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Bali to Increase Tourism Ties with Dili

Chairman of Bali Tourism Board Sees Potential in Cooperating with East Timor Tourism Industry.

(8/1/2009) The Chairman of the Bali Tourism Board (BTB), Ngurah Wijaya, has told the National News Agency Antara that he welcomes moves to develop tourism cooperation between Bali and the Timor Leste capital of Dili as a means of increasing accessibility between those two destinations.

Wijaya told Antara: 'This is very interesting, we can exchange our tourism destinations by presenting them in joint destination packages. Dili has long been known in Bali as a key destination and the many international workers assigned in Dili spend their holidays in Bali.'

Wijaya admitted that the number of international workers traveling from Dili to Bali has decreased in recent years. This decrease has occurred following East Timor independence and the gradually diminishing role of international agencies there.

Wijaya called for a phased and well-planned approach to developing Bali-Dili tourism. One means of supporting Dili tourism is through the sharing of skills and knowledge from Bali's advanced tourism labor base.

The idea of enhancing tourism exchanges between Denpasar and Dili was also recently raised on the highest level between Indonesia and Timor Leste when the East Timor Ambassador to Jakarta, Manuel Cerrano, termed the idea of tourism cooperation between Bali and Dili as both interesting and promising, providing an opportunity for his country to increase its foreign exchange earnings.

Dili is served from Bali by Merpati Nusantara who operate a daily flight service. Dili is connected by international flights from Darwin, in Australia's Northern Territory.