How to be a Responsible Traveler on Ataúro Island

–Tetum bellow–

ATKOMA’s Sustainability Story

Sustainability is an important topic for us at Asosiasaun Turizmu Koleku Mahanak Ataúro (ATKOMA). We are a DMO of local tourism leaders founded as a way of bringing low impact tourism to the island. And, so far, we have established different projects to work towards our goals. For example, we were instrumental in the creation of a visitor voluntary contribution fee. This fee means that tourists who want to swim in protected areas are invited to pay a voluntary contribution. This contribution is directed to the community living near the protected areas. We also try to distribute tourism equitably around the island, taking tourists to new destinations that rarely receive visitors. Even though we work hard, we need everyone to do their part. Learn a few easy steps on how to be a Responsible Traveler on Ataúro Island and help us reach our goal of fostering low impact tourism in Ataúro.

Five Steps to Become a Sustainable Tourist

Step 1 – shop locally

There are multiple options when it comes to shopping for handicrafts in Ataúro. Some initiatives such as Boneca de Ataúro, Biojoia de Ataúro and Empreza Diak are leaders in ethically produced handicrafts. The local communities produce valuable and creative souvenirs. However, some keychains in the local markets are made of turtle shells. For that, be sure to ask where and how products are made. 


We understand that price is always a factor when travelling on a budget, but take a look at arts and crafts made by local artisans. By shopping locally you are not only funding their activities but also contributing to conserving traditions and ancient techniques. 

Step 2 – learn about the local culture beforehand 

Tourists are very interested in getting to know the local culture once they arrive. How about next time you start learning before you travel? Some basic research will help you learn simple useful phrases, show you how to dress and even teach you how to behave. For example, learning some vocabulary in the local language can go a long way. Here are some words in Tetum for you to use when visiting Ataúro: 


How are you?: Diak ka lai?

Thank you!: Obrigado/a (m/f)

Good morning: Bondia

Good afternoon: Botarde

Good evening/ night:  Bonoite

Yes: Sin

No: Lae


Being on your best behaviour near sacred areas and towards locals is also key to becoming a sustainable visitor. It is very important in Ataúro that visitors dress appropriately as short and revealing clothes can be offensive to locals. 

Step 3 – be eco friendly!

We already know that we shouldn’t litter. However, being a sustainable tourist means always being a step further. Our concerns should go beyond what is minimally expected. For example, we know that trash management is not a concern in many destinations. Yet, when visiting places that are hard to access, many times they don’t receive proper trash collection and disposal services. When you travel around the island, think of ways you can make a positive impact, rather than just no impact at all. Whether taking trash with you from the island or spending some time volunteering. To fix this, you can simply opt for disposing your trash in bigger cities where plastic disposal services are present or to dispose of the trash once you are back in your hotel.

Step 4 – look out for green certifications

The best way of being sustainable when picking lodging is to opt for locally owned small hotels or homestays. However, if you really need amenities that cannot be provided by small businesses, you should consider staying at certified hotels. Most certified places will display a certification seal. These seals show that they have been through sustainability audits and training. Don’t be afraid to ask and inquire about what type of sustainable initiatives they take. Hotel staff should be trained to explain their sustainability side to visitors and authorities. 

Step 5 – if possible, take longer trips

With the busy schedule most workers have nowadays, vacations become a short and long sought relaxation time. Not everyone can have the luxury of enjoying long vacations, but sustainable tourists should aim for quality over quantity. Visiting one destination instead of five could make the difference when it comes to sustainability. Longer trips will allow you to bond with locals, spread monetary gains to the local population, gain deep knowledge about the culture and build a positive impact. 


It is also important to notice that internet service in Ataúro is improving. Meaning that it is possible to work from home on the island. What about changing your office view and come spend a few months with us? 

Final Step

Congratulations, you are now a step closer to turning into a low impact tourist. We appreciate you taking the interest in improving your behavior and contributing to our mission. You are now ready to explore the island! What about taking all this newly acquired knowledge and putting it into practice? Book a tour and come explore Ataúro. Contact us at [email protected]. Not sure which tour to take? Check out our options here or book a package.



História Sustentabilidade ATKOMA nian

Sustentabilidade mak topiku ida importante ba ami iha Asosiasaun Turizmu Koleku Mahanak Ataúro (ATKOMA). Ami mak Organizasaun Jestaun Destinasaun husi líder local turizmu nian nebe hari nu’udar dalan ida atu lori turizmu ida nebe iha impaktu kiik ba illa Ataúro. No to’o ohin loron ami estabelese ona projetu oin-oin atu serbisu ba iha diresaun ami nian objetivu sira. Pur exemplu, ami nia knaar importante iha kriasaun taxa kontribuisaun voluntária ba vizitante sira. Taxa ne’e iha sentidu katak turista sira nebe hakarak nani iha area protejida sira, ami husu sira selu kontribuisaun voluntária. Kontribuisaun ne’e atu fo ba komunidade sira moris besik area protejida. Ami mos koko atu distribui turizmu ho forma ekuitativa iha illa Ataúro, lori turista sira ba iha destinasaun sira foun nebe  raru simu vizitante sira. Maski ami serbisu maka’as, ami preciza ema hotu halo sira nian parte. Aprende passu fásil balun oinsa sai Viajante Responsável iha Illa Ataúro no ajuda ami atinje ami nian objetivu atu stimula turizmu ho impaktu kiik iha Ataúro.


