9 Jul 2010

Eclipse watchers congregate in French Polynesia

3:14 pm on 9 July 2010

The Tahiti Tourism organisation says the island has welcomed more than 1,200 scientists and photographers from across the globe to view a total solar eclipse taking place on Sunday the 11th local time.

The Manager of Operations Manuel Terai says more than 5,000 visitors are flocking in from the United States, Canada, Japan and from across Europe and South America.

He says the weekend's event will put Tahiti on the map and attract future tourists.

"We believe they will stay on for another week, visiting the outer islands like Bora Bora or Moorea or Rangiroa or Tikehau. So that's good news for us because we needed some of that, what shall I say, big breath of oxygen for the economy of the country."

Manuel Terai says the occasion has also attracted film director James Cameron and the owners of Google.