Report Identifies Real Potential for Cruise Ship Tourism in Timor-Leste

Minister of State and of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and

Official Spokesperson for the Government of Timor-Leste

 Dili, July 6th, 2017

Report Identifies Real Potential for Cruise Ship Tourism in Timor-Leste

A report jointly developed by the Market Development Facility, the Asia Foundation, the Office of the Minister of State, Coordinator of Economic Affairs, and the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, has highlighted the real potential of cruise ship tourism in Timor-Leste after surveying tourists and analyzing information related to the visit of the “Pacific Dawn” to Dili on the 12 of February 2017.

According to its findings more than 95% passengers on the ship disembarked, and despite the various limitations and challenges, tourists were happy with their experience. “Overall, tourists returned with a positive experience, 91% of the respondents said they will recommend Timor-Leste as a destination to their friends and family.”

1,721 tourists came ashore at Dili on the 12th of February and collectively spent $106,998, with the revenue distributed widely. 39% bought souvenirs. Approximately 20% took guided tours, 20% used the ‘Dili Explorer’ Hop-On Hop-Off’ bus and 60% travelled independently. Historical and cultural attractions were the most popular, particularly Cristo Rei [47% visited], the Tais Market [45%] and the Resistance Museum [35%].

Government initiatives to welcome the visitors were well received, including cultural performances at the port and the ‘Taste of Timor Festival’ organized with Dive, Trek & Camp. A key lesson from the visit was that “good private sector and public sector coordination and improvement of some key services” were imperative to maintain growth. Some the services identified as needing attention included port infrastructure, information flow, consistent quality of taxi services and easy access to money exchange.

The “Pacific Eden” is the next cruise ship scheduled to come to Dili and is due to arrive on the 18th of August.

Spokesperson, Minister of State Agio Pereira, noted “the good beginning made in the area of cruise ship tourism now needs to be built upon with vigor. It is encouraging that visitors said their favourite aspects about Timor-Leste were our welcoming, friendly people and Timor-Leste’s good ambience. Tourism is a priority area in our development planning that will succeed with us all working together, thoroughly embracing the sector as a key part of our future.”ENDS