Passu Lima atu sai Turista Sustentável


Passu 1 – Sosa sasan lokal

Iha opsaun barak bainhira atu sosa artesenatus iha Ataúro. Initiativa sira balun hanesan  Boneca de Ataúro, Biojoia de Ataúro no Empreza Diak mak líderes halo artesenatus ho etíka. Komunidade local sira halo lembransa sira nebe iha valor no kreativu. Maski nune’e, chave tara-fatin balun iha merkadu local halo husi kulit lenuk. Ba ida ne’e, tenki iha serteza atu husu produtu halo iha-nebe no oinsa.


Ami kompriende katak presu sempre fator importante bainhira halo viajem ho orsamentu limitadu, maibe hateke to’ok ba sasan artesenatus nebe ema local mak halo. Hodi sosa sasan sira local, ita-bo’ot laos deit finansia sira nian aktividade, maibe mos kontribui ba konservasaun sira nian tradisaun no teknika antiga sira. 


Passu 2 – Aprende uluk kultura lokal

Turista sira interesse tebes atu hatene kultura local bainhira sira to’o. Oinsa loron seluk komesa aprende molok halo viajem? Buka buat bazíku balun sei ajuda ita-bo’ot atu hatene frazes simples útil, hatudu ba ita-bo’ot oinsa hatais no mos hanorin ita-bo’ot oinsa komporta. Pur exemplu, aprende vokabuláriu balun iha lian lokal bele ajuda tebes. Iha ne’e lia-fuan balun iha Tetum ba ita-bo’ot atu uza bainhira vizita Ataúro:


How are you?: Diak ka lae?

Thank you!: Obrigado/a (m/f)

Good morning: Bondia

Good afternoon: Botarde

Good evening/ night:  Bonoite

Yes: Sin

No: Lae


Ita-bo’ot komporta ho diak besik fatin sira sagradu ka komunidade local, ne’e mos chave atu sai turista ida sustentável. Iha Ataúro importante tebes ba vizitante sira atu hatais ho apropriadu, tamba roupa badak no nakloke bele ofende ema lokal. 


Passu 3 – Amigável ba ambiente!

Ita hatene ona katak ita labele soe lixu arbiru. Nu entantu, sai turista ida sustentável signifika katak sempre passu ida iha oin. Ami nian preokupasaun sira tenki liu saida mak pur minímu espera husi ita. Pur exemplu, ita hatene katak jestaun lixu laos preokupasaun iha destinasaun barak. Nu entantu, atu vizita fatin sira nebe difísil atu assessu, dala barak sira laiha servisu kolesaun no so’e lixu nebe própriu. Bainhira ita-bo’ot halo viajem  haleu Ataúro, hanoin maneira sira oinsa ita-bo’ot bele halo impaktu pozitivu ida, em vez de laiha impaktu. Serake lori lixu husi illa Ataúro ka passa tempu balun hanesan voluntáriu. Atu hadiak ida ne’e, ita-bo’ot bele simplesmente hili atu so’e ita-bo’ot ninia lixu iha sidade bo’ot liu nebe iha servisu so’e lixu plastiku ka so’e lixu bainhira ita-bo’ot fila fali ona ba hotel.


Passu 4 – Buka sertifikasaun Matak

Dalan diak liu atu sai sustentável mak bainhira eskolla fatin akomodasaun hili hotel kiik ema local nian ka  homestay sira. Nu entantu, karik ita-bo’ot preciza tebes fasilidade nebe mak labele oferese husi negosiu kiik sira, ita-bo’ot tenki konsidera iha hotel sertifikadu sira. Barak husi fatin sira nebe sertifikadu ona sei hatudu selo/segel sertifikasaun. Selo sira ne’e hatudu katak sira liu ona auditoria no treinamentu sustentabilidade. Keta tauk atu husu no inkere kona-ba tipu inisiativa sustentabilidade saida mak sira foti. Staff hotel nian sei hetan treinamentu atu explika sira nian parte sustentabilidade ba sira nian vizitante no autoridade sira. 


Passu 5 – Se karik bele, halo viajem naruk sira

Ho horáriu nebe okupadu ba maioria traballador sira iha tempu agora, férias sira sai tempu relaksasaun badak no buka kleur. Laos ema hotu-hotu bele desfruta ho luxu féria sira naruk, maibe turista  sustentável sira tenki buka kualidade em vez de kuantidade. Vizita destinasaun ida, em vez de lima bele halo diferensa ida bainhira trata kona-ba sustentabilidade. Viajem sira naruk liu sei permite ita-bo’ot atu iha relasaun ho ema local, habelar rendimentu osan ba ema local, manan koñesimentu klean   kona-ba kultura no konstroe impaktu pozitivu.

Importante mos atu nota katak servisu internet nian iha Ataúro mellora ona. Ne’e katak bele serbisu husi uma iha Ataúro. Oinsa muda vizaun ita-bo’ot ninia eskritóriu no mai passa fulan balun ho ami? 


Passu Final

Parabens, ita-bo’ot passu ida besik liu ona atu transforma ba turista ida ho impaktu kiik. Ami aprecia ita-bo’ot iha interesse atu mellora ita-bo’ot ninia komportamentu no kontribui ba ami nian missaun. Agora ita-bo’ot prontu ona atu explora illa Ataúro!


Oinsa ho koñesimentu sira nebe hetan ona ne’e no tau iha prátika? Rezerva passeiu ida no mai explora Ataúro. Kontaktu ami iha [email protected]


Seidauk iha serteza atu foti passeiu ida nebe? Hare ami nian opsaun sira iha ne’e ka rezerva pakote ida.

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