sabato 22 gennaio 2011

French Polynesia :Tahiti

Tahiti is the largest island in the group of French Polynesia, located in the archipelago of Society Islands in the southern Pacific Ocean. It is the economic, cultural and political centre of French Polynesia. The island was formed from volcanic activity and is high and mountainous with surrounding coral reefs.
The capital, Papeete, is located on the northwest coast with the only international airport in the region, Faa'a International Airport, situated 5 km  from the town centre. 
French is the only official language although the Tahitian language  is widely spoken. Tahiti is the highest and largest island in French Polynesia. November to April is the wet season, the wettest month of which is January.   The average temperatures ranges between 21°C  and 31°C  with little seasonal variation. In 1946, Tahiti and the whole of French Polynesia became a Territoire d'outre-mer (French overseas territory). Tahitians were granted French citizenship.In 2003, French Polynesia's status was changed to that of Collectivité d'outre-mer (French overseas community).
French painter Paul Gauguin lived on Tahiti in the 1890s and painted many Tahitian subjects. Papeari has a small Gauguin museum.
Tahitians are French citizens with complete civil and political rights. French is the official language but Tahitian and French are both in use.
Tahiti is part of French Polynesia. French Polynesia is a semi-autonomous territory of France with its own assembly, president, budget and laws. France's influence is limited to subsidies, education and security.
Tourism is a significant industry, mostly for the islands of Bora Bora and Moorea.
After the establishment of the CEP (Centre d'Experimentation du Pacifique) in 1963, the standard of living in French Polynesia increased considerably and many Polynesians abandoned traditional activities and emigrated to the urban centre of Papeete. Even though the standard of living is elevated (due mainly to France's FDI investment), the economy is reliant on imports.
Black pearl farming is also a substantial source of revenues, most of the pearls being exported to Japan, Europe and the US. Tahiti also exports vanilla, fruits, flowers, monoi, fish, copra oil, and noni.
Tahitian cultures included an oral tradition that included mythology of various gods and beliefs as well as ancient traditions such as tattooing and navigation.
One of the most widely recognised images of the islands is the world famous Tahitian dance. The ʻōteʻa, sometimes written as otea, is a traditional dance from Tahiti, where the dancers, standing in several rows, execute different figures. 
Tahiti hosts a French university, the University of French Polynesia.
Because of the large distances separating one island to the others, flying definitively constitutes one of the major means of transportations to reach Tahiti and then travel between each islands. The only international airport is located in Tahiti in Faaa district, just 5 km away from downtown Papeete. It was built in the 60’ to support the economical and social changes that were occurred at that time. Today, Tahiti Faaa airport welcomes as much as 7 different airlines and is connected to the rest of the world through direct flights to the destinations listed below. The airport features 3 terminals : International Arrivals ; International Departures and Domestic flights. 
The Tahiti Faa'a International airport is managed by Setil Airport company and is a lazy feeling, medium sized, well organized, clean business center where several large international carriers as well as the smaller inter-island and charter companies provide flying services to the French Polynesian Islands. 

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