DEVELOPMENT OF A TOURISM BRAND FOR TIMOR-LESTE
Timor-Leste is an emerging nation located just 640km north of Darwin. Since the nation gained formal independence in 2002, the government has promoted tourism as a means to create jobs, improve regional economic imbalances and diversify the nation’s economy, which is heavily reliant on the oil industry.
The development of a tourism marketing strategy and destination brand are outlined as a priority in the nation’s main policy document, the Strategic Development Plan 2011-2030. However, destination marketing to date has been limited. The slogan ‘Land of Discovery’ was launched in 2002, and was
subsequently replaced by the ‘Turismo Timor-Leste’ logo, developed by a Portuguese agency, in 2005, and has been infrequently utilized since. The absence of an official tourism brand and a targeted marketing strategy for tourism has resulted in 3 out of 4 travelers to Timor-Leste relying on word-of-
mouth information to inform them of their travel1, and only 4% of surveyed Australians stating that they had seen marketing for Timor-Leste as a destination.2
Expanding on a growing evidence base, Timor-Leste’s Ministry of Tourism has worked with The Asia Foundation Timor-Leste in 2016 to develop a vision for a holistic and uniform tourism brand that may be marketed to source markets in the region.