Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Flotilla of tourists coming to Brunei

By P Marilyn

The new year is beginning with the arrival of a "fleet" of tourists to the Kingdom of Unexpected Treasures.

Last week, the ocean-liner "The Coastal Marine" stopped by for a day bringing about 700 tourists who managed to visit several places of interest, including a half-day city tour, and the tropical rainforest in Temburong.

Today, the cruise ship "Spirit of Adventure" is coming to Brunei from Kota Kinabalu with about 180 tourists. The cruise ship will dock in Brunei for 10 hours before heading off to Nhatrang Port in Vietnam.

Another cruise ship "Artemis" from the United Kingdom is scheduled to dock at Muara Port on January 18, this time bringing in a total of 1,700 passengers and crew. According to the shipping manager of Jasra Harrison, the passengers onboard comprise Americans, British, Europeans and Australians. The ship is going on a world cruise and will be coming in from Kota Kinabalu. It will leave for Penang after its Brunei stop-over. During their 12-hour stay in Brunei, the crew members will be brought on an inbound tour, while the passengers will enjoy a city tour.

Speaking to the Bulletin, Sheikh Jamaluddin bin Sheikh Mohammad, the Director of Tourism Development under the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources, said, "The increase in cruise ships coming to the Sultanate shows Brunei as a destination of choice. Five years ago, there were no cruise ships coming to Brunei. It takes time for word to get around about what Brunei has to offer, and I believe as time goes by, the ships will stop here longer than a day."

"The Tourism Development has been conducting overseas marketing by attending trade shows and hosting familiarisation trips by inviting foreign journalists to Brunei to promote the Sultanate.

"The increasing arrivals of cruise ships reflect the success of the efforts made by the Tourism Development in promoting Brunei. It also partly contributes to the country's economy. I am also very happy with the port authorities for doing up the terminal where tourists can make use of the facilities during their short stay in Brunei," added Sheikh Jamaludin.

Two more cruise ships, "Silver Whisper" and "Costa Marina", are scheduled to stop over in Brunei towards the end of this month. Another ship, "Seven Seas Voyager" from America, currently in the Middle East, is expected to arrive in Brunei on February 26, bringing in more tourists.

The increase in tourists and cruise ships coming to the country reflects Brunei's popularity as a tourist destination amongst foreigners, and this in turn will help boost the country's economy as well as uphold the country's reputation as the Kingdom of Unexpected Treasures.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

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