Tuesday, October 16, 2007

G and E Timor Tourism Directory – OUT NOW!

G and E Timor Tourism Directory – OUT NOW!

At last, the first edition of the G and E Timor Tourism Directory is available to purchase in book form. It’s a truly comprehensive, 200-page directory to every tourism-related business in all 13 of Timor Leste’s districts, from mini-marts and restaurants to accommodation, tour operators, scuba diving centres, beauty salons hair salono. As well as business and local authority listings, the directory has page after page of useful background information for the traveller about Timor Leste’s people, culture, traditions and history. The guide is full of colourful photos of the country’s attractions on land as well as underwater. Ideal for new expat residents. Retail price $20 – on sale at FreeFlow dive centre, Pantai Kelapa or from Hotel Dili, Lecidere. Also, the directory is currently being loaded onto a website. It’s still under construction but for a preview check out the link: http://www.timortourismdirectory.com/index.html.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Come diving in Timor Leste - The Amazon of the Seas

The press release below states what we've always known here - Timor Leste has some of the world's best diving. It also has two excellent dive centres:
Dive Timor Lorosae (http://www.divetimor.com/)
and FreeFlow (http://www.freeflowdiving.com)/
Come over and see for yourself - this is the best time of year for it!


Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) Endorsed by APEC Summit
21 world leaders endorse proposal for new effort to safeguard the rich
marine resources of the Indo-Pacific region

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — September 10, 2007 — At yesterday's Asia Pacific
Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, 21 world leaders endorsed a new
proposal to safeguard the rich marine resources of the Indo-Pacific
region for future generations. The Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) on
Coral Reefs, Fisheries, and Food Security aims to bring together six
governments in a multilateral partnership to conserve the
extraordinary marine life in the region. The proposal was endorsed in
the Sydney APEC Leaders' Declaration on Climate Change, Energy
Security and Clean Development. U.S. President George W. Bush welcomed
this Initiative during the Summit.

The Coral Triangle (CT) covers all or parts of the exclusive economic
zones of Indonesia (Central and Eastern), East Timor, the Philippines,
Malaysia (part of Borneo), Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.
Defined by areas containing 500 or more species of coral, the Coral
Triangle, sometimes referred to as the "Amazon of the Seas", is the
epicenter of marine life abundance and diversity on the planet. It has
more than 600 coral species in some areas (more than 75% of all known
coral species), 53% of the world's coral reefs, 3,000 fish species,
and the greatest extent of mangrove forests of any region in the world.

According to scientists, these marine biological resources are at
risk, threatened by a range of factors, such as over-fishing,
destructive fishing practices, pollution and climate change. This new
initiative would address these threats and ensure long-term benefits
from the marine biological resources of the region.

Rebecca Patton, Chief Conservation Strategies Officer with The Nature
Conservancy, and WWF US's Chief Conservation Officer, Ginette Hemley,
praised the endorsement of this new initiative. "The Coral Triangle
Initiative is an incredible step forward for conservation. The
protection of these coral reefs and the life they support will help
our planet cope with a changing climate and ensure the livelihoods for
well over 100 million people," noted Patton. "The initiative shown by
the APEC economies is to be applauded," Hemley added.

The biological resources of the Coral Triangle directly sustain the
lives of over 120 million people living within this area, and benefit
millions more worldwide. Primary human benefits include:

* Livelihoods, income, and food security -- particularly for
populations living along coastlines within the region
* Total annual value of coral reefs, mangroves & associated
natural habitats within the CT are estimated at US $2.3 billion
* Tuna spawning & nursery grounds support a multi-billion tuna
industry, and provide for millions of consumers worldwide
* Healthy marine resources contribute to a growing nature-based
tourism industry in the region
* Healthy reefs systems and mangroves protect coastal communities
from storms and tsunamis, reducing future reconstruction costs and the
need for international aid

Possible linkages between the CTI and climate change were highlighted
during the APEC Summit. As part of a comprehensive approach to
climate change, the future impacts of climate change on our marine and
coastal natural resources must be addressed in addition to significant
reductions in emissions. Adaptation actions that can help to protect
and sustain these resources, such as creating networks of marine
reserves that are effectively designed for resilience to climate
change, would be a central element of the CTI and essential to the
human communities who depend on these resources.

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working
around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters
for nature and people. To date, the Conservancy and its more than one
million members have been responsible for the protection of more than
15 million acres in the United States and have helped preserve more
than 102 million acres in Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia and the
Pacific. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.

About World Wildlife Fund
Known in the United States as World Wildlife Fund and recognized
worldwide by its panda logo, WWF leads international efforts to
protect endangered species and their habitats and to conserve the
diversity of life on Earth. Now in its fifth decade, WWF, the global
conservation organization, works in more than 100 countries around the

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Another trade show! This time, Nanchang, China

Greetings from the Embassy of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste in Beijing, China

After our successful participation at Beijing International Tourism Expo (BITE 2007) in June 21 – 23, 2007 in promoting Timor-Leste and its tourism sector, the Embassy of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste in Beijing, China will be participating in China (Nanchang) International Eco-tourism Exhibition and Award Tourism Conference, which will be held from 21 – 23 October 2007. The event’s primary focus is on eco-tourism.

For the event, we are going to produce a booklet containing information from tourism operators from Timor-Leste and their packages on offer.

We are at the final stage of compiling the necessary information and we will commence printing the booklet soon, which will be widely distributed, during the event, to the participating travel agents and potential Chinese visitors to Timor-Leste.

Should you have tourism packages on offer that you wish to be included in the brochure, please send us the necessary information about your company and the packages on offer via e-mail ASAP.

Thank you,

Tony Duarte
Project Coordinator
Embassy of Timor-Leste in Beijing156 Gold Island Diplomatic CompoundNo. 1 Xibahe Nanlu, Beijing 100028People's Republic of ChinaTel: + 86 10 6440 3072/3079Fax: + 86 10 6440 3071Websites: www.timor-leste.gov.tl

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Timor Leste at PATA Bali

This year's Pacific and Asia Travel Association Travel Mart is handily taking place in Bali this year, so we are sending a solid delegation to the show - including the new Minister of Tourism, Commerce and Industry, Mr Gil Alves - to promote our fledgling tourism industry.
We have received requests from 40 different companies (buyers) from all over the world to meet Timor Leste's representatives, which is very encouraging. We will also be requesting appointments with a number of other companies specialising in our kind of tourism - ie adventure travel, nature, diving, cultural, etc. We have also requested a meeting with the Bali Tourism Association so that we can discuss bilateral relations and cross-marketing.

