9 Jul 2010

Solar eclipse boosts Tahiti tourism

1:46 pm on 9 July 2010

Thousands of visitors from across the globe are flocking to French Polynesia this weekend for a clear view of a total solar eclipse taking place on Sunday the 11th local time.

About 5,000 tourists are expected to visit the territory, with 2,000 alone bound for the Tuamotu archipelago, where the eclipse is to be the best.

The Assistant Manager from Hotel Royal Tahitien, Elise Clerc, says all hotels in Tahiti are fully booked for the weekend.

"So in the Tuamotus, the family houses are full. People are taking some guests and I understand in some atolls like Hao, they've got even a camping area. They're taking people by boat and by plane."

Elise Clerc says her hotel, which houses 50 people, will be full for a week.

Meanwhile, Air Tahiti Nui is flying more than 300 passengers on a four hour flight over the low islands included in the moon's cast shadow trajectory.

The airline is also conducting two charter flights on Saturday local time to Easter Island, where the total eclipse will also be visible.