What first attracted you to become a tour guide?
I was born and raised in Temburong and always appreciated the wild and nature. Previously I had a desk job working for the government in administration in Bandar, but since 2009 I’ve been working in tourism industry as a guide. I chose to work in the industry because, to me, it better suited my outdoor lifestyle, as well as me wanting to contribute to the country’s development through tourism.
What can you say about tourism in Brunei and what are your thoughts about being in the industry?
The tourism industry in Brunei is still fresh and developing, especially for the newer generations like us. Most of us don’t know much about the industry compared to many other countries which are way more advanced than us. We only have a few historical sites to show in Brunei, so there is more for us to show in nature to our tourists. It’s great that there’s now a real push from the government to promote this type of tourism. We are hoping that they can help us with their expertise, in a way where we can encourage and recruit more locals to be involved.
To work in tourism, you have to commit and put everything into it to make it a success. The most important thing is your passion. You have to put your heart into it. You have to love it with a passion. This passion must translate into commitment, honesty, awareness and also being humble if you want to succeed as a Nature Tourist Guide. Also you do need to be physically and mentally fit.
Could you tell us a bit more about ecotourism in Brunei?
Ecotourism in Brunei is still small in scale, with only 5 out of the 60 or so tour operators running nature tours, with most concentrating on the city attractions. Before you can go into ecotourism, you must establish your own sites, have your own list of accommodation, your own trained guides for example. Ecotourism is not easy as it relies heavily on your own logistics and resources, as you are often away from development.
Not many locals actually know that the main function of ecotourism is all about supporting the local community as well as the environment. The government is already trying to protect our jungles so everyone needs to keep up the green policy in Brunei. We need to keep telling people how important it is for us to practice this policy for our future.
Every tourist, whenever they first step into a country, has a first impression and to me, that is the hardest part to satisfy. Promoting ecotourism has to start with cleanliness and a respect for the environment.
So where do we start if we wanted to get into helping tourism of Brunei?
If we want to be involved in this industry, we must have knowledge. You must have the feel of love for your country because tourism is also one of the industries that can help with any country’s economy. For me, if you really want to be a tour guide, instructor or someone involved in tourism, then you must have knowledge – about your country and anything to help with tourism itself.
Brunei is just a small country but there are many places that we can see. To me, Brunei is trying to display more of an urban-nature lifestyle with some of the newer places such as Jerudong Park – they mix it up.
I would encourage every Bruneian that hasn’t been to experience our biggest national park and that is Ulu-Ulu Temburong National Park. From a single day trip to a 3-day camping adventure, there is something for everyone. Once people actually see how beautiful our country is, then they will know not to look anywhere else than here – Brunei.
For city tour/nature tour bookings and enquiry please contact Zul Amri at:
Tel: +673 8895598
Facebook: Borneo Trekker Brunei