I will post the full list of the companies that we will meet as soon as it is confirmed, in case any members want to contact companies directly with details of what they have to offer. ATTL will represent those tourism operators who are not attending the show. Please email me with any specific requests you may have. We will be needing 300-500 copies of companies' brochures to hand out in our "goody bag", which will contain the CD Rom and the general Turismo Timor Leste brochures. Please drop off what you have either at FreeFlow, Hotel Dili or the Directorate of Tourism in Fomento building. If any ATTL members need help with making up their brochures, email me and I will assist as best I can.
Best regards

From the Directorate of Tourism

PATA Travel Mart 2007, September 25-28, Bali, Indonesia
Buyer Advance Guide as at July 13, 2007 and Seller Appointment Requests

PATA Greetings!

We are writing to you today with an update on our PTM2007, September 25-28, at Bali International Convention Centre, Bali, Indonesia.

Buyers: As of July 13, 2007, PATA has received a total of 416 registered buyer delegates from 347 buyer organisations, from 51 countries. This represents an increase of 12% buyer registrations at the same time last year for PTM2006. (For your information, this time last year we had received only 370 buyer registrations).

We are pleased that all our 349 registered primary Buyers have agreed to undertake an independent set of business calendar to meet, network, negotiate and contract with our PTM2007 Sellers.

After feedback and requests from our Sellers, efforts will be made to visibly distinguish the region source and business profile of all our buyer delegates on-site during the mart with colourful ribbons tagged to their delegate badges.

Further, we have endeavoured to visibly identify "first time PTM buyers" in the Buyer Advance Guide sent to you.

Sellers: This year's Mart sees a total net floor area of 4,294 square metres occupied by Sellers at the BICC. Macau SAR and the Pacific islands are coming back to the Mart with even bigger representations this year. And India is maintaining the biggest country pavilion, standing huge at 162 square metres.

Tourism Timor-Leste in PATA Travel Mart Bali.25-28 September 2007

This year Tourism Timor Leste will attend at PATA Expo ( Seller ) and Board of Director Meeting.

Timor Leste’s Delegations . Government and Private Sectors.
1. Ministry of Tourism, Commerce and Industry, Mr. Gil Alves
2. Director Of Tourism and Chef of Policy ( Board of Director Meeting )
3. From the Tourism Directorate will be send two staff of Promotion Division
4. From the Private Sector. There are six Participants : Eco Discovery ( Ms.Maria Noronha), Timor Mega Tour ( Mr. Eduardo Masa), Dive Lorosa Sae (Mr.Marck ) ATTL ( Ms. Ann Turner, Mr.Vicente Mau Bosi, Mr.Gino Favaro).

Area: The total area of Timor Leste’s stand is 18 sq.m at the Nusantara Room at Bali International Convention Centre,Nusa Dua Bali,Indonesia.

The Purpose of our participations are: To promote Tourism Timor Leste and Looking for cooperation opportunities and to recover post conflict.

Location PATA Travel Mart 2007

Please visit www.pata.org

For the Programs Please visit www.PATA.org/smart

TimorLeste activities at Bali.

• Based on PATA program schedules
• Round table media briefing on 27 September 2007. Time: 13.00-1345.handled by Director and ATTL Mrs.Ann Turner
• ATTL Meeting and Bali Tourism Association on 28 September time: 15.00-16.00 pm.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Nino Konis Santana National Park

See http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/asiapac/programs/s2007274.htm for information about New South Wales government support for Timor Leste's first marine and terrestrial national park.


The Timor Leste Government's Directorate of Tourism has received stocks of a wonderful, updated tourism information CD-ROM, prepared by the Portuguese NGO Gertil. Entitled "Turismo in Timor - Eastern Paradise", it has interactive maps that enable you to travel virtually around the country, clicking on destinations to see photos and video. There's also some nice traditional Timorese music on it. This is what gets handed out at trade shows such as PATA. If you'd like a copy, or several to hand out to your guests, either contact the Tourism Directorate or pick them up at FreeFlow Dive Centre.

Friday, August 10, 2007

East Timor Tourism - In the news again...

Follow this link for another story about East Timor's tourism potential, "Rewards Await in East Timor", this time from South Asian Post, at http://www.southasianpost.com/portal2/ff808081145157fb01145175d2130007_East_timor.do.html We are really starting to build a reputation for being one of Asia's most exciting new holiday destinations.
Viva Rai Doben!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Calling all tourism businesses...

This blog offers a space to any tourism business in Timor Leste to post their details. People do use the internet to plan their trips when they are independent travellers, as many are who come to this country. We are working on plans for ATTL, the Timor Leste Government and as many tourism businesses as possible to participate in the upcoming PATA Travel Mart in Bali in September. We will have an ATTL meeting about that once the government has finalised its plans. So it's time to make sure that you have lots of brochures to hand out! If you can't go to Bali, we'll hand them out for you.
I was also very impressed to stumble across a Dili restaurant, Sanan Rai, which has started its own blog. Way to go. Blogs are easy and cost you nothing. See what Sanan Rai have done at http://sananrai.blogspot.com/ . So email me attl_vp@hotmail.com with your company information and photos (jpeg) and I will post them here for you.

East Timor Could Be Tourism Paradise

Follow this link to read a Reuters story on Tourism in Timor Leste, as published by the Gulf News. It begins.... "it has pristine beaches, lush highlands and an exotic cultural mix". How true.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Nino Konis Santana National Park - Good News!

Yes, we have our first National Park in Timor Leste. Here are the details. Does anybody out there have a beautiful photo of the area that I could post here, to show why it's so important to protect it?
Email me a JPEG at attl_vp@hotmail.com.

The following is a press release from the Prime Minister's Office (in English and the official languages, Tetun and Portuguese):

Gabinete do primeiro-ministro

Media Release

Government establishes
nino konis santana nationAL PARK

IN the eastern tip of Timor-Leste, its 68,000 hectares of land
and 55,600 of sea aim to conserve a very rich national heritage

Dili, 27 July 2007 – In its meeting Friday, 27 July, the Government of Timor-Leste formally approved the declaration of “Nino Konis Santana National Park” as the first National Park in its national Protected Area Network.
Timor-Leste is internationally recognized as a high priority for terrestrial and marine biodiversity conservation. Globally it occurs within the region of ‘Wallacea’, an area rich in diverse and unique biota, and is located within the ‘Coral Triangle’ an area with the greatest biodiversity of coral and reef fish in the world.
The joint terrestrial and marine National Park has been widely consulted and developed in close collaboration with local communities living within the area.
The Government of Timor-Leste with continuing assistance from BirdLife International and the Australian New South Wales State Government Department of Environment and Climate Change is ensuring an enlightened approach of collaborative, joint management between the Government and local communities in collaboration with civil society.
This approach will ensure equity of benefits to local communities, protection and management of unique biodiversity, conservation of watersheds and recognition of traditional ownership, use and continued residence for local communities.
The National Park is established as an internationally recognized IUCN Management Category V Protected Landscape/Seascape where the traditional, cultural and spiritual interactions of local people and nature are maintained in a way that protects the environment and provides sustainable livelihoods for local communities.
The National Park incorporates the entire eastern tip of Timor-Leste encompassing approximately 68,000 hectares of land and 55,600 hectares of sea, a total of 123,600 hectares and aims to conserve a rich and extensive natural, cultural and historical heritage. It conserves an extensive range of land and seascapes and will protect nationally and globally significant flora and fauna species and habitats on both land and sea, including extensive coral reefs and one of the largest remaining intact examples of tropical lowland and monsoon rainforest in the region.
The National Park is named in honour of Nino Konis Santana, national hero and former Commander of FALANTIL, the armed wing of the resistance movement in the struggle for independence who was born in the village of Tutuala within the National Park.
The area was a stronghold of the resistance movement during the struggle for independence. It holds continuing deep mythological, cultural and historical significance for the people of Timor-Leste. Continuously occupied for over 40,000 years, the area is rich in archaeological heritage and has many sites from the colonial Portuguese and World War II Japanese occupation periods.

