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Tourism

With tourism as its main activity , Bora Bora is the lung of the Polynesian touristic economy. Not less than 80% of the tourists come to Polynesia visit the island of Bora Bora, romantic island by excellence and destination privileged by honeymoon couples, families, people or business executives in seminar, Bora Bora is endowed with a very varied hotel infrastructure perfectly integrated in the exceptionally magic island’s landscape. 

A legislative reform has improved Polynesia’s specific regulations regarding foreigners’ marriage to make nuptial tourism easier. Thus the wedding of two persons of foreign nationality, non resident on the national territory can be celebrated in the commune of their choice without the obligation of one of the spouses to reside in the mentioned commune.

The original concept of the overwater bungalow is a must: conceived in the most authentic Polynesian style it offers an exceptional comfort with a direct access to the turquoise waters of the lagoon, the possibility to admire the underwater lagoon life, through a glass floor and the privilege to enjoy a breakfast delivered by outrigger canoe.

To favour the economy through the touristic sites and the environmental and lagoonal riches is a political commitment for a sustainable development that the commune of Bora Bora has embraced for many years. As the island’s main economic resource, the touristic activity is closely followed and framed by the municipal council.

Gaston Tong Sang
Bora Bora Mayor since 1989

A high quality accomodation panel

Tourism has strongly grown these ten last years. Thanks to the investments realised by the commune in terms of environment, several high standard hotel structures have established themselves on the island. Among the eleven hotelier establishments present on and around the major brand marks can be found such as Hilton, Intercontinental, Meridien, Four Seasons, St Regis, Pearl Beach, the Maitai Polynesia, Sofitel and Aman.

For the future, the Mayor wishes the opening of an international Bora Bora Airport to receive directly the private jet planes. Year round no less than 100 private jet planes park on the tarmac of the aerodrome after transiting in Tahiti.

Beside the hotel customers, the island welcomes also all year long cruise ships on call for a few hours, on Vaitape’s main square or on the magnificent and famous Matira white sand beach. In spite of the world economic crisis Bora Bora has maintained its touristic activity.

Promotion of the local culture

Since 1989, in order to privilege local employment, the hotels have the obligation to use locally cultivated pandanus leaves to cover the roofs of the bungalows. The culture of pandanus is a tradition on the island, it feeds many Polynesian families. About fifty families live of the processing of the pandanus leaves used to cover the hotel roofs. Most of these families live in the district of Anau.

The promotion of our culture goes hand in hand with tourism. Events like the Heiva I Bora Bora , the outrigger canoe race Hawaiki Nui Va’a, nautical competitions like the Iron Mana, the religious gathering Tauru’a Varua etc. The Heiva I Bora Bora is internationally known as one of the most beautiful July feasts of Polynesia as the Heiva knows to preserve the aspect of a local fête, bringing together the populations of all five districts, who united in order to support the groups competing with chants, dances, traditional sports activities, the decoration of the huts or the flower chars…

Five groups are competing to get the highest amount of prizes for their district. These are the following groups: Nunue, Tiipoto, Amanahune, Anau and Faanui. Today the population of the island maintains their inheritance and their cultural Heritage by the means of weaving, coprah, the making of pandanus, leis and ornaments reflecting the way of an easy life. All these handicrafts are thus honored during the Heiva, they reflect the old way of living.

Different traditional sports are also on the program : outrigger canoe races, hurl javelins, the triathlon, fishing and the race of fruit porters.

Tourism and environment

The different hotels of the island have set up different programs to protect the environment and invite willingly pupils to visit their coral gardens, rays, fish nurseries and turtles.

So far the Meridien Hotel is the first hotel in the world to dispose of a green turtles center since 10 years; THE ECOLOGY CENTER OF SEA TURTLES BORA BORA TURTLE CENTER allows awareness to local populations and to tourists to the preservation and sustainable management of the environment. In order to do this several activities are proposed:

  • The underwater observatory, a unique way to observe sea turtles, fishes and lagoon corals.
  • Educational aquariums fish larvae, invertebrates and corals are present to discover the hidden treasures of the coral reef environment.
  • The touch pool: interact with the particular animals that inhabit the lagoon.
  • The Nursery Reef in order to participate in actively repopulating degraded reefs.
  • The museum: permanent exposition of the functioning of our ecosystems.
  • The laboratory : discover the infinitely small by means of microscopes

The Bora Bora Turtle Center works in partnership with the Meridien Hotel, the direction of the environment, EDT, GDF, SUEZ, the Center of Studies and keeping sea turtles of the Mediterranean sea (CEST Med) and the Foundation of Prince Albert of Monaco.

For further information of this subject about the ecological center : http://www.boraboraturtles.com/fr

The Intercontinental Thalasso and Spa Hotel is one of the first in the world to use for air conditioning seawater (called S.W.A.C. Water Air Conditioning) for the totality of their needs in this matter. In addition to be used to air-condition all the buildings of the hotel, the sea water from the depths provides the water necessary for all the care of the thalassotherapy of the Deep Ocean Spa by Algotherm.

The example of Bora Bora shows that a performing economic and urbam development is possible while preserving the cultural identity of the island. Without knowing, the island of Bora Bora, by its actions in favour of the environment has fitted for about twenty years in a global process of sustainable development and is today, for good reason, an example in the Pacific zone.

An anthology of touristic activities

The underwater scenery of Bora Bora delight the unconditional amateurs of diving; ballet of manta rays and majestic sharks, encounters with peaceful napoleons and the swarms of multi coloured fish, certified and novice divers will find the fin fits.

A large array of land and nautical activities is also proposed by the island hotels or private excursionists: helicopter tours, pedestrian or motorized hikes to the inner parts of the island, parasailing, glass bottom boat, motor outrigger boats, sail boats, elegant yachts or jet ski rides on the lagoon, deep sea fishing, picnics on the motu and ray and shark feeding are some of the activities to enjoy.

Bora Bora is also a place with a refined gastronomy, mixing French and international dishes, embellished by Polynesian specialties in the haunting rhythm of the traditional songs and dances. Several Art Galleries on the island will allow you to discover the contemporary “maohi” art.

For more information, the “Comité du Tourisme” an associative organism, related to the GIE Tahiti Tourism, but subsidized by the commune of Bora Bora is at your disposal. Situated on Vaitape’s dock it welcomes the public from Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm, or is exceptionally open during the week end or on public holidays for the cruise ship visitors. The Comité du Tourisme de Bora aims at giving you information on the evenementiel of our island and to guide you to the members of “Bora Bora Activités” which concern the following sectors :

  • The touristic, land, air, nautical activities.
  • Pensions and hotels
  • Restaurants, snacks
  • Boutiques, jewelleries, transporters.

For more information on activities contact the Comité du tourisme at: info-bora-bora@mail.pf