BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (Borneo Bulletin/Asia News Network): Visitors to the Royal Regalia can now access a personalised guided tour on their mobile phones following the launch of the Digital Audio Tour Guide for Royal Regalia on the izi.TRAVEL mobile app on Tuesday (Jan 4).
The digital audio tour comes in five languages: Bahasa Melayu, English, Mandarin, Korean and Japanese. The Embassy of China in Brunei Darussalam, the Embassy of Korea in Brunei Darussalam and the Embassy of Japan in Brunei Darussalam provided assistance with the foreign languages.
Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Dato Seri Setia Awang Ali Apong and Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Aminuddin Ihsan Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Abidin launched the Digital Audio Tour Guide.
As part of the contribution to digitalising tourism in the Sultanate, the Digital Audio Tour Guide was created by ebode, a team of content creators under Dynamik Technologies Sdn Bhd, in collaboration with the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT) and Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS).
The application allows users to access tours virtually from home or use as a personal pocket audio guide when visiting places of interest.
The digital guide aims to promote the Sultanate’s history, landmarks and culture to local and international tourists, with the support of the MPRT and the MCYS. Tourists can explore Brunei at their own pace with a modern, immersive and user-friendly experience learning about the country’s historical and cultural attractions.
Quizzes and quests are embedded in some tours for interactivities and photos of artefacts, audio and videos are also available.
Dynamik Technologies Sdn Bhd CEO Haslina Mohd Taib said, “When we first reviewed the digital transformation of tourism in Brunei working with the MPRT, it was proposed to initially begin with the digitisation of tour guidance for museums.
“We assessed the technologies that museums worldwide adopted with the aim to digitise information such as maps, navigation, description of artefacts and historical events.
“We also realised that museums were investing in the future generation to ensure significant historical events are understood and as such, there was a need to invest in technology to cater to the tech savvy generation who depend on stimulation and interactivity,” she said.
Haslina added, “In line with industry 4.0, data driven information is vital to improving the overall tourist experience. On a larger scale, we saw that with Brunei’s digital tourism, we could create robust tours, address the need for more tour guides, create consistency of information in different languages, create programmes and interactive elements, help structure tours and make it more interesting for tourists to get to know the Sultanate.
“We proposed that the best way and the most common tool at hand that almost everyone possess is a smartphone. Smartphone tours have multiple features such as audio, photos, text, videos, quests and using triggering technologies like GPS, bluetooth and QR code scanning.
"We began by building a prototype for Zone A of the Royal Regalia Museum, a well-known and popular tourist attraction and an outdoor tour for Bandar Seri Begawan.”
Using the izi.TRAVEL application, she said, “We placed Brunei on the map and given the situation with Covid-19, we started receiving virtual tourists, not only from Brunei but also from China, South Korea, Japan, Russia and the United Kingdom.
"Since then, we have taken our collaboration further with the MPRT and the MCYS and created a premium tour for the Royal Regalia Museum for all the zones within the museum.”
She hoped that through the digital guide, tourists can now be immersed in the history and culture of Brunei Darussalam as they explore and learn about the country’s historical and cultural landmarks, anytime and anywhere.
The digital audio guide will also supplement physical visits whether solo or in groups. Visitors, who are visually or audio impaired, can also listen or read the information.
“We will continue to expand the collection of digital audio guides for the benefit of our domestic and international tourists,” Haslina added.
Ambassadors, ambassador designates, high commissioners, Tourism Board members, senior officials from the MPRT, the MCYS and Dynamik Technologies management also attended.