When marketing an island destination for tourism, ethical and moral issues must be considered, particularly given that the way in which a nation is promoted can have a profound impact on its residents and the type of tourism and tourists it attracts. In this article, I examine this challenge as it is faced by Timor-Leste, a young island nation attempting to grow its tourism sector. I investigate the possibility of developing a marketing campaign that avoids the commodification of paradise and, instead of adopting a "3s" (sun, sea, and sand) approach to marketing, begins from a "sense of place" as understood by local residents, through analyzing their desired representations of paradise, culture, people, and personality. The article concludes with describing a marketing campaign developed in collaboration with tourism stakeholders in Timor-Leste that demonstrates the potential for an Indigenous stakeholder-led approach to marketing an island nation.


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pp. 438-459
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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