Remaining true to purpose is essential to avoid the easy trap of goal displacement, that is forgetting what motivated the activity in the first place. Tourism development presents a fundamental tension between potentially conflicting economic, environmental and cultural goals. A clear and transparent statement of purpose is essential to inform planning, product development, marketing strategies and customer targeting.
Our thoughts about the purpose of tourism in Timor-Leste
- Develop non-oil industries: There is an urgent need to develop a non-oil economy of Timor-Leste. To understand just how quickly this will happen it is worth look at La’o Hamutuk’s work on Oil and gas in Timor-Leste. La’o Hamutuk is the Timor-Leste institute for development monitoring and analysis.
- Create sustainable employment in all districts: The rural districts (The areas outside of Dili) are where most people live. They live in agricultural communities and unemployment is very high. For more information about poverty figures, employment and infant mortality figures in Timor-Leste visit the Poverty in Timor-Leste section of the Asia Development bank site. There also an excellent report from 2014 by the Timor-Leste directorate of statistics on poverty in Timor-Leste
- Build international good will and understanding of Timor-Leste: It is only when we speak to people who are not connected to Timor-Leste that we realise that so little is understood about the country. Many people are unaware that Timor-Leste is a country and have little idea where it is. In Australia people often talk to us and our customers about safety and security, disease, aid and poverty. We feel that one of the purposes of tourism and marketing is to help people understand the real nature of Timor-Leste. Tourism will be most effective when it aims to give tourists a great experience so they become ambassadors for the country.