Timor-Leste: developing tourism in a new country

Bon dia, we are in Dili, the capital of Timor-Leste.

Timor-Leste is an independent half island developing state located in the Indonesian archipelago and it's just one hour flight from Darwin, Australia.

Timor-Leste was colonized by the Portuguese in the 16th century.

It proclaimed independence in 1975, but was occupied by Indonesia.

The violent occupation lasted from 1975 until 1999.

In 1999, the independence of Timor was restored and for 3 years it was administered by United Nations.

In 2002, the local government took control of the country.

Timor-Leste is still a developing country and one of the least developed countries in Asia.

It is currently occupying a 133 rank in the United Nations Human Development Index, but the country has been progressing steadily since 2008.

The major industry in Timor is agriculture.

60% of the population is involved in it and its most famous export is coffee.

Besides coffee Timor possesses the rich resources of oil in Timor Sea and oil and natural gas revenues form the majority of Timor-Leste's government budget.

Besides oil and agriculture Timor-Leste puts hopes in tourism as a driver of economic and social development.

So far they have been rather few visitors coming to Timor-Leste.

Visitor arrivals in 2014 were at 60,000 and many of those arrivals are not pleasure tourists, but business, volunteer and visiting friends and relatives visitors.

Timor-Leste possesses reach natural and cultural resources.

It is located in the Coral Triangle and so it has a very rich and diverse coral reef.

Besides that Timor-Leste is basically a huge mountain sticking out of the ocean, so it has a lot of potential for developing hiking and trekking routes.

Timor-Leste is located in Wallacea ecological region which also posseses a lot of endemic wildlife that you cannot find anywhere else in the world.

Besides the natural attractions, there are also many cultural attractions in Timor-Leste.

Timor is home to different ethnicities that speak 16 different languages in this small island and Timorese have kept their traditions alive and so you can come and experience them.

Besides the traditional culture, there is also evidence of Portuguese colonization and Portuguese architecture.

Another interesting aspect to Timor is resistance against Indonesian occupation.

Actually, there is a museum of Timorese resistance in Dili and quite a lot of visitors are interested in understanding the struggle for independence that Timor-Leste has experienced.

It can teach tourists not only about history, but also the political events that have been happening recently.

Timor-Leste as many other developing destinations face various challenges.

For example, government has been slow in adopting legislation and policies that will stimulate tourism.

Besides that, there is lack of infrastructure and in Timor-Leste.

In 1999, after the referendum pro-Indonesian militias have destroyed a lot of infrastructure.

So the country had to start from scratch.

There's also a lack of experience and human resources in tourism, because the country never had tourism before and on top of that Timor-Leste is a small country so to get here is quite expensive in comparison to other more developed tourism destinations.

Nevertheless Timor possesses rich resources that can stimulate tourism development and help socio-economic development of the country.

This is my fifth time and Timor-Leste.

I have done my PhD thesis about Timor-Leste and i love this country.

This is a great destination for adventurous to explore and learn about the world.

Source: Youtube