31 Mar 2009

Tahiti tourism continues decline to fall to 1996 level

3:39 pm on 31 March 2009

The decline of tourism in French Polynesia has continued, with the latest figures showing a 30 percent drop in arrivals in February compared with the same month last year.

The 10,000 visitors last month are the lowest figure since 1996 when Tahiti was gripped by unrest which led to the closure of the international airport.

This year's decline has hit all segments of the industry, but in particular the cruise ship sector which in February lost 60 percent over the one-year period.

International hotels have attained an occupancy rate of just 34 percent, with locals accounting for the first time for more bookings than foreign visitors.