“Elisa and Gerson” elected to be the Ambassadors for Tourism

“Elisa and Gerson” elected to be the Ambassadors for Tourism

(Photo Tatoli/Francisco Sony)

DILI, 28 june 2022 (TATOLI)— Eliza Joana Gusmão from the National University of Timor Lorosa’e (UNTL) and Gerson João Felipe Ximenes from the Institute of Bussines (IOB) were selected as winners of the tourism ambassadors for 2022-2023.

The two young Timorese were selected through a competition organized by the United States International Development Agency (USAID) through the Tourism For All Project program with the Timor-Leste Religious Tourism Association (ATRTL).

Previously, on May 17, 2022, USAID and ATRTL started a competition that was participated by ten students as new ambassadors for the period 2022-2023. The students came from UNTL, UNITAL, IOB, ISFT, and other universities. The activity was funded by ATRTL with a $2000 fund.

After going through a two-month competition process, this Tuesday two tourism ambassadors were selected, Eliza Joana Gusmão from UNTL and Gerson João Felipe Ximenes from IOB.

Tourism Ambassador, Gerson João Felipe Ximenes said that he and ATRTL will promote religious tourism in Timor-Leste. “We will work together with ATRTL to promote religious tourism in our country. We have just been chosen and we still have a lot of things to do together,” said Gerson at the Timor Hotel, Tuesday.

The same thing was stated by the Tourism Ambassador, Eliza Joana Gusmão, who was honored to be chosen by USAID and ATRTL to become tourism ambassadors. “Later on, we will support the tourism sector in promoting and introducing the potential that exists in Timor-Leste,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Chairperson of ATRTL, Father Angelo Salsinha, believes that young people are the important pillar for the development of the country, one of which is the religious tourism sector in Timor-Leste.

“I believe that young people should become new ambassadors to engage humans with nature and strengthen belief in God,” he said.

ATRTL hopes that the selected tourism ambassadors have the skills to respond to several important pillars consisting of priority, protection, and connectivity to ensure the prosperity and welfare of the people.

USAID representative in TL, Zema Semunegus said, USAID through the Tourism For All Project program is committed to supporting ATRTL to advance religious tourism programs to achieve sustainable goals.

According to Semunegus, Religious Tourism will contribute to state revenues and will reduce Timor-Leste dependence on oil revenues.

The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Community and Culture, Inácia da Conceição Teixeira appreciated the efforts of ATRTL and USAID to elect young people to become ambassadors in developing domestic tourism.

However, she recognized Timor-Leste still has limited infrastructure capacity to provide tourism that meets the standards.

“All countries are now competing to apply digitalization, online payments, and others. We still have to fight again it,” She explained.

She at the same time call on partners to continue cooperating, particularly with the community and young people who will later become owners of the tourism site itself so that they can coordinate and build tourism starting from the community.

On this occasion, USAID officially handed over the Tourism Ambassador program to ATRTL to be continued every year, but with support from USAID.


Journalist: José Belarmino De Sa

Editor: Nelia B


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