The American tourist will probably never be interested in many of the Pacific Islands, some mere coral outcroppings where a few hundred people grow taro and yams, harvest coconuts, and fish.
For Americans the best known and most visited of the South Pacific is Tahiti, part of French Polynesia. Papeete (pa-pay-et-tay) is the capital and has the international airport for the region. Pago Pago (pang-o-pang-o) is the chief harbor and town of American Samoa. Apia has the international airport for Western Samoa, an independent nation. Nandi is the international airport for the numerous islands that make up Fiji. Fiji gets almost 200,000 visitors a year. Some 38 percent originate in Australia and 19 percent in New Zealand.
Some islands are really for those who are serious about getting away from it all. Wallis and Futuna is an overseas territory of France, two small groups of islands between Fiji and Samoa. Total population is nine thousand. The place has a four-bungalow establishment for traders, and one public eating house described as cheerful and clean.