What is the current state of tourism in Brunei?
Brunei’s tourism industry is currently still developing and there is a lot of potential to be explored. With the support of the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism, we are looking to expand the opportunities to significantly contribute to Brunei’s economy and towards our national drive for diversification away from oil and gas. For visitors to our country and even for domestic tourism, we have more attractions opening all the time. There are new places to stay, new adventure sports, tours and even more cruise ships are now including Brunei as one of their stopover destinations.
How do you see tourism developing in the future in regards to education?
The tourism industry in Brunei has lots of potential, especially in tackling employment issues among the youth in Brunei Darussalam. It is quite a diverse industry that has lots of opportunities to be explored.
The Institute of Brunei Technical Education (IBTE), now offers HNTEC in Travel and Tourism, which has diverse modules that apply not only in the tourism industry itself but also other services industries. Our former students are now working with travel agents, local and international airlines, as freelance tour guides and other related work. Therefore in terms of educational perspective, with a qualification in hospitality and tourism programs, our students are competent and marketable not only for local employment but also at the international level.
What do you see as unique in Brunei’s international image as a great place to visit?
Brunei is one of the few places in the world which still has undisturbed rainforest that is relatively easily accessible for people to visit. For people interested in nature and wildlife, this is one of our core assets to promote internationally. In addition to this, the blend of Royal heritage, Islamic values and the Malay culture of Brunei are some of our unique traits. The people of Brunei themselves are also a strength of the country, being friendly and welcoming with a warm smile.
Let’s say you were given the opportunity to boost a local attraction, what would it be?
I would like to see more development of our ‘Majlis Perundingan Kampung’ products (‘One Village – One Product’), where villagers come together to concentrate on producing something unique to their location . For example the virgin coconut oil production in Tanjung Maya in Tutong, or the tourism homestay program offered by Kampong Sungai Bunga in Kampong Ayer.
For more info on IBTE’s Tourism program, visit: Ibte.edu.bn