Para informação adicional, por favor contactar:
Hakarak informasaun ne’ebe detalhu bele kontaktu ho:
For further information, please contact:

Ivana Belo
Serviço de Comunicação
Gabinete do Primeiro-Ministro
+670 7243559.

Antonio Ramos Andre
Assessor para a Comunicação
Gabinete do Primeiro-Ministro
Palácio do Governo, Díli – Timor-Leste
+670 7319905
Informação à Comunicação Social

Governu aprova tiona
Parke Nasional Nino Konis Santana

Atu halo conservasaun ba area ne’ebe bo’ot
iha ponta leste, hodi proteje ambiente

Dili, lóron 27 Jullu 2007 – Ohin Governo Timor-Leste formalmente aprova deklarasaun ba “Parke Nasional Nino Konis Santana” nebe’e hanesan primeiru Parke Nasional ne’ebe halo parte rede areas protejidas nasionais.
Timor-Leste simu rekonhesimentu internasional hanesan prioridade bo’ot ba konservasaun biodiversidade ba rai no tasi. Globalmente, buat ne’e akontese tan ita nia nain iha regiaun “Wallacea” (Linha ida nebe’e hodi define flora no fauna iha parte sul no parte norte) hanesan area ida nebe’e riku no uniku ho animal no ai horis oi-oin iha rai no tasi laran. Buat hirak ne’e hamutuk iha fatin “Trianglu Coral” (hanesan sanak tolu ou membentuk 3 sudut) hanesan area ida nebe’e ho biodiversiade bo’ot no mos species ikan iha meti ulun resife koral mundo ida ne’e.
Deklarasaun ba Parke Nasional ne’be hamutuk ho rai no tasi lao tuir konsulta bo’ot ne’ebe halao ho kolaborasaun diak ho komunidade local nebe’e hela iha area hirak ne’e. Governo Timor-Leste fo certeza katak sei halao kolaborasaun no jestaun ida ke diak ho comunidade local no sociadade sivil. Tenki halao kolaborasaun hodi nune bele benificia komunidade sira no mos fo protesaun ba biodiversidade ida ke uniku, konservasaun basia jeografiku no rekonhesimentu ba tradisaun sira, i nune mos kuminidade rai nain sira bele halao sira nia moris hanesan bain-bain. Parke Nasional establese ho rekonesimentu internasional – IUCN hanesan jestaun ba kategoria V ba paisagem protejida nebe’e tuir tradisional, cultura no interasaun spiritual ba ema rai nain, rai no ahi horis hodi mantein iha fatin nebe’e proteje ambiente nune’e be fo sustentabilidade ba comunidade lokal sira nia ai horis/ai han.
Parke Nasional hola parte ponta leste Timor-Leste nian ho area aproximasaun ida hanesan 68,000 ha ba rai, 55,600 ha ba tasi, total hamutuk 123,600 ha objetivu hirak ne’e atu konserva riku soin ida ke bo’ot i natural no mos ba cultura no fatin historico hanesan patrimoniu ida ke orijinal. Ida ne’e atu konserva aihoris husi rai no paisagem atu nune bele globalmente fo protesaun ida nebe’e significante ba spesies flora, fauna no habitats iha rai no tasi. Hanesan ne’e inclui mos ahu ruin sira ne’ebe halo parte resife de koral meti ulun ida ke bo’ot tebes. Fatin ne’e hanesan ezemplu terras elagadas/tropical lowland, florestas tropical semi verde/monsoon rain forest, iha regiaun ne’e.
Parke Nacional ho naran Nino Konis Santana hodi fo onra ba heroi nacional ida nebe’e hanesan eis comandante FALINTIL, forsa armada, liman kroat ba luta rezistensia iha movimentu hodi manan indepencia, ne’ebe moris iha rai Tutuala.
Area ne’e uluk hanesan fatin nebe’e forsa tebe-tebes ba movimentu resistensia durante halo luta hodi hetan indepensia. Fatin ne’e sei hare nafatin hanesan fatin nebe’e lulik ho cultura no istoriku nebe’e significante ba ema iha Timor-Leste. Area ne’e riku ho patrimoniu arkeolojiku tamba fatin ne’e ema hela tiona durante tinan 40,000. Nune’e mos fatin ne’e iha sitius barak husi durante kolonia Portugal no Japaun nia okupasaun durante segunda gerra mundial/pacific war II.

Projetu ne’e mos halao hamutuk ho parseiru ONG Birdlife International ho apoiu husi Departamentu Ambiente no Alterasaun Klimatiku Governu Estadu NSW Australia.

Para informação adicional, por favor contactar:
Hakarak informasaun ne’ebe detalhu bele kontaktu ho:
For further information, please contact:

Ivana Belo
Serviço de Comunicação
Gabinete do Primeiro-Ministro
+670 7243559.

Antonio Ramos Andre
Assessor para a Comunicação
Gabinete do Primeiro-Ministro
Palácio do Governo, Díli – Timor-Leste
+670 7319905

Gabinete do primeiro-ministro

Informação à Comunicação Social


e os seus 68.000 hectares em terra e 55.000 no mar
visam preservar um património nacional muito rico

Dili, 30 de Julho de 2007 – O Conselho de Ministros de Timor-Leste aprovou na sua reunião de 6ªfeira, 27 de Julho, o estabelecimento do Parque Nacional Nino Konis Satana que se constitui como o primeiro de uma Rede Nacional de protecção da natureza.

Timor-Leste tem uma elevada prioridade, internacionalmente reconhecida, no âmbito da conservação da biodiversidade marinha e terrestre. O seu território integra a região de “Wallacea”, localizada no chamado “Triângulo de Coral”, muito rica pela variedade e pela singularidade da sua flora e fauna.

O Parque Natural Nino Konis Santana, integrando as vertentes terrestre e marinha, está a ser desenvolvido no terreno em ampla consulta e colaboração estreita com as comunidades que nele vivem.

