock up with soft drinks and light snacks to cater for a boom in holiday sales, but not this year,” the shop owner said.

“We would usually have family groups stop over to or from a picnic or a long sightseeing ride in this area of the island, but this year has been strangely quiet.”

Again, the blame was on the far reaching effects of the measles that seemed to centre mainly inside the population congestion in urban Apia.