Tourism in French Polynesia

French Polynesia recorded a total of 89,400 tourists in 2020, ranking 172nd in the world in absolute terms.

That smaller countries regularly perform lower in a comparison of the absolute number of guests, is obvious. By putting the tourist numbers in relation to the population of French Polynesia, the result is much more comparable picture: With 0.29 tourists per resident, French Polynesia ranked 78th in the world. In Polynesia, it ranked 3rd.

In 2016, French Polynesia generated around 782.00 million US dollars in the tourism sector alone. This corresponds to 12.92 percent of its the gross domestic product and approximately 78 percent of all international tourism receipts in Polynesia.

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Back to overview: French Polynesia

On average, each of the tourists arriving in 2016 spent about 3,081 US dollars. Conversely, the inhabitants of French Polynesia spend as much as 4,471 dollars a year when they themselves spend vacations abroad.

Development of the tourism sector in French Polynesia from 1995 to 2020

The following chart shows the number of tourist arrivals registered in French Polynesia each year. Anyone who spends at least one night in the country but does not live there for more than 12 months is considered a tourist. Insofar as the survey included the purpose of the trip, business trips and other non-tourism travel purposes have already been excluded. The number of people passing through within the same day, and e.g., crew members of ships or flights are also not considered tourists in most countries. If the same person travels in and out more than once within the same year, each visit counts again.

The red line represents the average of all 5 countries in Polynesia.

Tourists per year in French Polynesia

Revenues from tourism

In 1995, tourism revenues amounted to 326.00 million USD, or about 8.2 percent of the gross national product. This corresponded to about 186,000 tourists at that time and roughly 1,753 USD per person. Within 21 years, the country's dependence on tourism has increased noticeably. Before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, sales were $782.00 million billion, 14.23 percent of gross national product. Thus, each visitor spent an average of $3,245 on their vacation in French Polynesia.

Full figures for 2020, the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, are not currently available. However, national and international travel has been restricted worldwide, and some countries have even been closed off from the outside world altogether. Dramatic revenue losses are expected, with some countries experiencing losses of up to more than 80%.

Tourism receipts in French Polynesia per year

All data for French Polynesia in detail

YearNumber of touristsReceipts% of GNPReceipts per tourist
2016241,000782.00 m $14.23 %3,245 $
2015239,000758.00 m $14.23 %3,172 $
2014228,000835.00 m $3,662 $
2013214,000746.00 m $3,486 $
2012210,000720.00 m $3,429 $
2011196,000725.00 m $3,699 $
2010179,000630.00 m $3,520 $
2009190,000618.00 m $3,253 $
2008227,000737.00 m $3,247 $
2007243,000537.00 m $2,210 $
2006222,000463.00 m $2,086 $
2005208,000759.00 m $3,649 $
2004212,000737.00 m $3,476 $
2003213,000651.00 m $3,056 $
2002189,000471.00 m $2,492 $
1999236,000394.00 m $10.38 %1,669 $
1998211,000354.00 m $9.4 %1,678 $
1997201,000345.00 m $9.7 %1,716 $
1996184,000322.00 m $8.1 %1,750 $
1995186,000326.00 m $8.2 %1,753 $

Our data on tourist numbers, revenues and expenditures are based on information from the World Tourism Organization. However, to ensure international comparability, the data for some years or countries were manually researched and corrected if they obviously included visitors without overnight stays. In these cases, the data were taken from the official communications of the respective national tourism authorities.

The World Tourism Organization additionally points out that in some countries, the number of tourists is only counted at airports, while in others they are also counted at border crossings or even hotels. A comprehensive and reliable indication is therefore hardly possible in any country.

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