16 May 2005

French Polynesian president calls for end to assault on tourists

2:00 pm on 16 May 2005

The French Polynesian president , Oscar Temaru, has appealed to members of the assembly to do all they can to help the tourism industry after alleged assaults on visitors.

This follows a front page story in a Papeete newspaper about graffiti on the island of Moorea, asking strangers to go home and a reported incident on Raiatea.

Mr Temaru says he is saddened by the action which he says amounts to sabotage.

He says the Polynesians are hospitable and his government has put in efforts to promote the territory as a travel destination.

The president also called for strikes at major hotels to be ended, saying for example unions and employees in the US state of Hawaii always put the interest of their country first.