Saturday, January 30, 2010

Promoting Brunei tourism

Viewpoint by Abang Jit Manis

The Asean Tourism Forum hosted by Brunei Darussalam had just ended recently. Actually, Brunei benefited a lot from this forum, which enabled it to improve and gain more knowledge in promoting its own tourism.

As the tourism in Brunei is still very young, there are still many things left unexplored in this Kingdom of Unexpected Treasures.

As we all know, the Sultanate is mainly covered with green forests, and some of the people living in the rural areas still practise their traditional ways of life.

Therefore, we should introduce a train journey service to explore the jungles and view the rich flora and fauna.

The residents of rural areas could also benefit from this transportation, as they can go to town and return back to their homes without any difficulties.

Currently, the only mean of transportation to visit Kampung Ayer is by boat. Why not in the future we build cable cars?

From the cable cars, the tourists could view the sceneries of Kg Ayer, the state mosque, Nurul Iman Palace and the whole of Bandar Seri Begawan.

The cable cars should also be connected to nearby islands and, if possible, to Muara Port. I am pretty sure the sceneries there would be magnificent, and the tourists would enjoy viewing it from the cable cars.

Beside that, delicacies such as ambuyat, kuih cincin, kelupis and other local food items should also be introduced to the tourists. Well-known hotels should serve these local delicacies to their guests.

Even the presidents and prime ministers from other countries should taste our local food, such as the ambuyat. There is no reason to be embarrassed in introducing our national food - we do this to promote Brunei.

I read in the Internet recently that someone suggested the royal courthouse (Balai Singgahsana) should be built in Kg Ayer.

The writer said, according to history books, that it was obvious in the past if foreign envoys arrived in Brunei that they were welcomed at the Balai Singgahsana.

There are even sketches of how the Balai Singgahsana looked like in the Water Village by early European sailors.

It could be a tourist attraction if a replica of the old Kg Ayer palace is ever built in the future.

The artists' community, such as painters and caricaturists, should display their artworks in order to promote Brunei's tourism.

They all should be stationed at the tourist destinations, such as the Kg Ayer jetty.

Once the tourists arrive there, the artists should immediately sketch caricatures or portraits of the tourists. The small paintings of Kg Ayer and local sceneries with reasonable prices must be available.

Actually, I did this before, but not at Kg Ayer. I drew caricatures for the tourists at hotels and beaches, and they seemed to love my artworks.

Promoting tourism in the Sultanate is not only the responsibility of the government alone, but it also involves all of us.

We should be proud of our local cultures and unspoiled green heritage (forest) - this is the true identity of Brunei Darussalam.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin Weekend

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