- Resources Available
- Teaching Materials
- Research Agendas
- Think Tank Papers & Presentations
- Case Studies
- External Resources
- Referencing BEST EN materials
- Searching BESTEN materials
- Journal Articles
RESOURCES: PAPERS & PRESENTATIONS
|Author :||Sara Currie & Lindsay Turner|
|School/Work Place :||Victoria University, Australia|
Since Timor-Leste gained its independence in 2002, tourism has been promoted by both government and NGOs as a means to create jobs, build businesses, create income for national and local economics and improve regional economic imbalances (Timor-Leste Government, 2011). Further, there are few options outside tourism for the young, oil-dependent nation to diversity its economy, and Timor-Leste is fortunate to be blessed with the natural, cultural and historic assets that make it an ideal candidate for tourism. However, since independence, progress has been slow. Data for tourism arrivals is scarce and in many cases contradictory, while poor infrastructure, inflated prices and limited choice with regard to accommodation and restaurants continue to impede development.
Further, due to its tumultuous history, Timor-Leste also struggles from a negative international perception. Despite a decade of relative peace and safety, the perception persists that Timor-Leste is dangerous and unstable (Carlos & Carlos, 2011). While tourists are reluctant to visit countries they believe to be prone to political strife and perceived internal problems (Ryan & Silvanto, 2010) in some cases, this perception is based on stereotypes in the media or past political unrest (Vitic & Ringer, 2008). In the case of Timor-Leste, it could be argued the country’s ‘image’ of instability is taking longer to repair than the instability itself and having a detrimental effect on tourist numbers.
Since independence, the Timor-Leste government has promoted sustainable tourism as an important means to diversify the young nation’s economy and create much needed employment, particularly outside the capital of Dili (Cabasset-Semedo 2009; Timor-Leste-Government 2011). Thus marketing the destination as ready for tourism will be as crucial as tourism planning itself.
Unfortunately, there is still an absence of marketing literature from a supply-side perspective. While a considerable amount of research has been undertaken into the desires, motivations and behaviours of tourists, host perspectives still remain largely overlooked (Brickell, 2012). A lack of supply-side perspective leaves us ‘somewhat in the dark’ and is problematic given the representation of one’s culture evokes emotions in many societies and cultures (Konecnik & Go, 2008). Therefore, this paper seeks to better understand the current tourism environment of Timor-Leste from an internal stakeholder perspective. In doing so, it aims to enhance stakeholder collaboration to develop cohesive and effective marketing ideas for the development of tourism in Timor-Leste.