O governo de Timor-Leste tem adoptado uma abordagem moderna da gestão ambiental, privilegiando a acção conjunta do governo e das comunidades locais, com envolvimento de parceiros da sociedade civil.

A estratégia de desenvolvimento e consolidação da protecção da área do novo Parque Nacional visa assegurar equidade na distribuição dos benefícios ambientais entre as comunidades locais, a protecção da biodiversidade própria da área, a conservação e gestão dos aquíferos e o reconhecimento da propriedade tradicional e da sua utilização pelas comunidades residentes na área do Parque.

O Parque Nacional Nino Konis Santana cumpre os requisitos de parque internacionalmente reconhecido pelo IUCN (Paisagem protegida, Categoria V) em que as interacções culturais locais com a natureza são mantidas, conciliando a protecção ambiental com a extracção sustentável de recursos e meios de vida pelas comunidades locais.

O Parque Nacional Nino Konis Santana visa preservar um muito rico e variado património natural, cultural e histórico e integra a totalidade da ponta leste de Timor-Leste, com aproximadamente 68 mil hectares de terreno e mais de 55 mil de área marítima, num total de 123.600 hectares.

A área do Parque inclui um amplo leque de paisagens terrestres e marinhas, incluindo extensos recifes de coral, além da maior área sobrevivente de terras alagadas tropicais e de floresta tropical de monção naquela zona.

O novo parque é baptizado com o nome do falecido herói nacional da resistência e antigo comandante das Falintil, Nino Konis Santana, natural de Tutuala, uma emblemática vila do distrito de Láutem integrada na área do Parque.

Edos sta zona do país foi um baluartes do movimento de resistência e de luta pela Independência de Timor-Leste, além de constituir historicamente um símbolo profundo mítico, cultural e histórico para o povo de Timor-Leste.

Habitada continuamente desde há 40 mil anos, a zona da ponta leste que o Parque Nacional Nino Konis Santana abrange é muito rica do ponto de vista do património arquelógico, além de incluir locais evocativos da passada presença colonial portuguesa, bem como do período da ocupação japonesa, no decurso da II Guerra Mundial.
Este projecto está a ser desenvolvido em parceria com a organização não governamental BirdLife International, com o apoio do Departamento de Ambiente e Alteração Climática do Governo do Estado Australiano da Nova Gales do Sul.

Para informação adicional, por favor contactar:
Hakarak informasaun ne’ebe detalhu bele kontaktu ho:
For further information, please contact:

Ivana Belo
Serviço de Comunicação
Gabinete do Primeiro-Ministro
+670 7243559.

Antonio Ramos Andre
Assessor para a Comunicação
Gabinete do Primeiro-Ministro
Palácio do Governo, Díli – Timor-Leste
+670 7319905

Trade Shows

We are still receiving an occasional email generated by Timor Leste’s participation at BITE 2007 (Beijing International Travel Expo) last June. Now, the Timor Leste Embassy to Beijing is working on an International Eco-Tourism Exhibition in Nanchang next October. Below is an email from Tony Duarte at the Embassy about promotional material and also some information about the Chinese outbound travel market.


Dear Everyone,

Greetings from the Embassy of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste in Beijing, China

We are, at this stage, compiling information in relation to our intended participation in China (Nanchang) International Eco-tourism Exhibition and Award Tourism Conference, which will be held from 21 – 23 October 2007, in which we are going to market Timor-Leste’s tourism attractions to potential buyers of Timor-Leste tourism packages. The event’s primary focus is on eco-tourism.

For the event, we are going to produce a booklet, which will be of interest to the visiting potential buyers.

Should you have tourism packages on offer that you wish to be included in our brochure that will be of interest to potential Chinese and other international visitors during the event, please send us the necessary information about your company and the packages on offer.

Please note that we do not charge any fees. Our request to include your company’s profile and packages on offer is free of charge.

Should you have further question, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Warmest Regards,

Tony Duarte
Project Coordinator
Embassy of Timor-Leste in Beijing156 Gold Island Diplomatic CompoundNo. 1 Xibahe Nanlu, Beijing 100028People's Republic of ChinaTel: + 86 10 6440 3072/3079Fax: + 86 10 6440 3071Websites: www.timor-leste.gov.tl

“Subject: China International Travel News!!!!

China Outbound Travel News – Now Available: www.cotn.cn

Get the latest information on the Chinese outbound travel market and how it affects your business at: www.cotn.cn
A publication of i2i Media: www.i2i-m.com

14% more Chinese traveling overseas in 1st 5 months
AA launches website for China bid
About two million Chinese tourists to visit France in 2020
China approves 132 outbound tourist destinations
China's Outbound Travel Changing World Tourism
Chinese tourism to Finland increases
CNTA Releases Pricing Guide For Outbound Travel
Foreign tour firms set for easier travel in China
MVA gets great response from Harbin
Personal tour consumption value to hit US$118b in 2007
US targets China as next tourism ticket


The ATTL is also preparing for the PATA Travel Mart in Bali in September. Watch out on this site for the announcement of date of the next ATTL meeting, when we’ll be able to pass on some information from the Government of Timor Leste about our participation.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


This is how people get around right at the top of Timor Leste's mountain districts, where vehicles cannot go. Horses are important here; in fact they played a starring role in the country's independence day celebrations, with their riders, in traditional dress, galloping en masse around the arena in a great spectacle of horsemanship (ponymanship?). There's certainly a niche for a tourism operator to organise pony trekking holidays here - it makes sense, as it's a great way to see Timor Leste's stunning interior at a leisurely pace. There are periodic horse races here - even in Dili. Next time I hear of one coming up, I'll post it. Email me if you have any word on this...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Some of the world's best diving...

All the above photos were taken by VIP American photographer Teri Perry on her 10-day dive trip to Timor Leste earlier this month. These are just a handful of shots from more than a hundred beautiful pictures she took, featuring some of the reef's smaller and weirder inhabitants. We have a lot of rare species of marine creatures here and now Timor Leste is starting to build a strong reputation amongst underwater photography enthusiasts all over the world. For more information about diving in Timor Leste and some great photos , check out the dive blog at http://diveeasttimor.blogspot.com/.
(Photos: (from top) Oriental Sweetlips, Nudibranch Hypselodoris Bullockii, Clown Anemone Fish, Lion Fish, Soft Coral. All copyright Teri Perry).

BITE - Timor Coffee?

The delightful and tireless Vicky Tchong from the Timor Leste Embassy to Beijing offers a cup of Timor's finest coffee to the crowds at BITE 2007 travel expo.

Monday, July 23, 2007

More BITE 2007 Feedback

The following was passed on by the Timor Leste Embassy in Beijing. If anyone needs further info, I have prices, etc and will email them to interested parties. I have also, bizarrely, received an invitation to an international auto parts expo in China. Again, let me know if this is of interest to anyone out there!


