19 Aug 2009

Decline in Tahiti tourism unlikely to be helped by Chinese arrivals

4:59 pm on 19 August 2009

There are hopes in French Polynesia that the slump in tourist arrivals from the US will be mitigated by arrivals from other traveller markets.

The territory has been affected by the economic problems in the US which used to account for the largest group of tourists.

Tourism in the region has seen a boost from China in recent years but according to the publisher of the Tahiti-Pacifique monthly, Alex du Prel, this is difficult for French Polynesia.

"The myth of Tahiti, last paradise, is not alive in China as it has been in the western world because they've never read Stevenson, they've never read Michener or stuff like that. Number two we have a visa problem, that is it's very complicated to get a visa to any French territory."

Alex du Prel of the Tahiti-Pacifique monthly