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PAPEÉTE, Tahiti (Tahitipresse, Sept. 28) - Last year's 208,067 tourists each spent an average 202,000 French Pacific francs [US$2,242] while visiting Tahiti and Her Islands, a 2.5 percent increase over the 2003 average of 197,000 French Pacific francs [US$2,186], the French Polynesia Statistics Institute reports in its latest study of visitor spending.

The increase in average spending occurred despite a 2.2 percent drop in the volume of visitors.

There were 212,767 tourists in 2003, or 4,700 more than last year. But last year's total tourist spending was fractionally higher--42.109 billion French Pacific francs [US$467.4 million] compared with 42.003 billion [US$466.2 million].

North American, French, non-French European, Japanese, Australian and New Zealand and South American tourists accounted for the overwhelming majority of tourist spending last year in that order.

But only North Americans, French and non-French European visitors spent more per visit last year than the year's average of 202,000 French Pacific francs per visit for all visitors. And North American, French, Japanese and South American visitors spent less last year than they did in 2003, mainly due to few visitors from each of those markets last year.

While USD comparisons are possible, they are misleading because the exchange rate changes daily in Tahiti. A comparison using euros finds the same percentage differences as found for the French Pacific franc because the euro has a fixed exchange rate of 119.332 French Pacific francs.

Thus, last year's average 202,000 French Pacific francs spent per tourist visit was the equivalent of US$2,104. The 2003 average spending of 197,000 French Pacific francs per visit was the equivalent of US$1,864. In other words, the average tourist visit spending in USD last year was 13 percent higher than in 2003, while it was only 2.5 percent higher in terms of French Pacific francs (F CFP).

Visitor spending for each of Tahiti's main tourist markets last year was:

September 29, 2006

Tahitipresse: www.tahitipresse.pf

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