Date: 10 June 2007
Re: 2007 Beijing International Tourism Online Expo
From: Beijing Tourism Administration
To: Foreign Countries/Areas Tourism Authorities; China’s Provincial, Municipal, Autonomous region Tourism Bureaus; all Tourism Organizations and Enterprises;
The Internet has been playing an increasingly important role in people’s life nowadays. Online travel booking and e-business has been rapidly growing in today’s China, especially when self-guided tourist market has been a boom in recent years. In 2004, China’s domestic traveling market share amounts to 556.6 billion Yuan, of which 4-5 billion Yuan has been made online. However, American online travel market share has amounted to 52 billion US dollars in the same year, which is expected to be 119 billion US dollars in a short period of time.
Organized by Beijing Tourism Administration, Beijing International Tourism Expo (BITE) has been held successfully from 2004 to 2007. BITE has gained international recognition within the industry. With a focus on creating a new solution to cope with the ever growing demand in tourism exhibition sector, Beijing Tourism Administration announced that the Beijing International Tourism Online Expo 2007 (Online Expo) is to be held on 22nd of June this year, concurrent with BITE 2007. With new technology that has become available to us, this Tourism Online Expo will provide the exhibitors with a much larger and more effective platform for communication, promotion and trading. The co-organizer of this Online Expo is Beijing Relation Exhibition Co Ltd.

Presently we would like to inform you the programming of Beijing International Tourism Online Expo for your reference.

1. Online Expo Organizing Committee

The Organizing Committee members of 2007 Online Expo are as follows:
Chairman: Mr. Chang-Jiang Yu; The General Director of Beijing Tourism Administration; Vice-chairman: Mr. De-Bin Yu; Deputy General Director of Beijing Tourism Administration; Secretary-General: Mr. Ji-Cheng Li; Chief Director of Marketing Department 2, Beijing Tourism Administration;
Deputy Secretary-General: Mr. Lin-Tang Yu; Technology Information Center of Beijing Tourism Administration; & Mr. Xiao-Qun Shi; Deputy chief director of Business Department 2, Beijing Tourism Administration.

2. Special Features of our Online Expo

Broader Coverage

The Online Expo removes the geographic boundaries for all exhibitors, buyers, visitors and participation is never this easy. The organizer decided to direct the online buyers to visit our Online Expo by create links with major portals and travel websites.

Cost Effectiveness

The registration fee of the Online Expo will only be 3% of what BITE charges now, whereas the exhibition lasts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for a whole year. The cost for buyers and visitors to participate is much lower too.

Advanced Technology with Innovative Service Model

The booth of all exhibitors at this Online Expo will both be supervised by operator and by online automatic tracking system. The manual supervision will work better for those who prefer interactive activities while the automatic one would help with recording the inquiries, tracking buyer and visitor info.

Effective Promotion Platform

By using the platform of Beijing Touring Information Network and cooperation with popular portal and professional websites, the participants of Online Expo will be able to deliver free information to public, attracting more visitors than traditional onsite exhibition.

It is expected that more than 1000 exhibitors will be participating in our Beijing International Tourism Online Expo. Our secretariat of committee will be working closely with media and arranging a series of marketing promotion events that involve audiences. Meanwhile, by super linking with major portal and professional website, travel website, media website, and exhibitors own website, our Online Expo will be attracting more and more visitors than traditional onsite exhibition.

3. Enrollment Process
Online Expo participants include: Tourism Authorities, Tourism Associations, Tourism wholesalers, Travel Agencies, Hotels and Hotel Management Groups, Tourist Attractions and Resort, Leisure Tourism Organizations, Business meeting and Award Tourism Services Hotels, Public Relation Companies, Airlines, Travel shipping and coaching companies, Newly Developed Tourism Attractions, Investment Company, Tourism Media, Exhibition Management and Services Companies, Tourism Shopping Facilities, Local Characteristic food stores and Bars etc.

All companies with creditability and strength are welcome to participate in this upcoming Online Expo. Tourism authorities of every district and county in China should assist our Organizing Committee to verify the authenticity of the registration information by all participants under their jurisdiction, preventing the occurring of false of information and violation of laws.

Our Online Expo will offer exhibitors and visitors an exclusive platform to showcase a wide range products and services. It is no doubt an excellent environment in which all sectors of the industry will find attractive elements that suit their needs.

For more info, please either refer to booklet of 2006 Beijing International Tourism Online Expo, or check Beijing Tourism Administration’s website which is http://www.bjta.gov.cn/ and Beijing International Tourism Online Expo’s website which is http://www.beijingbite.com/.

You may also call or email our Secretariat of committee for further inquiries. Contacts of
Members of our secretariat of committee are as follows:
Mr. Bin Du at 86 10 85157129;
Mr. Yi Yang at 86 10 85157130;
Mr. Xun-Yang Zhang at 86 10 85157130;
Mr. Fei Chang at 86 10 85866611/22 ext 6015.
Email address of the secretariat of Committee is: bite8223@vip.sina.com

Thank you for your Cooperation, and we are looking forward to your participation in Beijing International Tourism Online Expo!

Beijing International Tourism Expo committee
July, 11, 2007
Contact: sunny (meng feng yi) MSN:meng_fengyi@163.com
Phone: 86-010-85866611/22-6029 mobile phone:15810216695
fax:8610-85866600 e-mail:meng_fengyi@126.com

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Beijing Travel Expo: Feedback

Sunset along the beach road, Dili, Timor Leste
By Marianne Woodward

After handing out so many business cards and brochures (we had absolutely none left by the end of the show!) we are starting to get some emails which I am posting below for ATTL members to follow up on if they are interested.


It’s great pleasure meeting ATTL during BITE Beijing China last week.>If there is any news about your promotion or travel package you wish to>promote in China market, pls send to us, as we are a travel and trade>monthly journal, focusing on outbound travel market, free to anyone of>travel industry.>>Up to now our circulation number is less than 10000 copies each month in>china major cities, but based on the pass-on rate, our readership is over>35,000 each month.>Best regards, Judy>Travel News Weekly
>T +86 10 84470844 F +86 10 84470483 E><mailto:judy@lavender-media.com> hzhou@lavender-media.com MP +86>13910986125>B1601, International Harbor(GUO JI GANG), No. Wu 2, Dongsanhuan-beilu,>Chaoyang District, Beijing, 100027, PRChina

>From: ceeitc2007@hotmail.com
>Subject: Invitation to CEEITC 2007>>>Dear friend,> Thank you for your attention to this letter.
> Welcome to visit our website! http://www.cmice.org.cn/> We are sincerely to invite you to participate China (Nanchang)>International Eco-tourism Exhibition. Award Tourism Conference>(CEEITC 2007), This exhibition is organized by China International>Economic Development Association, Jiangxi Provincial Tourism Bureau and>Peoples’ Government in Nanchang.> CEEITC (2007) will help you to expand china market and develop>international market. It is a high-end platform for promoting>communication and cooperation of tourism industry in and out of the>abroad. Welcome to CEEITC (2007).>best regards>Organizing Committee of CEEITC 2007>CONTACT INFORMATION:>Address: Room 1301-1302C Jixie Plaza, NO. 248 Guanganwenwai Street,>Beijing, China>P.C: 100055>Tel: 86-10-51655882 51259508 51254237>Fax: 86-10-51655865>Contact Person Liu Yang, Wang Lizheng , Wang Na>Website www.cmice.org.cn ceeitc2007@hotmail.com

NB If any ATTL members would like further details of the exhibition pls email attl_vp@hotmail.com and I will forward to you.

