The Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT) is looking towards gastronomy as a means to stimulate domestic tourism growth with the launch of the ‘Selera Bruneiku’ or ‘A Taste of Brunei’ tourism campaign.
The new domestic tourism campaign focuses on encouraging locals and residents to embark on a domestic food journey to enjoy special delicacies available at participating restaurants and destinations in all four districts in Brunei.
Speaking during the launch ceremony was MPRT Minister, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Hj Ali Apong who expressed hopes that the campaign will be able to contribute to the country’s economic growth, as it motivates residents to spend more locally.
“This, in turn, will also help open up more business opportunities for our local entrepreneurs in the fields of agriculture, livestock and fisheries industries, as there would be a higher demand for meat products, poultry, fish, seafood, vegetable and the likes in local restaurants,” he said.
The Taste of Brunei, he added, will also allow residents in the sultanate to make the necessary preparations for the upcoming school holidays in December.
Ultimately, however, the launch of the new tourism campaign is to ensure business continuity for entrepreneurs and to ensure employment in the local tourism industry, which has been hit hard by the ongoing global pandemic.
The minister explained how the availability of new products or bespoke travel packages can open up many employment and business opportunities for Bruneians.
Citing statistics from the Tourism Development Department (TDD), YB Dato Hj Ali revealed that more than 100 local personnel were given job opportunities, in light of the new tourism campaign.
He continued that in preparation for the Taste of Brunei, the TDD has held joint consultations with tourism stakeholders from both the public and private sectors as well as members of the community to ensure the new campaign’s success.
To date, a total of twelve tourism agencies, ten hotels and 26 tourism service providers are offering domestic tourism packages consisting of a variety of products such as river cruising on the Brunei River and a Parang Making Workshop in the Tutong district, among others.
The minister went on to say that the MPRT in collaboration with other government agencies and travel agents will ensure that COVID-19 measures are in place and that they are adhered to.
“This includes body temperature checks, hand washing and social or physical distancing,” he said.
YB Dato Hj Ali concluded his speech by highlighting the number of training programme sessions and talks on customer service that were organised by the TDD, which incorporate Islamic values through the treatment of guests as customers and tourists visiting the country.
“This training will later be extended to other restaurants, relevant government agencies, hotels, tourism service providers as well as travel agency staff especially tour guides,” he added.
During the event, members of the Brunei Tourism Board and guests were also treated to a showcase on some of the activities and packages by the partners participating in the domestic tourism campaign.
The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN