During the last quarter several key tourism initiatives were undertaken in Oé-Cusse that were part of the UNDP and SAR-ZEESM Tourism Project. These projects and activities are designed to build capacity within the community, correct the skills and knowledge gap in tourism, and to improve the quality of hospitality services and attractions in Oé-Cusse. There were all executed in collaboration with the Community Tourism Unit under the Office of the President Authority’s Cabinet in keeping with the recommendations of the Regional Strategic Plan (2019-2023), and the National Tourism Policy for Oé-Cusse.
HOSPITALITY & JEWELRY MAKING TRAINING BENEFIT 108 PARTICIPANTS
One hundred and eight (108) participants recently benefitted from a Hospitality and a Jewellery Making training programme held from August 9-11, 2021. Both courses lasted (3) days and took place at the ETV Palaban High School in Pante-Macassar and were facilitated by the East Timor Development Agency (ETDA).
The hospitality training was attended by fifty-nine (59) participants. The subject matters covered in the first two (2) days were customer care and service, personal hygiene, workplace health and safety, cleaning the kitchen and food preparation. The third day focused on practical cooking skills with Chef Rey from ETDA. Participants were able to use common local produce found in the market in Oé-Cusse to prepare delicious food and drink items such as tamarind juice with ginger, pumpkin soup, rice croquettes and biscuit cake.
For the jewellery training, forty-nine (49) participants were exposed to and practiced the techniques needed to make earrings, necklaces, and bracelets with wooden or plastic beads. They also learnt costing and how to price their products to ensure profitable results. The expectation is that the participants can now be creative and produce products with local materials, that can be an extra source of income. For both courses most of the participants were from the youth segment and 60% per cent were female.
13 YOUNG PERSONS FROM OÉ-CUSSE TRAINED AS TOUR GUIDES
From September 29th to October 1st, thirteen (13) young persons participated in tour guide training program at the SRESS Conference Room in Pante Macassar, Oé-Cusse. This training was part of the tourism and hospitality capacity building programme under the SAR-ZEESM Tourism Project and followed a similar tour guide training that took place in 2019 for 25 persons.
This 3-day tour guide training was facilitated by the East Timor Development Agency (ETDA). During the first two (2) days participants focused on getting to know the tourism product, the importance of a good personality, how to collect tourism information, and preparing, coordinating, and leading an organized tour. On the third day they worked on designing tour packages, followed by a practical exercise in the field. Here participants applied their newly learnt skills and knowledge to conduct practice tours. The training ended with a certificate ceremony.
NEW WEBSITE www.visitoecusse.tl TO PROMOTE TOURISM IN OÉ-CUSSE
After months of design work a new tourism promotional website for Oé-Cusse www.visitoecusse.tl was finally completed and launched in November. This new website promotes all the major tourism attractions, products and services offered in Oé-Cusse in a very visually attractive format and design.
The main feature on the home page is a short promotional video that highlights and showcases the natural beauty and main attractions of Oé-Cusse. The page also provides easy links to the four main sections of the website that provides general information about Oé-Cusse, what things to see and do, information for trip planning, and news and events. From every page on the website there are links to the new Visit Oé-Cusse Facebook, Instagram and YouTube social media accounts that were also recently created to also promote tourism to the enclave.
In terms of languages, the site is currently available in English, Portuguese, and Indonesian Bahasa and Tetum will be added soon. This very visually attractive website was created by a team of local web designers based in Oé-Cusse and Dili under the guidance of the of the tourism team at the UNDP.
REDESIGNED TOURISM BROCHURES
The three (3) main tourism marketing collateral pieces for Oé-Cusse have been revamped and redesigned for printing. These are the Things to See and Do brochure, the Hiking and Walking Guide and the Map of Oé-Cusse.
The Things to See and Do brochure is 36-page booklet with detailed information and attractive photos covering the history of Oé-Cusse, points of interest, activities, trip planning information, and a services directory. In the Hiking and Walking Guide, detailed information the six (6) main trekking trails (Fonte Sagrada, Kutete, Pa’is-Bisae Sunaf, Maombelon, Fatu-Suba and Via Sacra) are provided. The Guide also has details on hiking tips, general information about Oé-Cusse, a trails map and contact information. The updated map provides an overall representation of the geography of Oé-Cusse, key points of interest, a detailed map of Pante Macassar and a services directory.
All three (3) of these attractive, highly visual, and reader-friendly marketing collateral pieces have been produced in English and Tetum. They will provide valuable and practical information to visitors and promote Oé-Cusse to prospective travellers and promote the four main pillars of the region’s tourism sector: Coastal tourism, Nature tourism, Cultural tourism, and Business tourism.
ARTE MORIS STREET ART PROJECT
A team of seven (7) artists from Arte Moris were in Oé-Cusse from mid-October to mid- November to facilitate a major street art installation along the wall at Alfandega in the capital Pante Macassar. The artwork showcases in a tangible way the long and colorful culture and history of Oé-Cusse, making it now an important attraction for tourists and locals. Additionally, the area in front of the artwork were given a major facelift with flower beds, plants, benches and fencing also being installed.
Prior to the artwork installation, a socialization was held on October 19th with the community, the local authorities, and other stakeholders. The main purpose of the activity was to discuss the nature and type of artwork and landscaping to be installed, and how the local community can monetize and benefit from Oé-Cusse’s newest tourist attraction. The monitoring and maintenance of the project after completion was also on the socialization agenda, to ensure that the art painted remains of a high quality.
Following the socialization, Arte Moris also conducted a three (3) day art training programme from October 20-22 for 25 young aspiring artists from Oé-Cusse at the Alfandega Hall in Pante Macassar. Ten (10) of these young persons also became volunteer painters and supported the team from Arte Moris in executing the street art installation and were prepared for managing upkeep of the area.
All photos credit to UNDP