By Za'im Zaini
A signing ceremony was held between Brunei Association of Travel agents (BATA) and Sarawak Tourism Federation (STF).
The signing ceremony, which was witnessed by the Sarawak Assistant Tourism Minister, Haji Hamden Ahmad, is part of preparations for the resumption of flights to Kuching by Royal Brunei Airlines. Also present was the Malaysian High Commissioner to Brunei, Datuk Ali Bin Abdullah.
President of STF, Wee Hong Seng, told the press that, "Previously since the suspension of Royal Brunei Airlines flights to Sarawak, it was difficult to promote tourism but hopefully with the resumption of flights to Kuching soon by Royal Brunei, probably this year, it will help promote tourism". He said with the possible air linkage, the bilateral ties between the two countries can only get better in order to achieve a win-win situation in tourism.
He said "we have proposed with the kind agreement of BATA to have a memorandum of understanding" covering the following areas and services:
Both BATA and STF will smartly plan, promote and collaborate in any proposed joint tour packages and tourism events covering Brunei and Kuching/ Miri, Sarawak, in the spirit of BIMP EAGA;
Both BATA and STF will jointly plan, promote and initiate proposal for an integrated and better tourism linkages between Brunei and Kuching for increased tour mobility as a springboard to spearhead the BIMP EAGA tourism destination and promotion;
Both BATA and STF will jointly plan, promote and cooperate to encourage more inter-regional exchange visits between people of Brunei and Kuching, Sarawak;
Both BATA and STF will jointly plan and collaborate to increase better understanding and cooperation between members of tourism industry encompassed within the BIMP-EAGA areas of co-operation;
Both BATA and STF will jointly encourage and co-ordinate the promotion and development of tourism between the above mentioned regions;
Both BATA and STF will jointly encourage, coordinate and further exchange the promotion and development of educational exchange programmes and the overall education tourism between the above mentioned regions; and
Both BATA and STF will give support and cooperation towards the harmonisation of the process and regulating border crossing and security initiated by both the Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia governments.
Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin Weekend