Mass tourism needed to save Tahiti economy - Flosse

7:06 am on 2 December 2015

The leader of French Polynesia's biggest political party says huge investments in tourism are the only way to save the territory's economy.

But Gaston Flosse told the weekend congress of his Tahoeraa Huiraatira that those in government now are traitors and incapabale of dealing with the challenge.

The Mahana Beach project on Tahiti was launched last year before Flosse lost office over a corruption conviction, but funders are yet to be found for the three-billion US dollar resort complex.

Flosse insists that it alone can more than double tourist numbers to about half a million visitors a year.

He has also told his supporters that he wants to change the territory's autonomy to make it an associated state within the French republic.

Flosse is readying the party for elections, saying he hopes the French Republicans will nominate Alain Juppe for the 2017 presidential race.

Papeete, capital of French Polynesia

Papeete, capital of French Polynesia Photo: RNZI