Timor-Leste’s national marine tourism association is launching a new national programme based on a global standard for whale-watching tour operators, providing enhanced protection for cetaceans in the nation’s biodiverse waters.
The new voluntary certification by the Assosiasaun Turizmu Maritima Timor-Leste (ATM-TL) will help to ensure tour operators adopt world-class whale-watching standards to protect the significant populations of whales, dolphins and dugongs who live and migrate through the waters of this part of the Coral Triangle.
Blue Ventures has experience running whale survey expeditions in Timor-Leste and is one of the newly certified ‘Responsible Whale Tour Operators.’ Blue Ventures has trained volunteers in undertaking important cetacean surveys which help to monitor marine ecosystems while supporting the establishment of a community-based tourism infrastructure that benefits from whale-watching tourism.
As the nation’s whale-watching season is poised to begin, this rigorous new standard aims to ensure that the growing ecotourism sector in Timor-Leste is balancing the needs of nature, visitors and communities reliant on responsible tourism alike.
Thanks to this new certification, tourists can now identify responsible tour operators who are committed to the national guidelines and global ‘best practice’ in whale-watching.