Timor, or Timor Leste as it is officially known, is stepping up its
efforts to attract tourists. The country gained independence in 2002, and offers travellers an abundance of
unspoilt diving opportunities, trekking and other activities.
2005 there was a total of 35,000 visitors to Timor Leste of which 3,000 were estimated
to be actual travellers or tourists, with the remainder being military,
media, aid related etc. Timor Leste currently offers just one four star
hotel and this, included with other lower category hotels, means there is
a total of just 1,500 rooms for travellers to choose from.
an attempt to spread the word of what the raw beauty of Timor Leste has
to offer, officials this year attended three major trade shows - the ITB
in Berlin, the BTL in Lisbon and the PATA Travel Mart in Hong Kong. Participation at these events was made possible largely thanks to
support from Portugal, Macau, Thailand and other industry partners.
Leste's largest obstacle in attracting more tourists does not come from
the question of security, but instead from accessibility. Currently there
are only two airlines which fly to Timor Leste, Merpati and Air North.
Merpati currently flies from Bali four times a week and will be
increasing this to daily in the near future. Air North flies out of
Darwin to Timor Leste 11 times per week.
the country to show the world it is a safe place to visit, and all the
natural wonders it has to offer, it will have to attract some reputable
airline's from further afield than just Bali and Darwin. To kick-start
this officials from Timor Leste are already in talks with other carriers,
including low cost airlines in Indonesia and Singapore's Silk Air.
travellers to Timor Leste receive a 30 days visa on arrival except
Portugese nationals who receive a 90 days exemption.
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