|The first English sailors who came in 1767 from dark, foggy, wet and cold Northern Latitudes thought themselves the luckiest men in history because they stumbled upon Tahiti after arduous months at sea.|
Today, the sense of awe and wonderment upon landing remain, even if it’s preceded by a flight of only a few hours or a mere handful of days at sea amid the luxury of a plush cruise ship.
The centuries roll on, but Tahiti’s mystique endures.
This year, Recommend’s readers couldn’t help but be lured in by this mystique yet again, and chose Tahiti as the South Pacific’s Best Selling Destination as well as its Sexiest Romance/Honeymoon Destination.
“It is certainly nice to be chosen as the area’s best selling destination, as there are many great and amazing places throughout the South Pacific,” says Al Keahi, managing director ofTahiti Tourisme in North America.
Perhaps. But the islands of Tahiti are somehow more appealing and stand head and shoulders above other tourist spots in the region.
Moorea, for example, is a tropical dream of mountains and sea; Bora Bora is all warm, placid lagoons with iconic bungalows built over water; Huahine and Taha feature lush, secluded hideaways in backcountry plantations; and Rangiroa offers unparalleled coral reefs celebrated by diving and snorkeling enthusiasts.
Because of its enigmatic beauty, travel agents will find it a relatively easy destination to promote, although according to Keahi, “We [Tahiti] receive as many visitors in one year as Hawaii does in one week.”
In fact, he continues, “Most people are surprised to learn that we’re merely about eight hours by plane from Los Angeles and in the same time zone as Hawaii. But we don’t have multitudes of visitors like Hawaii.”
Visitors searching for the complete Tahiti experience will find it at the InterContinental Tahiti Resort, considered by many old hands to the Society Islands to be the premier destination on Tahiti. It’s ideal for those who want to dip their toes in the romance that is French Polynesia.
It’s only a short drive from Papeete and features Bathys, among the world’s best diving centers, on its grounds. In addition there’s a private beach, gardens and the island atmosphere that’s the subject of legend in this part of the world.
Just minutes from the center of Papeete, the Radisson Tahiti stands out as a tranquil setting for honeymoons or romantic retreats. It sits on Lafayette Beach and has all the five-star amenities one expects from such resorts.
All the rooms have oceanfront views and its restaurants offer a fusion of Polynesian and French food that is certain to delight epicures. It’s places like this that keep Tahiti at the forefront of South Seas life.
In order to better facilitate agent bookings to these wondrous islands, the Tahiti Tourisme has an agent-dedicated site, tahititiareagent.com, where travel professionals can become experts on the island, collaborate with industry partners, seek out destination information and other useful tools.