Untouched beauty of Samoa impresses Aussie businessman

By Ivamere Nataro ,

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Michael Risos from Melbourne, Australia at the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel yesterday.

Michael Risos from Melbourne, Australia at the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel yesterday.

There are two things people visit a country for; it’s either for a holiday or for a business trip. The latter is the sole purpose of Michael Risos visit to Samoa. 

He was sipping on a chilled niu at the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel yesterday when Dear Tourist met the gentleman from Melbourne, Australia. 

Michael is in Samoa with a team of I.T. professionals from Fiji to upgrade the WIFI system at the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel. 

“I run a company called Global Network Technologies (G.N.T.) and we are the Asia/Pacific distributor for among other things, G.N.T.  Now G.N.T. makes internet gateways for hotels, resorts, airports, shopping malls etc.,” he said.  

“I’m working with a company called Kastel Technologies from Fiji and we are rolling out all the Tanoa Group of Hotels. So the Tanoa Tusitala is the last hotel we’re converting to the new improved WIFI system we’re providing. We’ve done five in Fiji, one in New Zealand, one in Tonga and this is the last one. 

“So that is primarily the purpose of our visit, so we converted the Tanoa Tusitala into a new WIFI system that is more modern, more effective, more controlled and less headache for both the staff and the hotel guest. 

“Now, they just get the Wi-Fi, enter their name, room number and the plan they want and it also has facilities to manage conferences and whatever.”

Michael said hotel guests nowadays preferred a holiday destination and accommodation with efficient and more modern WIFI system. 

“For me and am not alone here, if I go on a holiday, I need to be able to do business, I’ll pay for it if I have too, I have to have internet. Most tourists want to check their emails, Facebook, but I want to be able to do a presentation to potential customers.

“And what a lot of bigger hotels don’t realise is that they can make $30,000 in one day. For example, if a guest likes the facilities and WIFI is good for their annual sales conference kick off, he could book one room with five days of conference facilities.”

Michael is married and has two sons, a 13-year old and 22-year old young man. Because his work takes him to almost all parts of the world and it was his first time to Samoa, he had this to say about our beautiful paradise. 

“Samoa is very beautiful. Everybody is very lovely, friendly and very nice. The weather is great as long as there’s sunshine every day.

“I have been in Samoa since Thursday last week and I leave tomorrow (today).  I did some sightseeing on Sunday. Came across a lovely waterfall, beach and there’s lovely green scenery everywhere.

“Samoa from what I have seen from sightseeing, there’s a lot that’s untouched. There’s a lot more nature and that is good, I just wish more countries were less developed and touched, the world does not need more  population. It’s a lovely place, very green and very hot too.

“I haven’t tasted local food because I don’t know what local food is and I don’t see it in the menu here and we went to an Italian restaurant and that is so far, we’ve been eating at the hotel,” Michael added. 

He said there’s a possibility that this trip could be the start of many more in the future. 

“I am adding a lot of Pacific countries next year in my sales strategy and picking up customers in Cook Islands, American Samoa and possibly Vanuatu etc.

“I could be coming back here once or twice every year and this is the first hotel we’re picking up and I want the airport.”

Michael said the Tui Samoa cable was also an advantage to not only Samoa, but the whole of the Pacific as well. 

“Samoa is going through some development and improvement. And with the sub marine cable coming, that is going to make a lot of difference and what a lot of Pacific Islands are discovering now is that the hotels are not just competing with each other, if a guest goes to any hotel in the Pacific and the WIFI for instance is not good enough to do business, they won’t come back. 

“We’ve improved the system from heading coupons at the front desk to a more efficient system with less trouble. 

“We exist to make life easier and faster for business people, guests and hotels, so all parties can benefit.”

Like any other father, Michael looks forward to reuniting with his family this Christmas. 

But as a businessman, January 1st, 2018, is a coin toss between Bangkok and Fiji and it all depends on what’s put forth on the table. 

Asked whether he would choose Samoa as a holiday destination, he said:  “I would come back here. My family and I are tropical island holiday people, so whether it’s Thailand, Philippines, Pacific Islands, we want a beach, we want to swim and we want to scuba dive.” 

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