From: Brenda He [mailto:hemiao@tlmchina.com]
>Subject: Proposal from Travel Link Marketing China>>Nice to meet you on Last Thursday in Beijing during BITE. Thank you for>your time.>>Travel Link Marketing is a company base in China who aim at providing>Marketing Representative>>Service for Airlines, Hotel and Tourism Board.>>Our Representation service include:>>Sales call and Mission assistance>Special events/ Event and Exhibition>P.R/ Advertising assistance>Road show/Product Training>Marketing Research/Reporting>Member information Service>Legal service>Storage and distribution>If you have plan to enter China Market, We are your right partner to work>with.>Looking forward to have further discussion.>Best Regards,>Brenda He>General Manager, China>Travel Link Marketing>Tel: 8610-6437-9348, 86-1380-1159862>fax: 8610-6430-1519>E-mail: hemiao@tlmchina.com


Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Great Photos

The world-record journeying Swiss have sent us a link for all the photos they took during their trip around Timor Leste and they are stunning. Thank you very much, Emil and Liliane. Here is the link http://www.weltrekordreise.ch/p_asie_tl2.html
It’s well worth a look.

Also Timor Leste’s presence at the BITE travel expo in Beijing last month got a mention on the following site:

Still waiting for photos of all the fun and games on the Timor Leste stand at BITE and will be posting them as soon as possible.

Viva Rai Doben

Friday, June 22, 2007

BITE Day 2

Well, day 2 slacked off a little from opening day but Timor Leste's stand continued to draw curious visitors. Yesterday, I wore a tais around my neck whilst the Timorese representatives all wore sharp suits, tailored in Beijing, and were looking good. But not to be outdone by the malae, today the tais was much more in evidence. Star of the show was Timorese resident in Beijing, Simplicio Soares Pinto. He not only wore the tais, but also the crown and he carried a traditional sword. He wore it well. He goes to the gym. Young Chinese ladies flocked to the stand to pose for photos with Simplicio against the backdrop of a gorgeous photo of mountain scenery by Daniel Groshong, author of Discover Timor Leste (see link on this blog to order this lovely book). The government's Timor Leste Tourism CD rom was playing in the background (it has recently be updated and now features video). It also has traditional Timorese music in the background; Simplicio revealed a hidden talent for traditional dancing and before we knew it, visitors were joining us on the stand, trying on tais and learning a few steps. It was a party moment. Simplicio must have had his photo taken a hundred times - he should consider a career in modelling. Tomorrow, TVTL is coming to the show and all the Timorese will be wearing the tais. So look out for us on the telly. Will also post photos of all the fun when I get back to Dili.

Vicky Tchong from the Timor Leste Embassy handled most of the meetings with Chinese-speaking visitors. I will blog the highlights of Vicky's contacts after the show. I handled the English speakers, who were less in evidence today, but I did get a couple of leads.

Ye Ling Yuan of China Trade News was so impressed with our stand that she has decided to round up a group of friends and bring them to Timor Leste in October this year. ATTL members are encouraged to email her with details of land tours, etc. to help them to work out how to spend their time. Her address is yly303@126.com.

I also had a meeting with Karen Tian and Coco of Regent China Tours. They are already sending groups of Chinese tourists overseas - they even have an office in Florida. Like many of the visitors to our stand, she is not exactly sure what combination of tours, dive excursions and accommodation will work best for their company. She'd appreciate emails with sample itineraries, rate cards for hotels, etc. I think that it's really worthwhile to make early contact with companies like this to start developing some ties. Email Karen on tykaren@gmail.com or Coco on coco@rcna.com. Regent China Tours has a website at www.regenttour.com.

I also did a radio interview with Radio Beijing today with the editor of their English language learning section. It was a general chat about tourism and I managed to get plenty of information in the 5-minute segment about land and sea tourism, coffee farms, tais, big open spaces without crowds of tourists and the fact that Timor Leste is a new destination. This is likely to appeal to an emerging sector in the Chinese tourism market - those travellers who have already been to London, Paris, Rome, Sydney, etc and are ready to try some adventure. This type of traffic is growing and these tourists can afford to explore the world.

We received a lot of visitors who are selling future trade shows and various promotional services. The best of the bunch was Jason Mills of Exit Magazines, who specialises in preparing and placing destination promotional materials such as posters in travel agents, TV promos, magazine editorials, etc. It may be early days for us in terms of budget, but it might be worth looking into it to get a feel for what we can do later when we have the means. His email is jason@exitmag.cn and the website is www.exitmag.cm.

Tomorrow the show is open to the public. Should be interesting. I should get a t-shirt printed with "Head for north Australia and hang a left. You can't miss it".

Viva Timor Leste!
(to the right of Bali, facing north)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

BITE (Beijing International Tourism Expo) Day 1

Dear Members,
Greeting from Beijing.

The first day of the show kicked off with fireworks and a lot of fanfare. The Timor Leste stand was besieged for the first half of the day as visitors crowded round to get their "goody bags" containing booklets about Timor Leste prepared by the Embassy in Beijing. The Sagres Garden free key ring went down well.
Most frequently asked question: "Where is it??". It's still early days for us in this market. Many of the visitors to the stand were actually looking to sell holidays in China. If any members are interested in details, please email me and I will pass on your questions.
Another popular approach was from those selling advertising within China or offering agency representation.
For me, the pick of the day was from a Dutch travel agent, Mr A. Flach from Flach Travel Company. He arranges holidays for small groups (around 8 at a time) looking for adventure holidays. He would like to receive emails from:
Eco D
Vila Harmonia
Dive Timor Lorosae
and various hotels at different price levels.
He's looking for a combination of these companies to put together a sample package involving land tours, diviing and cultural activities for experienced travellers who have seen it all and want something new.
His website is: http://www.flachtravel.nl/
email: reizen@flachtravel.nl
He was really quite enthusiastic. Get in touch and sell him your wares. The company's motto is "When travelling is part of your life....". I reckon they're a good fit for Timor Leste.

