Turizmu Ba Ema Hotu Timor-Leste Tourism Champions Awards, 2021 Nominate your Tourism Champions!

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Winners of the Turizmu Ba Ema Hotu Tourism Champions Awards 2020 (Ann Turner/USAID’s Tourism For All Project)

Following the success of last year’s event, USAID’s Tourism For All Project is organizing an awards program to recognize people who have made an outstanding contribution to tourism in Timor-Leste in 2021. This is proving to be an exceptionally difficult year for tourism businesses and to reflect this, in 2021 we have created three different award categories:

  1. Turizmu Ba Ema Hotu Tourism Champion
  2. Turizmu Ba Ema Hotu Climate Champion
  3. Turizmu Ba Ema Hotu Solidarity Champion

Category 1: Tourism Champion

You can nominate any individual, company or tourism-based organization who has gone the extra mile to make you feel welcome as a visitor, or who has helped to create exceptional experiences for tourists. You could also propose an individual who has worked for many years to develop or promote the tourism industry in this country. Your nominee does not necessarily have to be directly employed by a tour operator, hotel or restaurant. We are looking for Champions who have shown the spirit of hospitality in their actions, by offering a warm welcome to guests, and by creating superlative tourism experiences.

Winners will be selected by a panel according to a scoring system based on the following criteria:

  • Sustained effort in supporting the development of tourism in Timor-Leste and in promoting and protecting the country’s tourism assets and products (especially on a voluntary basis);
  • Exemplary customer service by individuals working in the tourism industry;
  • Response to tourists in difficulty or with special needs;
  • Actions that demonstrate a strong spirit of hospitality;
  • Community partnership;
  • Application of the principles of sustainable tourism;
  • Creating innovative tourism products.

The number of nominations received will also be taken into account.

For this award, last year’s winners are NOT eligible to be nominated. The 2020 Tourism Champions were: Anastacio Madeira Araujo – Timor Unearthed / Barry’s Place, Atauro / Dilicious Timor / Elfan Da Costa – Timor Fixer / East Timor Development Agency / Fernando Carvalho Gama – Taxi Tours / Gil Horacio Boavida – HASATIL / Marcea Exposto – Duty Manager at Discovery Inn / Pro Ema Restaurant School and Projeto Montanha.

Category 2:  Turizmu Ba Ema Hotu Climate Champion

Environmental issues such as climate change, extreme weather events, pollution and waste disposal are great threats to the future of a sustainable tourism industry in this country. The Climate Champion award will recognize tourism-based companies or organizations and individuals active in Timor-Leste that have consistently applied the principles of sustainable tourism to their business or activity.

The nominees will be judged on criteria including:

  • Using recyclable or bio-degradable packaging;
  • Adopting alternative energies such as solar power in their operations;
  • Engaging with the community in regular activities such as garbage clean-ups and raising awareness of climate change issues;
  • Measures taken to help mitigate climate change and reduce carbon footprint (e.g. buying local products, tree planting);
  • Water and energy conservation;
  • Wildlife protection;
  • Responsible waste disposal.

The number of nominations received will also be taken into account.

For this award, last year’s winners ARE eligible to be nominated.


Category 3:  Turizmu Ba Ema Hotu Solidarity Champion


Even though the dual calamities of flooding and COVID-19 have combined to weaken an already struggling tourism industry in 2021, many tourism businesses have shown their solidarity with the community by engaging in relief operations for flood victims. Some have also been active in setting the benchmark for COVID-19 protective measures to protect the public in their day-to-day operations. This award aims to recognize tourism businesses, or organizations related to tourism, based in Timor-Leste who have shown an outstanding spirit of solidarity with their communities during recent times of crisis.

The nominees will be judged on criteria including:

  • Adapting business operations to comply with COVID-19 precautions;
  • Providing support for vulnerable communities affected by the COVID-19 crisis;
  • Raising awareness of protective measures related to COVID-19;
  • Raising funds and seeking donations for flood victims;
  • Operating food preparation and distribution centers for flood victims.

The number of nominations received will be taken into account and documentary evidence of fundraising activity for victims will be required.

For this award, last year’s winners ARE eligible to be nominated.

To nominate your Tourism Champions, please click on the link and complete the survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YYZRC2D (English Language)

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YQXFRBK (Tetun Language)


Please note: Closing date for nominations is 30 July 2021. You may NOT nominate yourself, family members or staff or owners of companies where you are employed.