25 May 2005

French Polynesia woos China for tourism expansion

7:04 pm on 25 May 2005

A senior Chinese tourism official says consideration should be given to set up a direct air link between China and French Polynesia.

Gu Zhaoxi made the suggestion in Papeete following talks with the French Polynesian leadership and the French high commissioner.

The French territory wants to join several countries in the region to be given Chinese approved tourist destination status in a bid to increase visitor numbers which have been stagnant in recent years.

President Oscar Temaru says he raised his government's ambition with the French foreign minister, Michel Barnier, during talks in Paris earlier this month.

Last year, Mr Temaru said French Polynesia would get the approval but it didn't eventuate.