Timor-Leste’s National Strategic Development Plan 2011-2030 has acknowledged that community-based tourism is an important development approach for local communities in order to enhance their local economy. CBET development in Timor-Leste is still in the early stages, and local communities are still encountering a number of challenges in terms of basic infrastructure, financial limitations, and human resources.

However, CBET has been growing considerably over the last three years in Timor-Leste, specifically in the areas where most of the potential ecotourism resources are located, including Ainaro (Maubisse and Hatu Builico), Baucau, Dili (Ataúro Island), Ermera, Liquiça, Lautem (Com and Tutuala) Maliana and Viqueque (Loihunu).

Since 2007, the government of Timor-Leste, through the Ministry of Tourism, has supported CBET initiatives in each of the 13 municipalities. The type of assistance which has been provided by the government has been the provision of small grants to CBET owners in order to improve their businesses in the areas of lodgings, food and beverage, crafts, etc. and the government is strongly committed to continuing this type of assistance in the future. In addition, there are several Non-government Organizations (NGOs) which have also been actively involved in CBET development in Timor-Leste, such as Fundasaun Haburas NGO, Roman Luan, Alola Foundation, and others.

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