FRENCH POLYNESIA TOURISM OFFICE PLANNING PROMOTIONS FOR NEXT 3 YEARS

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PAPE‘ETE, French Polynesia (Oct. 31, 2002 – Tahitipress)---Tahiti Tourisme began its annual meeting with overseas representatives on Oct. 28, analyzing the tourism situation for 2002 and defining targets for a tourism promotion campaign in the months and years ahead.

This year’s meeting will be highlighted by a new approach. Instead of just looking at the coming year, the meeting will examine what potentially lies ahead for the next three years.

The two-day meeting involves Tahiti Tourisme representatives based in Europe, Asia and the Americas. They are meeting with the government’s tourism minister, officials from the tourism promotion office’s Papeete headquarters and French Polynesia tourism industry officials, such as hotel and ground services officials.

Tahiti’s tourism industry has suffered from the world recession, largely due to the events of Sept. 11, 2001. Yet, according to the tourism minister, the tourism sector did well during 2002, resulting in a "stable situation." The average hotel occupancy rate this year is 59 percent, compared with 58 percent during 2001. That includes a rate of 90 percent at hotels and some homestays on the Tuamotu atoll of Rangiroa.

Meanwhile, hotel investors continue to have confidence in Tahiti & Her Islands as a destination. That is demonstrated by five hotels that will have opened by the end of 2002, increasing the number of hotel rooms in French Polynesia from 4,647 at the end of 2001 to 5,285 at the end of this year.

Dany Panero, Tahiti Tourisme general manager, defined two top priorities during the meeting with her overseas representatives. The first priority, she said, is to "finalize development plans for 2003." The second is "to define the main directives for the period 2003 to 2005."

Five directives are scheduled to be implemented. They involve promoting Tahiti as a year-round destination "by doing away with the idea of a dry season and a wet season"; developing the Leeward Islands, the Tuamotu and Marquesas Archipelagoes as "hidden paradises"; standardizing the seasons and tariff policies among local tourism industry professionals; and rationalizing contacts with the media.

Such actions are part of the government’s general policy, and "tourism is a priority for the development of the territory," the tourism minister said.

For additional reports from Tahiti Press, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Other News Sources: Agence Tahitienne de Presse.

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