French Polynesia will introduce a limit on tourists: Tahiti, Bora Bora will become less accessible


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French Polynesia becomes the first country in the world to officially limit the number of tourist arrivals

Visiting the islands of French Polynesia will become more difficult in the coming years. As part of the five-year strategy Fāri'ira'a Manihini 2027 (FM27), the government of French Polynesia announced its readiness to introduce an annual limit on tourists: no more than 280,000 people. That is, one foreign tourist per one local resident – about 280,000 people. It is not clear when exactly the restriction on entry will come into effect. The regional authorities promise to provide the necessary clarifications by the end of this year.

According to the Polynesian authorities, the restriction in the flow of tourists will diversify the number of visitors, provide an opportunity to combine economic growth with environmental conservation and attract more affluent guests. The five-year plan is focused on the sustainable development of tourism, including ecotourism and the so-called slow travel (“slow travel”) – an approach in which the main thing is not the destination, but the process of travel and recreation itself – unhurried and contemplative.

South Pacific country with 118 islands and atolls,  including such famous ones as Tahiti, Bora Bora, Moorea and Tahiti. Around 260,000 people visited French Polynesia in 2019, staying at least one night, according to island officials. Tourism accounts for about 10% of the country's GDP.

Trips to French Polynesia have always been niche: according to tour operators, it was mostly wealthy solo travelers or newlyweds who went to distant exotic islands before the pandemic.

First of all, a beach holiday was in demand in the direction, although there are also interesting museums on the islands. For example, the Paul Gauguin Museum  in Tahiti, dedicated to the French Post-Impressionist painter. On the island of Tahaa, you can visit a plantation where they grow the best vanilla in the world. In the central city of the Papeete Islands, tourists are shown the Pearl Museum with a magnificent collection of seafood and are sure to be led to colorful local markets where you can buy everything from skillful mother-of-pearl handicrafts of local craftsmen to rare black pearls.

There will be something to do and lovers of outdoor activities. They will appreciate the wide range of opportunities for diving, snorkeling, fishing and windsurfing.  Local bays are the habitat of sea turtles, giant rays, hammerhead fish, dolphins, various sharks and even whales.

French Polynesia's cuisine can also be attributed to the sights of French Polynesia. The basis of many local dishes is fish. Among the specialties are pork, in particular, suckling pig, without which no holiday is complete, breadfruit and exotic fruits.

The island climate is clearly divided into two seasons – rainy and warm (November – May), dry and cool (June – October). Polynesia is never swelteringly hot, and the reason for this is the cool ocean breeze that penetrates even the most remote places from the coast.

French Polynesia is the territory of France. Citizens of Russia to enter French Polynesia need a visa, which must be obtained at the French Embassy, ​​in the Department of Overseas Territories of France. The cost of the visa fee will be 80 euros.  Or you can enter with a valid multiple Schengen visa issued by French consular offices for a period of more than 1 year.

A flight from Moscow to Bora Bora in December with several transfers will cost from 203 thousand rubles per both sides. The flight with connections will take more than two days. Accommodation in a 4 * hotel for 11-12 nights – from 145-150 thousand rubles for two. Thus, a package tour to French Polynesia will cost at least 550 thousand rubles for two.


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