25 Aug 2010

Wedding boom thought unlikely for French Polynesia tourism

5:25 pm on 25 August 2010

The publisher of the Tahiti Pacifique monthly says he's not impressed with the results of a law change predicted to bring a rush of wedding couples to French Polynesia.

Tourism authorities assert that the change, which allows foreign couples to marry in the territory without having first spent a month there, could save the flagging industry.

This week the mayor of Papeete was the celebrant for the first foreign couple to marry in Tahiti under the new law.

But Alex du Prel says it's unlikely to be tourism's saviour.

"Over the past year since the law passed we've maybe had four marriages and I personally consider it did not save our tourism industry.You know a destination is also linked to fashion, if it's an a la mode destination or not. It's never been a real big, we''re just too far away. We're at the end of the world. We're in the boondocks."

Alex du Prel says the global recession's sharply cut the number of tourists to French Polynesia, with numbers this year predicted to drop to 145-thousand.