Saturday, April 03, 2010

Mid-East tourism boost for Brunei

By Siti Hajar

Brunei Darussalam will be expanding its horizons this year in terms of tourism, as the nation's tourism authority, Brunei Tourism, will be venturing out even further in the hopes to promote the Abode of Peace.

Working with local airlines RBA, the Empire Hotel and Country Club as well as tourist operators, Brunei Tourism will be attending the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai next month.

According to Sheikh Jamaluddin Sheikh Mohamed, the CEO of Brunei Tourism, the Middle Eastern market can be improved considering that the particular markets' numbers to the nation has not been very encouraging.

He expressed optimism saying: "Just because it's less doesn't mean we have to stop marketing."

The nation's main attraction, stated the director, is the "rest and relaxation" aspect that Brunei Darussalam has to offer.

"This is exactly what a lot of tourists want," he said. "Those who have been here are pleased about it."

The challenge, it was added, is getting the message across in a more effective way.

Considering that Middle Eastern families travel in groups, Sheikh Jamaluddin said that a number of other tourism attractions for Middle Eastern tourists, such as more Arabic restaurants, need to be considered.

For children's entertainment, he said, "Jerudong Park needs to be redone quickly."

Brunei Tourism will also work hand-in-hand with RBA in terms of packaging the nation with neighbouring countries.

It was explained that the tourists would have the chance to experience Asia's shopping such as in Kuala Lumpur after visiting Brunei Darussalam for rest and relaxation, or vice-versa, by flying with Royal Brunei Airlines.

The tourism forecast for 2010 is "optimistic" he said, especially after the global meltdown in 2009 that saw a significant decrease of tourist arrivals.

"We are going to increase our (tourism) target," he added.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin Weekend

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