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Country Reports

French Polynesia Country Report

Overview

INTRODUCTION

The popular tourist destination of French Polynesia (population 280,000), a cluster of five South Pacific archipelagos (118 islands and atolls) located 6000 km (3700 mi) east of Australia, continues to offer good conditions overall to its fortunate visitors.

NATURAL RISKS

Travelers should nonetheless be aware of the fact that the islands are prone to natural disasters. Polynesia is situated in an active seismic zone and experiences an annual cyclone season that extends from November to April. Floods, landslides, and travel disruptions, including last-minute flight cancellations, are all possible during this period. Furthermore, on April 1, 2014, the High Commission of French Polynesia briefly issued a tsunami warning following a powerful (magnitude-8.1) earthquake that struck off the coast of Chile.

HEALTH

Visitors should also note that certain remote islands do not possess medical facilities.

SOCIOECONOMIC RISKS

Furthermore, the nation’s enchanting environment does not shield it from popular discontent. General strikes and protests sometimes occur and could pose an inconvenience to travelers. A significant social movement took place in July 2012 (popular demonstrations in Papeete protesting against an increase in fuel prices). French Polynesia is currently experiencing a severe socioeconomic crisis; nearly one-quarter of the active population is unemployed.

CRIME

Finally, in Tahiti, as in all tourist areas, travelers should take basic precautions to protect themselves from petty crime (keep an eye on belongings, etc.).

Climate

French Polynesia has a tropical climate that is tempered by trade winds. The rainy season lasts from November until April with temperatures often around 30°C. From May until October the air is dry, rain is scarce, and temperatures are milder (26°C).

Useful Numbers

Country Code: +689 Police: 17 Fire Dept.: 18 UAS: 15

Electricity

Voltage: 110/220 V ~ 60 Hz

Outlets:

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