USAID/Timor-Leste Signs Agreement to Help Timor-Leste Develop an Inclusive Tourism Industry

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USAID/Timor-Leste Mission Director Diana Putman discusses the agency's new, three-year tourism project with TImor-Leste Minister of Tourism Manuel Vong.
Mark Henderson, USAID

Three-Year Project to Boost Investment, Jobs

For Immediate Release

Sunday, January 28, 2018
USAID Development Outreach Communications Officer James Reindl
+670-330-0500, Ext. 2016; +670-7723-0577

DILI, TIMOR-LESTE – Tourism in Timor-Leste will see a significant rise in business investment and increased employment under an agreement that supports the country’s national tourism strategy announced today by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The project, named “Turizmu ba Ema Hotu” or “Tourism for All,” will be implemented by Chemonics International and its partners Solimar International and Planet Partnerships.

The three-year project will emphasize public and private cooperation to market Timor-Leste as an “off-the-beaten-path” destination for adventure travelers and eco-tourists. The strategy complements the government of Timor-Leste’s nearly year-old national tourism policy, which seeks to bring  200,000 foreign tourists here annually by 2030 to increase tourism jobs by 15,000 and generate US$150 million in annual tourism revenue.

The project will focus on creating inclusive tourism by improving industry governance and promoting sustainable investment. The project will work to improve and increase the tourism workforce, which the government estimates is now only about 4,300 people, create public/private partnerships to boost tourism governance, and push deliberate and incremental investment that focuses on bringing more women and youth into the sector.

“This aid from the American people will help the government of Timor-Leste achieve one of its key development goals as it seeks to diversify its oil-based economy,” said USAID Mission Director Diana Putman. “We look forward to working with the Ministry of Tourism and the private sector to make Timor-Leste a tourist destination for those seeking adventure, culture and natural beauty while preserving the country’s unique environmental and cultural heritage.”

Timor’s national tourism policy, enacted in March 2017, calls for gradual and sustainable development that will protect the environment yet increase tourist visits and improve economic opportunities at the national and community levels. USAID plans to incorporate a public-private National Tourism Development Partnership as well as Destination Stewardship Councils to help communities manage local tourism sites and activities.

USAID estimates Turizmu ba Ema Hotu will stimulate $25 million in eco-tourism and community-based tourism investment, create an additional 1,000 tourism-related jobs and help raise household incomes in targeted communities by 15 percent over three years.

USAID works closely with the government and people of Timor-Leste to foster inclusive and sustainable economic growth; encourage private-sector competitiveness; tackle serious health challenges, particularly those affecting women and children; strengthen sub-national democratic institutions and the foundations of good governance; protect the environment; and help at risk populations adapt to climate change.


Last updated: November 18, 2021

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