The government is pitching Belait district as a potential destination in Brunei to ASEAN tourism stakeholders.
At the opening of the 48th ASEAN National Tourism Organisations (NTOs) meeting in Kuala Belait this morning, the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT) said it is looking into developing the oil-rich district as a destination for international visitors through increased promotion as well as supporting the tour operators and hotels here.
“This is why we hold these meetings in Belait. We really want to share the opportunity equally across all four districts,” said Wardi Hj Mohd Ali, the deputy permanent secretary at the MPRT.
In an interview, Wardi said that Belait has a lot to offer for visitors, such as its unique culture and several recreational sites.
“In fact, we had introduced new packages last year,” said the senior government official.
“Belait is capable of showcasing culture that are different from people in Bandar Seri Begawan. There is also a treasure trove of nature hotspots including Teraja and more than 50 waterfalls for people to see and enjoy,” he added.
Over 70 delegates comprising senior officials and officials from ASEAN, China, Japan, South Korea and India congregate in Kuala Belait to discuss the progress of implementation of the ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan (ATSP) 2016-2025, in particular on ASEAN regional destination marketing programme and related matters.
The four-day meeting at V-Plaza Hotel is also expected to see discussions on the preparations for the upcoming ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) in Vietnam January next year.
Wardi, who is also the vice-chairman of the meeting, said the meeting is also an avenue for each of the international stakeholders to promote their products and to discuss ways on how they could be better promoted through collaboration among ASEAN countries.
“We want to discuss the quality and the kind of products we want to promote. The purpose is to make ASEAN a single destination in the region and of course we will be looking at possibilities of long haul flights and other opportunities, but this is still under discussion.”
“What is important is to make all of our discussed tourism standards and qualities are well implemented,” he added.
The deputy permanent secretary said he also keen on taking the international delegates on a tour around Belait this week.
“The next few days, we will be having a community-based tourism sampling during a few of our visits, particularly in Mumong,” he said.