From April 2nd to 9th 2016 I had the unique chance for a first exploration of Timor-Leste, an unforgettable experience because of mainly two reasons: On the one hand, SCOPE ASIA organized a fascinating program so that I could get a first comprehensive impression of the country in a very short time. I am very grateful for all the people involved from SCOPE ASIA – especially for Barbara Lietz. On the other hand, I could learn a lot about the nature of Timorese people by meeting numerous locals of different backgrounds, plans and thoughts, but always with a welcoming and positive attitude.
The main focus of the visit was the investigation of educational needs and co-operation possibilities in Timor-Leste and especially in the ZEESM Oé-Cusse. We could visit various hotels and learn about the standard of operations and training level of the people. For me it is always crucial to see into local business to really understand the respective standards and SOP’s as well as the respective requirements in training. We also met local providers of hotel training and could discuss cooperative opportunities.
Last but not least, I got the chance to provide a workshop with 14 students in Oé-Cusse. This was quite a highlight during the whole visit as I got into direct contact with the target group of hospitality training. It was a great pleasure working alongside these promising youngsters that are clearly willing to contribute to the country’s growing tourism development. I could see that what I have heard about the people of Timor concerning their natural hospitality and openness to input from the outside world was entirely true. Based on the information and experience gathered, SCOPE ASIA is now thinking about how hotel education in Timor-Leste could be set up in a sustainable way. The goal is to establish strong foundations for the development of tourism and to enhance the employability of the local people.
By Beat R. Wicki
Entrepreneur and Founder
Swiss Hospitality Academy GmbH
Partner at SCOPE ASIA AG