30 Jul 2014

Tahiti casino no help for tourism, says observers

5:52 am on 30 July 2014

A journalist in Tahiti says the building of a proposed casino will do nothing to improve French Polynesia's tourism woes.

The proposed US$3billion resort and casino is a key plank in the government's plan to create jobs and revive tourism.

The casino is strongly opposed by the opposition's Oscar Temaru, who, in conjunction with local churches, is organising a protest march against it.

The editor of Tahiti Pacifique magazine, Alex Du Prel, says the project is an aspirational pipe dream.

"I wouldn't qualify it as pure propaganda but it is definitely a political move to announce all this. It is to project an image to say 'we the government, we do things, we move ahead' and so on."

Alex Du Prel says cheaper air fares from the United States and the marketing of Polynesian culture will draw tourists back to French Polynesia.