29 Jan 2016

Strikes irk New Caledonia hoteliers

2:34 pm on 29 January 2016

Frequent strikes stopping domestic flights and harming tourism in New Caledonia is exasperating the territory's Hotel Association.

Beach in Noumea, New Caledonia

Beach in Noumea, New Caledonia Photo: AFP

In a statement, its president, Jean Rambaud, said labour issues at the civil aviation authorities don't justify taking tourism hostage and paralysing air travel when school holidays end.

His comments come after the latest dispute grounded domestic flights of Air Caledonie, which provides a key link to the Loyalty Islands.

He said this gives a negative picture of New Caledonia and undermines efforts of those investing in the tourism sector, which is the second biggest export earner.

Mr Rambaud said with the airport security problems hampering Vanuatu, New Caledonia could offer security worthy of a Western nation, but strikes prevent easy travel, amounting to an attack on New Caledonia's interests.