Bringing sustainable tourism to the island nation of Timor-Leste
- Client: USAID/Timor-leste
- Partners: Chemonics International and Planet Partnerships
- Project Duration: January 2018 - January 2021
“Turizmu ba Ema Hotu”, or “Tourism for All” is a brand new initiative being conducted by Solimar in collaboration with Chemonics International and Planet Partnerships. The goal is to bring tourism to the island nation of Timor-leste, by working closely with the people and the government to promote sustainable business practices, increase competitiveness in the private sector, help combat environmental degradation, and reduce impoverishment as currently around half of Timor-leste’s population lives in extreme poverty.
Timor-leste is ripe for tourism, as it is surrounded by tropical waters, white sand beaches, mountain ranges and holds a unique and proud culture with a history of Portuguese and Indonesian colonization and liberation. The current challenges with igniting the tourism industry are largely infrastructural ones, as the road networks are in poor condition and air travel to the island is fairly expensive. However, assistance from USAID in collaboration with Solimar should begin to alleviate these problems, provide a much needed economic boost to the island nation and create an environment to welcome travellers to one of the newest, undiscovered and beautiful countries in the world.
- Create inclusive tourism by improving industry government, and promoting sustainable investment through public and private partnerships.
- Grow the tourism workforce, which currently stands at 4,300 people through young adult employment.
- Facilitate competitive air transportation, domestic transportation development, historical/cultural tourism, and eco tourism.
- Encourage regional integration of the tourism sector.
- Through development of the tourist sector, help promote USAID’s overarching regional goals of inclusive sustainable economic growth, improvement of health care services, strengthen democratic institutions, and protect the environment.
- USAID estimates that the project will stimulate US$25 million in eco-tourism, and create 1,000 related jobs within three years of its implementation.
- Fulfillment of Timor-leste’s national tourism policy goals of 200,000 annual tourists, a US$150 million annual tourism sector revenue and the creation of 15,000 tourism sector jobs by 2030.
- Diversification of the Timorese economy, coupled with massive developments in infrastructure.
- Increased popularity of Timor-leste as an “off the beaten path” travel destination.