Saturday, August 21, 2010

Brunei Tourism chief welcomes budget flights

By Azlan Othman

The development of low-cost flights to and from Brunei has a positive consequence for the sultanate's tourism industry with the Director of Brunei Tourism Board, Sheikh Jamaluddin welcoming the low-cost carriers as it serves the purpose of the country's tourism drive very well.

"It certainly boosts air travel. It is my job to encourage any airline to come to Brunei, be it low cost or the non-low cost airline. Even managers and top executives now use low cost airlines With more low cost airlines coming to the country, it would increase connectivity and accessibility," he added.

AirAsia managed to get a daily flight to Brunei from Kuala Lumpur in 2006 and last year, the low cost airline added a second frequency, this time to Kota Kinabalu. And recently, it just received the authorisation to double its services to and from Kuala Lumpur. The second daily service to Malaysia's capital will start from August 25.

Asia's fastest-growing airline, Cebu Pacific (CEB), will also start to fly to the country starting August 22. This Manila-based budget carrier is the third largest low cost carrier in Asia, that will fly twice a week with an Airbus A320 from Manila NAIA to Bandar Seri Begawan. Brunei is Cebu Pacific's 15th international destination.

Asked on the any exciting events in the pipeline, he said Brunei Tourism focuses more on roadshows to the UK, Australia and China than trade shows. "We are on the verge of appointing marketing representatives on selected target markets like Korea, Australia and the UK.

China market too is lucrative and really a market for us, he said adding that he hopes to reach a 30 per cent increase in the country's overall tourist arrivals this year compared to the year before. "As in the previous years, we will once again go to Nanning's CAEXPO again this October," he added.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin Weekend

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