Monday, June 30, 2008

Identifying Marine Ecotourism Opportunities in Timor-Leste

Aerial View of Timor Leste's coastline

Media Release: 26.06.08
Identifying Marine Ecotourism Opportunities in Timor-Leste
The Department of Natural Resources, Environment and The Arts (NRETA) Marine Biodiversity Group are conducting regular aerial surveys of Timor-Leste’s coastal waters in partnership with the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) to identify potential marine ecotourism opportunities in the region.
NRETA wildlife officer Ray Chatto and marine scientists Dr Scott Whiting and Dr Kiki Dethmers are undertaking monthly aerial surveys of large marine fauna in the coastal waters of Timor-Leste throughout 2008, with the third field trip taking place early last week.
“The aerial wildlife surveys are designed to look for the occurrence of whale sharks, large sharks, whales, dolphins, dugongs, crocodiles and turtles in the area,” Mr Chatto said.
“Each field trip takes place over two days – the first day we conduct aerial surveys from a small fixed wing aircraft and the second day we undertake boat-based surveys to get a closer look.”
AIMS scientist and Project Leader, Dr Mark Meekan said the project is primarily focussed on identifying sustainable, coastal and marine ecotourism opportunities for the developing country.
“Over the last 20 years ecotourism that enables people to interact with large marine fauna, from whale watching to snorkelling with large sharks, such as the giant whale sharks, has become increasingly popular, in fact, marine ecotourism has become one of the world’s fastest growing marine industries,” Dr Meekan said.
“Importantly, for developing countries, marine ecotourism provides significant flow-on effects to local communities and economies where few alternative sources of income exist.
“The really good news is that the ocean current systems that surround Timor-Leste are well known as a migration pathway for many species of large marine fauna.
“The monthly aerial surveys by NRETA, combined with satellite remote sensing data will help us determine where the marine fauna may occur on a regular basis, and whether development of a regional industry based on ecotourism is a possibility.”
The project is being undertaken in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) in Timor-Leste and is one of six Government of Timor-Leste funded collaborative, coastal and marine projects being undertaken by Territory scientists to support sustainable regional economic development of coastal industries such as ecotourism, aquaculture and fisheries.
Mr Chatto said the research, planning and training projects are also focussed on building Timor-Leste’s capacity in coastal and marine science and management,
“One of the outcomes of this particular project is training Timorese staff from MAFF to undertake aerial wildlife surveys in the region,” Mr Chatto said.
“East Timor’s Government recognises the value of its natural resources and biodiversity and have sought the Northern Territory’s assistance to ensure that these natural marine resources maintain their value and are used in a sustainable way.”
Media Note – for more information contact Ray Chatto on 8920 9260 or Mark Meekan on 8920 9240

Friday, June 20, 2008

Good News!

Up until now, the only flights to and from Timor-Leste have been Dili-Bali and Dili-Darwin. Now, the first direct flight to Singapore is due to start operating. See below for the official announcement from Austasia Airlines:


For Immediate Release


Dili, 18 June 2008… Recently the President of Timor-Leste announced that direct flights to Dili will soon commence from Singapore. Under the management of Austasia Airlines, a Singapore delegation is present in Dili to conduct an operational study of Dili Airport facilities. The satisfactory result of the investigation of airport facilities will result in the flight proceeding in July. Final approvals will be issued when the Singapore Delegation submits its report to the company’s head office next week in Singapore. Operations in Dili will be managed by Austasia Airlines who are in the process of establishing facilities to manage the flight. The company is also required to provide certain information to the Director General of Civil Aviation of Timor-Leste before commencing.

The inaugural flight is proposed for Tuesday, 22 July 2008. In August the flights will increase to two flights per week, Tuesday and Friday. In November the airline will increase the frequency to three flights per week operating on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

The flights will operate with an Airbus A319 fitted with 12 business class and 106 economy class seats and offer a high standard of service with international cuisine. The 4 hour flight has been schedule to connect with inbound and outbound connections with most international ports and the flight schedule is as follows:
SIN / DIL 09:20 / 14:15
DIL / SIN 15:25 / 18:10

The airline will release special fares to appointed international wholesale agents to develop package holidays to Timor-Leste for less than US$1,000 including airfares, 7 nights’ accommodation and airport transfers. Future holiday packages will also be made available for the period of November onwards for 3 nights and 4 days.

The airline will be making conscious efforts to develop tourism into Dili working closely in conjunction with the Minister of Tourism and his staff. Strong interest has already been received by overseas agents for diving, fishing and adventure tourism. Minister of Tourism, Gil Alves said “I am pleased with the proposals to develop tourism packages to Timor-Leste which would assist all hotel and tourism operators and his department would actively assist the airline”.

Airfares will range from US$ 345.00 per sector excluding taxes and special low cost fares will also be introduced for early-bird bookings, ranging from US$ 250.00 per sector. Only e-tickets will be issued for these flights.

The Minister of Development, Joao Goncalves stated that “The advent of the Singapore flight will result in influx of Asian businessmen interested in investing in Timor-Leste, this will be good for our country’s economic development and the job opportunities that will be created for our people”.

