Brunei expects over 400,000 tourists in 2026


Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism Tutiaty Abdul Wahab in a group photo with prize recipients. - BB

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN: In the short term, the tourism industry in the Sultanate anticipates that there will be over 400,000 tourist arrivals by air in 2026, bringing in an estimated BND300 million in tourism receipts from the arrivals.

Acting Director of the Tourism Development Department at the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT) Salinah Mohd Salleh said this during a presentation ceremony, held by the MPRT through the Tourism Development Department, to honour Bruneian recipients of the Asean Tourism Standards Awards, at its premises.

“To achieve these targets, we are working closely with current and new partners to explore new markets and launch new and improved products and packages,” she said.

The prestigious recognition was bestowed on Brunei’s entities in conjunction with the Asean Tourism Forum 2024 (ATF 2024), themed ‘Quality and Responsible Tourism – Sustaining Asean Future’ held on Jan 26 in Vientiane, Laos.

Permanent Secretary at the MPRT Tutiaty Abdul Wahab was the guest of honour at the event.

“One of the Tourism Development Department’s initiatives was to organise the first Tourism Service Providers (TSPs) Enhancement Workshop that began in February last year,” Salinah said.

“The programme aims to increase the value of product offerings, instil confidence in the products, and provide TSPs with resources to enhance their products for the tourists,” she added.

She also said, “Over the last year, we have seen improvements in services and products provided by participants. This is a small but essential step towards ensuring that the sector expands and that visitors have an enjoyable, high quality and memorable experience.”

The Asean Tourism Standards serves as guidelines for all Asean member states and regional tourism industry players in providing high-quality and excellent services to tourists, with the goal of making Asean a world-class destination in accordance with the Asean Strategic Tourism Plan 2016-2025.

The Empire Brunei stands out as the sole recipient of the Asean MICE Venue Standard in both Exhibition Venue Type 1 and Meeting Room categories.

Additionally, Radisson Hotel Brunei Darussalam and An-Naura Hall of Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Complex were awarded for their excellence in the Meeting Room category.

Radisson Hotel Brunei Darussalam was also awarded the Asean Green Hotel Standard, while Kuala Belait was recognised as the Asean Clean Tourist City Standard, with the award already presented in Laos during the ATF 2024. Freme Rainforest Lodge was recognised for its achievement in Asean Sustainable Tourism (Gastronomy Tourism – Rural).

Certificates of participation in Tourism Service Providers Enhancement Programme 2023 were also presented to five participants – Eco Ponies Garden, Labi Coffee Farm, Lamin Warisan, Mori Farm and Roda Impian Cruise.

The programme, launched by the Tourism Development Department, aims to assist TSP in improving their products and services to meet higher standards. Its goals include establishing a distinctive selling point for providers and enhancing the value and personalisation of visitor experiences.

Salinah said, “The Asean Tourism Standards integrate and adapt various existing international and national standards, best practices and guidelines, as well as Asean member states’ protocols, to reflect common regional parameters. It recognises and rewards recipients of their exceptional service that is intended to set the standards of what is attainable and desirable in the competitive global tourism market.

“Over time, this will contribute to an overall improvement in industry standards as we work collaboratively towards mutual objectives.”

Looking at travel trends for 2024, according to Conde Nast Traveller, she added, “Travellers will be valuing deeper experiences that leave a positive impact on the environment, time spent with loved ones and wellness moments that last well after checkout.

“They will be choosing destinations carefully, take the path less travelled, slowing it down to enjoy the silence and the stars, indulging in food at new and interesting places, immersing themselves in wellness and participating in sustainable activities.” – Borneo Bulletin/ANN

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