About Tahiti
Tahiti is the largest volcanic Island in the Windward group of French Polynesia, located in the southern Pacific Ocean. It plays a major economic, cultural and political role in the French Polynesia. Tahiti has been populated with native Polynesians since 300 AD and it is the most populated Island Island of the French with a of population178,133 (2007) which accounts for 68.6% of the whole population, made up of Europeans, Chinese and from mixed heritage. The Island was proclaimed a colony of France in 1880 but it was not until 1946 that the indigenous Tahitians were legally authorised to be French citizens. French is the only official language and the Tahitian language (Reo Tahiti) is widely spoken
Papeete is the capital of tahiti, located on the northwest coast where the Faa'a International Airport is located and which is conveniently accessible from the city centre, 5 km (3.11 mi). The average temperature ranges between 21C (70F) and 31C (88F) with little seasonal variation. November to April is the rainy season with januay being the wettest month averaging 13.2 inches (335 mm) of rain in Papeete. August is the driest with 1.9 inches (48 mm) or rain.
Tahiti Map
Location: Oceania, archipelagoes in the South Pacific Ocean about half way between South America and Australia
Area: total: 4,167 sq km (118 Islands and atolls)
land: 3,660 sq km
water: 507 sq km
Coastline: 2,525 km
Climate: Tropical, but moderate
Natural hazards: Occasional cyclonic storms in January
Population: 287,032 (July 2009 est.)
Ethnic groups: Polynesian 78%, Chinese 12%, local French 6%, metropolitan French 4%
Religions: Protestant 54%, Roman Catholic 30%, other 10%, no religion 6%
Languages: French 61.1% (official), Polynesian 31.4% (official), Asian languages 1.2%, other 0.3%, unspecified 6% (2002 census)
Judicial System: The laws of France, where applicable, apply. Court of Appeal or Cour d'Appel; Court of the First Instance or Tribunal de Premiere Instance; Court of Administrative Law or Tribunal Administratif
Government type: Overseas lands of France; there are no first-order administrative divisions as defined by the US Government, but there are five archipelagic divisions named Archipel des Marquises, Archipel des Tuamotu, Archipel des Tubuai, Iles du Vent, Iles Sous-le-Vent
Capital: name: Papeete
geographic coordinates: 17 32 S, 149 34 W
time difference: UTC-10 (5 hours behind Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Economy - overview: A high proportion of the work force is either employed by the French military or supports the tourist industry. With the halt of French nuclear testing in 1996, the military contribution to the economy fell sharply. Tourism accounts for about one-fourth of GDP and is a primary source of hard currency earnings. Other sources of income are pearl farming and deep-sea commercial fishing. The small manufacturing sector primarily processes agricultural products. The territory benefits substantially from development agreements with France aimed principally at creating new businesses and strengthening social services.
GDP by sector: agriculture: 3.1%
industry: 19%
services: 77.8% (2005)
Industries: Food and food products account for about one-third of the total annual value of shipments by manufacturers, including sugar and pineapples. Other major industries are clothing; stone, clay, and glass products; fabricated metals; and shipbuilding.
Electricity: 220 volts and 60 cycles with French style two-pin sockets so adapters are normally required for U.S. 110 volt appliances.
Currency (code): Comptoirs Francais du Pacifique francs (XPF) per US dollar - 87.59 (2007), 94.97 (2006), 95.89 (2005), 96.04 (2004), 105.66 (2003)
note: pegged at the rate of 119.25 XPF to the euro
Credit Cards: Major Hotels accept all the major credit cards but not checks written on banks outside Tahiti. Elsewhere in the tourist industry, Visa is the most widely accepted card followed by MasterCard. Note that American Express and Diner’s are often not accepted.
Sales Tax: The Value Added Tax (or TVA in French) was added in 1998 on all goods and services, including accommodations, food & beverages, room and meal packages, transportation, activities and excursions.
V.A.T. 2002 on tourist services is 10%
V.A.T. 2002 on hotels, small boarding houses, food and beverages is 6%
Telephone system: Domestic: combined fixed and mobile-cellular density is roughly 85 per 100 persons
International: country code - 689; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean) (2008)