September 2019, Report Strategic Tourism Marketing Plan for Timor-Leste. The Key Source Market of Indonesia. |

 

The Asia Foundation’s assigned task to create a Strategic Marketing Plan for Timor-Leste in the Key Source Market of Indonesia provided an opportunity to explore the many niche market attractions of Timor-Leste; asses the current situation and challenges to growing the Timor-Leste tourism industry; and propose a list of specific marketing steps and recommendations to accelerate the National goal of making tourism the lead economic sector.
While data on the total number of actual annual international visitors to Timor-Leste can vary and sometimes appear contradictory, whichever data source is used it’s clear that the overwhelming majority of foreign visitors to Timor-Leste come from Indonesia.
Based on the synergistic effect of close proximity, shared borders, a communal and sometimes troubled history, and a commonality of language – all these factors portend that Timor-Leste and Indonesia, and in particular Timor-Leste and neighboring West Timor, will continue to share a common fate as regards their tourism futures.
The fact that the leading source of visitors come from Indonesia and nearly all of Timor-Leste’s visitors enter the country through an Indonesian gateway city (excepting air passengers via Darwin on Air North), means it can be persuasively argued that Timor-Leste’s ability to grow its tourism sector depends to a great extent on cooperation with its almost “all-embracing” Indonesian neighbor.
In the course of researching this study, a wide range of current impediments that are slowing or preventing the creation of a robust National Tourism Industry in Timor-Les- te were identified that, if satisfactorily addressed with the recommendations presented herein, will very quickly boost arrival numbers to an extent that will see the official goal of 200,000 foreign visitors by 2030 easily surpassed in the early years of the next decade.

Organisations: The Asia Foundation Authors: