BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
BRUNEI continues to receive up to 35,000 visitors each year by way of cruise ships yet those numbers are not added to the tourist registry simply because Brunei is not considered as the destination on their journey.
Brunei is just a short stop along their trip to somewhere else, said Wardi Hj Mohd Ali, Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT).
However, efforts to change the situation are in place with programmes and activities catered specifically to make Brunei a destination as well as further encourage returns, Wardi said.
The current situation is actually an opportunity for Brunei to showcase itself as a tourist destination by way of promoting its best qualities in culture and tradition, flora and fauna, as well as the excellent weather all year round
“Alhamdulillah, based on the statistics we monitored, Brunei has achieved an 18 per cent improvement for its tourism (sector) for 2016/2017, and we can improve this by diversifying our activities and products,” said Wardi.
“Public cooperation is needed for us to achieve this. Here is an example of how a ‘whole of government’ approach in supporting (and developing) all tourism services in the country is very much needed,” he said.
As a short term measure, Wardi said the MPRT will continue to improve the quality of tourism in Brunei, ensuring all products and services promoted remains relevant and attractive to visitors.
He noted that the ministry has received several proposals for tourist attractions that could help Brunei to get more tourists in the future.
Wardi made the comments while accompanying cruise ship visitors on a tour of Kampong Ayer who stopped over at the “Pink House” in Kg Tamoi Ujung.
The “Pink House” belongs to Hj Muhd Zahari Adis, and has been operating since 2008 with over 2,000 visitors annually.