Thursday, June 09, 2005

Budget Flights Trigger Surge In Filipino Visitors To Brunei

By Rosli Abidin Yahya

Bandar Seri Begawan - Budget flights introduced late last year between Kota Kinabalu and Manila as well as southern Philippine cities are bringing in more Filipino tourists to Brunei.

The Borneo Bulletin was told that there has been a surge in bookings at travel agents here for the Kota Kinabalu-Bandar Seri Begawan sector made by relatives of Filipino overseas workers here.

Some budget travellers made the journey from Kota Kinabalu to Brunei Darussalam on ferries which arrive in Serasa. Others were picked up by their relatives working in Brunei Darussalam by cars in KK.

The availability of cheaper airfares between Kota Kinabalu and the Philippine cities means that more relatives of Filipino overseas workers are able to visit them here.

Apart from the relatives, there were also tourists who came to visit the Sultanate's attractions.

Industry observers advised related service industries to improve their facilities to cater for a new kind of travellers - the budget tourists.

"Budget hotels should be made available to cater for them as well as the restaurant and transportation sectors," they said.

However, they advised tourists not to misuse their visit passes by working here, adding that they would eventually be caught by enforcement officers.

In addition, the illegal foreign workers could be mistreated such as not being paid by employers and there would be no one to fight for their rights.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

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