Thursday, January 25, 2007

Promoting Brunei tourism on global scale

By P Marilyn

Brunei tourism has reached the shores of the Gulf with the publication of an article entitled "Knocking On Brunei's Door" in the biggest newspaper in United Arab Emirates, Gulf News.

In the article, the writer described Brunei Darussalam as a "quiet, peaceful destination" and commented that the Sultanate has a good chance of hitting the same visibility as Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Bali with the aggressive campaign accredited to the tourism authorities and the national carrier.

In an effort to encourage more tourists to visit the Sultanate, the Tourism Development Department has been organising familiarisation trips to bring in television companies, travel writers and travel agencies.

Speaking to the Bulletin, Sheikh Jamaluddin bin Sheikh Mohammad in his capacity as the Director of Tourism Development under the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources said that the familiarisation trip is one of the marketing strategies of the Tourism Development Department to create greater awareness on what Brunei can offer to tourists.

"On average, we organise around 40 trips a year bringing in media people from all over the world such as Australia, UK, Germany as well as the Gulf region but recently the majority of foreign media and travel agencies are coming in from China and Korea," said the director.

The Tourism Development Board has been collaborating with the national carrier, Royal Brunei Airlines, hotel industries in Brunei such as the Empire Hotel and Country Club, as well as local tour agencies, to ensure that the invited foreign media and travel agencies are well taken care of throughout their stay in the Sultanate.

"The familiarisation trip usually takes only about three to four days. Throughout that period, they will be exposed to attraction sites in Brunei such as Temburong and Tasek Merimbun," Sheikh Jamaluddin said, adding that they would also be given a city tour.

"This is the best way to get them exposed to the Sultanate," he added.

The Tourism Development Department also takes part in trade shows overseas to promote the Sultanate.

According to Sheikh Jamaluddin, the Tourism Development Department on average participates in approximately 26 trade shows a year all over the world such as the UK, Germany, Australia, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and China.

The Tourism Development Department will be taking part in the Asean Tourism Forum in Singapore from January 26 to February 2. The event will involve meetings between tourism officials, ministers and invited speakers from all over the world who will share their views and ideas on tourism issues.

There will also be an exhibition during the event, where the Tourism Development Department will have a booth for local travel agents and hotel industries. Among them are Freme Travel, Sunshine Borneo Tours, the Empire Hotel and Country Club, Rizqun International Hotel, Orchid Garden Hotel and Royal Brunei Airlines.

The Asean Tourism Forum is a big event, which Brunei hopes to host in 2009.

The tourism authorities hoped that the nation's exposure would go beyond the Gulf and that its strategies could draw in more tourists to the nation.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

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