BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
Businesses should capitalise on and profit from the influx of visitors into the capital during the Regatta this weekend, a high level tourism official said yesterday.
A large number of foreign visitors are anticipated to flock the capital – the Regatta’s venue – to support family members and friends who are participating in the annual boat race event, said Wardi Hj Mohd Ali, the deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism.
“We are seeing participation from China, Malaysia and Indonesia this year, and that is enough for us to forecast flocks of foreign visitors coming to support their families and friends,” he told The Bruneian on the sidelines of a press conference to announce the upcoming event.
“In that light, businesses, especially those headquartered in the capital to take advantage of the projected increase of visitors,” he said.
Additionally, the presence of wider roads along Jalan Residency which came after the completion of Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha (RIPAS) Bridge will provide more space and allow for more crowd to spectate the race, Wardi added.
He said the parking lots opened along the route leading to the RIPAS Bridge, are large enough to accommodate large fleet of buses.
The senior government official suggested tourism agencies to make use of the new spaces as locations to allow tourists to view the race; hotels and rest houses to provide attractive offerings; and other establishments to supply facilities like camps and chairs for the spectators.
“There are many more ways they can leverage on this event to further promote their businesses; and since the previous years, we have already seen that the Regatta is amongst the event that could attract large number of crowds to the capital,” Wardi said.
There will be no road closure at the event, so crowds are expected to swarm in the moment it started at 9am at the Royal Wharf, possibly staying back until the end of the event which is late in the afternoon.
“With that in mind, I do hope businesses can take this opportunity well,” Wardi said.
Apart from participation of boat racers from China, Indonesia and Malaysia, the event this year will also see three new categories that include youths and school students as means to see more of their involvements in the traditional sport.
There will also be a gallery projecting youth involvements in traditional boat races held at the Royal Wharf for three months, in conjunction of the event.
The Regatta is held in conjunction with His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s 72nd birthday.