For further information, please contact :
Andisuari Dewi
Marketing Manager
M : +670.7301180
E :


Untuk Disiarkan Segera


Dili, 18 June 2008… Melanjut pengumuman resmi dari Presiden Timor-Leste beberapa minggu yang lalu perihal penerbangan langsung dari Singapore ke Dili dalam waktu dekat, dibawah manajemen Austasia Airlines, sebuah delegasi dari Singapura saat ini sedang berada di Dili untuk melakukan observasi fasilitas operational dari airport Dili. Hasil observasi tersebut akan menjadi dasar dilakukan penerbangan mulai bulan Juli mendatang. Ijin penerbangan akan dikeluarkan setelah delegasi dari Singapura menyerahkan hasil observasi kepada kantor pusat di Singapura minggu depan. Penerbangan ini akan dikelola oleh Austasia Airlines, yang juga sedang mempersiapkan segala keperluan agar penerbangan dapat berjalan dengan lancar. Perusahaan penerbangan tetap harus menyerahkan dokumen-dokumen pelengkap kepada Direktur General Penerbangan Timor-Leste sebelum melakukan penerbangan tersebut.

Penerbangan perdana direncanakan pada hari Selasa tanggal 22 Juli 2008. Pada bulan Agustus penerbangan langsung tersebut akan ditingkatkan menjadi 2 kali seminggu yaitu pada hari Selasa dan Jumat. Berikut pada bulan November penerbangan akan ditingkatkan menjadi 3 kali seminggu yaitu pada hari Selasa, Kamis and Sabtu.

Penerbangan akan menggunakan pesawat Airbus 319 dengan kapasitas tempat duduk 12 kelas bisnis dan 106 kelas ekonomi dan menawarkan pelayanan tingkat internasional. Penerbangan langung yang memerlukan 4 jam dari Singapura ke Dili telah dijadwalkan sedemikian rupa sehingga dapat koneksi ke berbagai negara-negara di belahan dunia dapat dilakukan dengan lancar. Adapun jadwal penerbangan sebagai berikut :
SIN / DIL 09:20 / 14:15
DIL / SIN 15:25 / 18:10

Austasia Airlines akan memberikan harga tiket murah kepada beberapa agen wholesale untuk membuat paket berlibur ke Timor-Leste dengan harga dibawah US$1,000. Paket ini sudah termasuk tiket, akomodasi selama 7 malam dan antar-jemput ke bandara. Paket-paket lainnya untuk menginap selama 3 malam/4 hari akan tersedia untuk bulan Nomember dan selanjutnya.

Perusahaan penerbangan ini akan membantu mengembangkan industri pariwisata bekerjasama dengan Kementerian Pariwisata. Rute baru ini telah dilirik oleh biro perjalanan di seluruh dunia karena daya tarik Timor-Leste yang menawakan berwisata diving, fishing dan adventure. Menteri Pariwisata, Gil Alves mengatakan “Saya menerima dengan sangat terbuka proposal yang telah diajukan dalam usaha meningkatkan industri pariwisata dan usaha yang dilakukan akan memberikan

keuntungan dalam mengembangkan akomodasi serta perusahaan wisata lainnya. Kementrian Pariwisata akan mendukung usaha perusahaan penerbangan ini”.

Harga tiket berkisar US$345.00 per sector (one way) dan tidak termasuk pajak penerbangan. Harga tiket murah juga akan diperkenalkan bagi mereka yang memesan tiket lebih awal. Perusahaan penerbangan ini juga memperkenalkan system e-tiket kepada masyarakan Timor-Leste.

Mentri Pembangun, Joao Goncalves mengatakan “Hasil penerbangan dari Singapore ini akan mengundang investor-investor dari Asia untuk menamankan modal mereka di Timor-Leste. Hal ini sangat membantu dalam meningkatkan perkembangan perekonomian Negara dan akan membuk lapangan pekerjaan bagi masyarakat Timor-Leste”.

Untuk informasi lebih lanjut, silahkan menghubungi :
Andisuari Dewi
Marketing Manager
M : +670.7301180
E :


Thursday, June 5, 2008

Miss World Australia chooses Timor-Leste as her favourite place

Miss World Australia, Caroline Pemberton, meets Timor-Leste's President, Jose Ramos Horta

Caroline Pemberton, who won the Miss World Australia title in 2007, is a sponsor of the orphanage at Baguia in Timor Leste's Baucau District, which she visited for the first time soon after she was crowned. When she was approached by 9 network's flagship travel programme, "Getaway" to present a segment on her favourite place in the world, she chose Baguia and returned to Timor Leste with the film crew on May 31st, 2008.

Caroline and the Getaway crew receive a traditional smiling welcome at the Baguia orphanage

The National Directorate of Tourism hosted her visit, with accommodation at the Discovery Hotel in Dili and the Pousada in Baucau. Caroline was also invited to a dinner at the beachside Victoria Restaurant in Dili as a guest of Mr Gil Alves, the Minister of Tourism, Commerce and Industry. The Minister of Infrastructure, Mr Pedro Lay and the Minister of Health, Mr Nelson Martins were also present at the party.

Caroline at dinner with the Minister of Tourism, Commerce and Industry, Gil Alves (at head of table), Minister of Infrastructure, Mr Pedro Lay (blue shirt) and Health Minister Nelson Martins

The Getaway crew receive gifts made from traditional tais fabric from the Alola Foundation gift shop and pose for a final photo with the Ministers and National Director of Tourism, Mr Miguel Lobato
In front of the camera for a change: some of Dili's local photojournalists pose for photos with Caroline

The next morning, Caroline and the film crew travelled to Baucau to visit the orphanage, and she also met Timor Leste's President, Jose Ramos Horta on her return to Dili.

Caroline was thrilled to be back in Timor Leste. She said that she loves the country and hopes to come back again on holiday to explore the rest of the country and try scuba diving on our pristine coral reefs.