Travel agent Li Ran operates from the Great Wall Sheraton in Beijing. She's interested in exploring the idea of selling packages to Timor Leste, and also in acting as Chinese agent for Timor Leste companies. Contact her on email: gwatc@public.bta.net6.cn and http://wlgj.b2b.hc360.com/.

George Wei from Let's Discover The World! U-cafe, U-backpacker's club also showed some interest. Contact him at wtc0606@sina.com. Website: http://www.u-cafe.com.cn/ He normally takes groups to Indonesia, especially Java and Malaysia but is looking for something new.

Star Shine Tours is involved in diving in the Red Sea. General Manager Mahmoud Fawzy would be happy to cross-market (I'll send you mine if your send me yours) with Dive centres in Timor Leste (Attention: Dive Timor Lorosae and FreeFlow). email info@starshinetours.com and website http://www.starshinetours.com/.

Advertising prospects for those wishing to enter the Chinese market:
Ali Wei from Shanghai Jinqi'ao Industries has proposed a scheme where you get advertising on local Chinese TV channels (CCTV - includes one English language channel) which links up to a call centre in China, which contacts a local agent who passes the bookings on to you in Timor Leste, on a commission basis. They have wide tourism experience but also could work with other types of business. Contact him on eastsouthasia@gmail.com website http://www.%20shjqa.com/.

And finally:
Travel Abroad Online (http://www.chuguo.org/ looks like a pretty good website specialising in worldwide travel for the independent tourist. Senior Customer Manager Lydian Rong says that the company will design a website in Chinese for you, and carry out regular updates ; this for a yearly fee of US$5980! Mind you, they get 1.200.000 hits per day... where would they all sleep in Dili? Explore this further with Lydian via email on ads@chuguo.cn.

We took in about a hundred business cards all up at the Timor Leste stand and the Embassy staff did a number of press interviews. If you would like any further info or specific contacts, let me know by email.

Viva Timor Leste

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Join us at the next meeting

President: Gino Favaro Hp: +670 723 1058 V-President: Ann Turner Hp: +670 723 4614

V- President : Vicente Ximenes Hp: +670 7250374

Email: attl@arafura.net.au or attl_vp@hotmail.com


All tourism operators, hoteliers, bar and restaurant owners are invited to attend an ATTL meeting on

Thursday, 7th June 2007

4pm at Hotel Dili

Agenda will include:

  • ATTL representation at BITE Travel Trade Show in Beijing on June 20-23. ATTL will present promotional material on behalf of ALL members to overseas travel operators and journalists.
  • PATA Trade Mart in Bali, September 25-28th. Our opportunity to re-launch Timor Leste tourism for the 2008 season.
  • A chance to sign up as an ATTL member – to benefit from ATTL’s current and future initiatives to promote and support the tourism industry in Timor Leste, including internet listing for your business. If you would like your company details to be posted online FREE of charge, please email us for a membership form and bring it to the meeting.

Whether your business is big or small, join us to talk about the issues that affect tourism in Timor Leste. All are welcome.

Join the ATTL!

All hotels, restaurants, tour operators, dive centres and any other tourism-related businesses are eligible to join the ATTL. The membership year runs from July 1st 2007 to June 30th 2008 and membership dues are $50 per annum. All members are entitled to FREE internet listing and ATTL representation at trade shows. To receive your membership form, please email attl_vp@hotmail.com and fill it in with your company details as you would like them to appear online. Email it back to us or bring it with you to the next ATTL meeting together with your subscription fee.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Nice People to Meet...

Check out the "Nice People to Meet" on http//:xananarepublic.blogspot.com. Keep a lookout for Emil and Liliana Schmid who are a Swiss couple mentioned in the Guinness Book of Records for most countries visited in a single car (156). They have been on the road for more than 22 years. And now they are in Timor Leste and loving it. Their blue Toyota Landcruiser has all the countries visited painted on the side.

They will be passing on any tourism they collect on their travels around the country and we will post them as they come in on this site.

They have already sent the following information about Timor Leste consular facilities:
From Emil and Liliana
"TL Consulate in Kupang:It says nothing of a Consulate GENERAL on its letter head or rubber stamp, just: Consulado da Republica Democratica de Timor Leste em Kupang-NTTConsul: Caetano Guterres
Phone: +62 380 8554552 Fax: +62 380 8554553 Cell: +62 81339137755 or 81339367558
Address: Jl. Eltari IIKelurahan Fatululi
Kupang NTT

TL Consulate General in Denpasar/Bali:
Consulado General da Republica Democratica de Timor Leste em Denpasar-Bali
Consul General: Manuel SerranoJl. Prof. Yamin No. 4 Renon
Denpasar Bali
Tel. +62 361 235093
(same place where the Australian Consulate was before)"
I really appreciate updates from travellers on tourism facilities. It helps to keep our database current. Feel free to post.... by emailing attl_vp@hotmail.com or by putting a comment on on this site.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Nema's @ Atauro - Review

Paradise in Dili – Nema’s Lodge, and the getting there

By Chris Steel

As I was about to depart Timor-Leste for too many months, John and I decided to spend my last weekend away on Atauro, the small island lying to the north of Dili. Why go to Bali or Darwin for your well-earned rest, when paradise is less than 40km away? Apart from being one of the most peaceful spots in Timor at present, it boasts excellent snorkelling and diving, sunny smiles and total relaxation, and (at the place we stayed) excellent nosh. Getting there and back can be arranged by negotiating with one of the local boats or there is the new Ro-Ro type ferry Nakromah, doing the twice weekly route on Wednesdays and Saturdays. This also has the bonus of arriving about 500m from Nema’s Lodge.

We only had one night so after some discussions with a Padre we learned that he was returning to Atauro the following day at 10am. These small boats do depend on weather conditions (but there again, so does the Nakroma ferry) but thankfully the weather was perfect. In fact we could have gone across on an inflatable mattress it was so calm, but didn’t fancy the long-toms piercing it!

As scheduled a little dug-out came shoreside from the “Ro Maun Alin” first ferrying all the stuff we were taking across to the island (more on that later). I thought we and the Padre were the only passengers but about a dozen others materialized from the shady banyan trees. Each chose a particular spot to perch – seats are at a premium and you definitely needed to keep well clear of the tiller.

Ro Maun Alin is a sizeable craft powered by a Yamaha 19hp inboard engine. So the rythmic ker-dunk, ker dunk was pretty slow. We soon realised that it would indeed take all of the estimated 3 hours. But hey, who cares, we were on holiday the sea and sky were vying with each other to be bluer and there was plenty to watch. Flying fish and dolphins abound. At other times of the year we would have been looking out for whales. However the best entertainment came from the passengers themselves. First a plastic bag of fresh sardines was brought out and two or three settled down to de-scale and de-gut them. That done, quick swill out of the pan with sea water, followed by what I thought was some sort or vinegar but was actually the local tua mutin, served up in 5 litre containers. One wizened old lady dived in and came up smiling with a mouth brimming with bones in all directions. Niceties meant that John and I were then offered followed by the other non-participant passengers. I was glad to see none of them wanted roll-mop Timorese style though I am sure they are delicious though somewhat prickly!

