Welcome to the Visit Brunei Blog

This site is created as the Brunei blogging community's contribution to help promote Brunei Darussalam as a tourist destination. We will endeavour to provide as much "informal" information to those who will be interested to visit Brunei Darussalam, the Kingdom of Unexpected Treasures. The format of this blog will be simple and informal. The authors comprise of the members of Brunei Darussalam's blogosphere who have kindly agreed to contribute their thoughts in words and images, all in the name of promoting Brunei Darussalam as a must-go destination for tourists from all over the world! Hope you enjoy visiting this site as much as I'm certain we will enjoy contributing to it!! Cheers! AnakBrunei

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Brunei Tanahairku

This was originally posted here by fellow blogger s.a.s on . I thought it was a fantastic piece on our hopes for Brunei Tourism.

...Yesterday, along with other passengers heading to Singapore, I saw the big boss from Tourism Board and two officers. I personally know one of the officers (on professional level) and the officer said they will be in Singapore for a week due to work commitments. I believe they have an exhibition set up here in their effort to promote Brunei as a tourist destination.

Sometimes we take things for granted, believing that Brunei Darussalam is already known to those abroad. But you will be very surprise when some think that Brunei is part of Africa because of Darussalam, some think that we live on a tree, some think that Brunei is somewhere in the Arabian kingdom. I think you will face this particularly if you are abroad and trying to explain where is Brunei.

Funny thing though is, when we mention our beloved monarch, people will straight away know he is one of the richest man in the world and when we try to give a geographical explanation and could not help mentioning “it is somewhere near Singapore” or “on Borneo island”, only then they gave an acknowledging nod.

My point here is, we should appreciate Tourism Board’s effort in trying to promote Brunei as a tourist destination. Perhaps some of you will think what is there to offer? We are not as exciting as Singapore, Malaysia or Thailand. But we should support the eco-tourism industry we are trying to promote. Let’s harness that for our benefit.

I remember one of my close friend who came to visit me from Australia said that Brunei is a good place to raise her kids. Hehe! A few years back, I met a Chinese lady from Kuala Lumpur on my flight back to Brunei and she said the same thing too. Although that is not directly linked to tourism, but it is an indication that Brunei do has some hidden treasures yet to be discovered even by us.

In the effort to enhance and strengthen our tourism industry, the Government established its own Tourism Board on July 11, 2005. The tourism arm under the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources was also upgraded and known as the Department of Tourism Development.

In two years time, Brunei will have its ‘Visit Brunei Year 2008′ where the board has underlined six objectives to make it a success.

Among those mentioned were; to increase tourist’s arrivals at a minimum of seven per cent annually; to increase hotel occupancy by a rate of 50 to 60 per cent by 2008; to have a new Cultural Village fully operational by end of 2007; and to increase domestic tourism.

The board has started its promotion with the first kicked off in Vietnam in June this year. That coincided with the opening of our national carrier’s new branch office at Ho Chi Minh City.

This brings me to my next point, traveling now should no longer be a hassle particularly between ASEAN member countries particularly since Brunei is signatory to the Multilateral Agreement on the Liberalisation of Passenger Air Services on December 27, 2004. As an ‘open skies’ treaty that contains unlimited third and fourth freedom traffic rights, it enables Brunei-owned airlines to operate into the signatory states while carrying passengers from other non-signatories.

Other signatories to this treaty include Singapore and Thailand.

Also a point to be taken is that visa are now exempted for travelling between ASEAN member countries. However, it is provided that your visit is less than 14 days and you are there only for a visit. This has been agreed recently so hopefully, we will benefit from it, particularly for our tourism industry.

A number of events in the bid to attract tourists had been organised such as the ASIAN PGA Golf ‘Brunei Open’ 2006, the Inakako Fireworks in November (tbc), 2nd Brunei Marathon in December and many more. Maybe you can come up with more activities or events that the board can look into.

I know we still have a lot of homework to do and make room for changes (such as ensure good and efficient public transport, proper public restrooms, proper travel guide and etc) to make it a success, but we are still young, let the tourism industry progress positively with our support.


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