LETTER TO THE EDITOR
The Evils of Monopoly and Oligopoly
Three Samoan hotels have been tendered out for sale this week.
A few more are also unable to meet their debt obligations and they too are expected to follow the same path down the drain.
Despite the opening up of our borders, the real tourists are traveling to Fiji, Cook Islands and other visitor destinations which offer more favourable travel packages in terms of cheaper air fares and hotel accommodations from their airlines and hotels working together for a greater share of the visitors’ market in our part of the world.
Samoa by comparison is a captive market for Air New Zealand because there is no competition any more.
With our B737-800 cancelled, our hotels cannot offer any package similar to what the Fiji hotels are doing.
As such, Air New Zealand flights are always full of Samoans flying back home and staying at their own homes rather than in hotels.
There is no need for Air New Zealand therefore, to sell Samoa as a destination, nor waste moneys on any sales promotion.
Their flights between Auckland and Apia are always profitable.
And to make more profits to cover for any losses on internal routes in New Zealand, Air New Zealand can always raise air fares to Apia and we Samoans just have to pay or else we are stranded in Auckland, and Apia.
A relative of mine had been waiting for a seat since August and he is now confirmed to come in October.
We will forever be at the mercy of Air New Zealand, Fiji Airways and now Qantas.
And who pays?
Our dying businesses and families overseas who barely manage to make do with unemployment benefits from their governments, but who must always bail out our have-nots that are urgently needed to attend to our cultural necessities which our overseas relatives could not perform.
And our Government cannot even expect the Governments of New Zealand and Australia to help because their Airlines are operated on a Commercial basis.
Without competition, Samoa must suffer the consequences of operating under conditions of monopoly and oligopoly where control of the market is in the hands of one or a few powerful operators.
So, what must we do?
Let us pray for God’s intervention to grant us the wisdom and humility to accept changes that we asked for.
It is a great opportunity for all of us devoted Christian believers to happily practice our Christian values of forgiveness and patience and to give unconditional love to our neighbors.
In suffering, we are blessed. For if there is no pain, there is also no gain.
Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi
Leader of HRPP
HUMAN RIGHTS PROTECTION PARTY
PETESA – BEACH ROAD MULINU’U – 24th September 2022