Apart from speed (lack of it) the downside of this boat was the cost. The advertised US$3 is for locals while we had official tickets printed showing $15. Hmmm, not wanting to be chucked overboard to the sharks we paid up. Or we might have been put on baling duty, I’ve noticed a much needed bit of kit on most of these craft.

[I might add just here that you can hire Island Lady from Island Charters or even tie in a diving trip and get dropped off by FreeFlow or Dive Timor. There are also other local boats regularly going over to sell rice or no doubt bring back stuff that has somehow found its way to Atauro from Indonesia. These methods are much quicker, more comfortable but the former will set you back many more greenbacks.]

Barry, who is an Aussie volunteer, has built Nema’s place at Beloi near the Ferry port. Unfortunately we landed the other end of the island at Vila so needed transport. We were carrying a load of vegetables and other important stuff like whisky and beer, knowing that these things are a bit in short supply on the island. Always best to ring first and ask if he needs anything ferrying out. As it was we should have brought a solenoid thingey (sorry not technical) to enable his lorry (one of only 7 vehicles on the island) to meet us. Never mind, the local “fixer” came along in Vehicle No 2 and soon took us the 5km or so.

Barry has the help of his Timorese extended family and they all come and greet you. The smiles and welcomes are genuine and not just because we have been there several times. We could see that Barry has built several new “chalets” as they are far too attractive to call huts. Ours was a two storey affair with fantastic views across the bay or to the hazy mountains behind. The accommodation is rustic but clean and comfortable. Outside eco-loo (with throne), naturally warm water in the bucket and chuck-it shower. Barry is making a larger house at one end suitable for small conferences or weekend group retreats.

The children ran off to play in the sand while I submerged in velvety crystal clear water nearby. Not good for snorkelling just by our hut, but we learned about only 200m down by the port was the best spot. He didn’t lie. John and I have done quite a bit of diving and a lot of snorkelling over this planet and I can say that for ease of entry, variety and pristine corals and sponges this place takes a lot of beating. Light was fading but tomorrow morning the tide would be lower and the sun higher. Walking back along the beach we saw a freshly landed yellow-fin tuna, nearly as big as the boat it was in. Quick chat to the “lads” to the effect “what a whoppa” and I was wondering what we would be getting for supper/dinner/tea, depending on which type of English you speak. Several beers consumed (bring your own if you don’t like Tiger) and the world put to rights. Then the feast! Those tuna steaks done in garlic and lime, but so fresh and yummy were sublime. Even John ate seconds and he doesn’t like fish! Perfection - a cloudless night sky with the milky way in attendance. Someone was singing and you could feel the tensions easing out of the knots in your back. Oh why did I have to leave for UK the next day?

The repeat snorkelling experience left us spell-bound. Spotless sandy beach, body warm waters. Such colour and diversity!. And even if you have never done it before, at low tide you can walk in about 10m, stick you face in the water and see the edge of the reef. We scooted over the top to the drop off the other side, when you get that magic feeling like you are flying out over the deep blue. This was all of 25m from the shore (at low tide) and less than 100m from where the boat “docks”.

The return by the new Nakroma ferry was a different type of adventure. Don’t bother mustering on the first blast of the siren, which is probably just to get you out of the water, as it only takes 10 minutes to wander down the beach from Nema’s Lodge and there are another couple of hoots before leaving anyway. We travelled back 1st class which is exactly the same as VIP but $3 cheaper at $7. You can do 2nd Class which is very comfortable but no air-con at $3 (I think).

At time of writing Barry charges $15 per person per day, dinner bed and breakfast. This is definitely excellent value, especially when compared with the other Eco-Lodge along the way which charges separately for accommodation and food, the latter being very poor fare when we were there on previous occasion.

If you are reading this, and have a few days in which to “escape”, do please consider going over to Atauro. Barry and his Timorese family will give you a welcome like no other. You can get all the details from FreeFlow or this web site. The only downside I can see is always needing more time to enjoy a decent dose of paradise.
To book Nema's @ Atauro call Barry on +670-723-6084
To charter the Island Lady call Jim on +670-725-8419
To dive Atauro with FreeFlow call Wayne on +670-7234614

Sunday, April 22, 2007

About ATTL

ATTL – Working for Tourism Development in Timor Leste

ATTL was established in 2003 with the objective of uniting tourism operators to work towards developing the industry in Timor Leste. To this end, it is active in four main areas:

1. Lobbying and Consultation
ATTL is working actively with UNDP/WTO and the Government to represent the industry’s interests in formulating a new Tourism Development Policy. It is also a member of the Timor Leste Business Forum (FETL), a general private sector organisation composed of most of Timor Leste’s largest trade associations, aimed at facilitating dialogue with the Government, World Bank and donors.

2. Information and Communication
ATTL has begun preparing a tourism industry database and is negotiating with IFC/PEP and other donors to fund an ATTL Website. The information gathered will not only serve to inform potential visitors and overseas tour operators about tourism facilities in the country, but will also identify areas of tourism potential to be brought to the attention of donors seeking projects to fund.

3. Destination Promotion and Marketing
ATTL supported the Timor Leste government delegation attending the Darwin Expo in 2001 and PATA 2003 in Singapore. At the Timor Leste Tourism Director’s request, we will be present at PATA 2007 in Bali and the International Travel Show 2007 in Beijing. ATTL also hosted a workshop for World Hotel Link, an electronic marketing website for accommodation in Timor Leste. In addition, we are working on establishing other links with tourism operators, trade associations and friends of Timor Leste overseas.

4. Tourism Development
ATTL has a special introductory membership rate for small Timorese businesses so we can share expertise and support them as they grow. We are in the process of organising a “Training for Tourism” workshop, to identify skills needed by the industry and match them up to donors and training organisations, with the aim of increasing employment in the country. ATTL will also post job advertisements on its website. ATTL has participated in a Cultural Impacts workshop hosted by the East Timor Development agency and continues to be an active Private Sector partner with the Timor Leste Government Directorate of Tourism, Donor Nations and NGO's in a range of tourism development initiatives.

So, what's this blog for?

The Tourism Association of East Timor (ATTL - Associacao de Turismo de Timor Leste) is planning to launch a new website about the country's tourism industry. The website will allow tourists to access information about accommodation, restaurants, excursions and other activities such as scuba diving and will also serve as a source of information about the ATTL's work in promoting tourism, on behalf of all tourism operators in Timor Leste.

This blog is just the beginning.... You are welcome to post information about your tourism business as well as enquiries about facilities and any other comments you may have about tourist-related subjects in Timor Leste. Later, the information you supply could be posted on the ATTL website.

Please share your thoughts!