Easing Of Visa Requirements For Chinese Visitors To Tahiti Expected

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France to release new rules soon, tourism increase expected

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 20, 2014) – Details are expected to be released about an easing of the requirements for Chinese tourists to visit French Polynesia.

The French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, says he has approved changes that will ensure Chinese applicants can obtain a visa within two days.

This comes after years of lobbying by politicians in French Polynesia, whose economy is struggling in the face of a drop in tourism.

The publisher of the Tahiti Pacifique monthly, Alex du Prel, says it was noted that France had eased Chinese access to La Reunion in the Indian Ocean.

"Our local people just didn't understand why we had such special restrictions. I think it might be left over from the nuclear tests and some of the public servants haven't realised that these tests stopped 18 years ago."

Alex du Prel says he doesn't expect a massive increase in Chinese visitors because of the distance and costs.

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