| Achong Tanjong |
BRUNEI tourism industry has been seeing a big influx of tourists coming via cruise ships and in a span of eight days the numbers are going to swell by over a thousand.
Some 1,280 tourists will arrive on two cruise ships – Silver Wind on January 7, 2015 and Crystal Cruise on January 12, 2015 – carrying 390 and 890 passengers respectively.
Both cruise ships will dock at Muara Port. The cruise ship Silver Wind will arrive on January 7, the stopover being part of an 11-day cruise from Singapore to Bali.
The cruise ships are brought to Brunei by Freme Travel Services as the shipping agency.
While in the Sultanate, the passengers will go on a city tour and sightseeing around the capital as well as visit other places of interest.
The arrival of tourists on cruise ships boosts business in the tourism sector. Luxury buses are chartered to transport the tourists to various places of interest in the capital.
Transport, food & beverage sectors and tour companies as well as other related businesses stand to gain from such visits.
Statistics show that in 2013 the number of cruise vessels, passengers and crew arrivals at Muara Port stood at 25 ships with 26,865 passengers and 16,351 crews compared to 19 ships with 19,913 passengers and 7,989 crews in 2012.
The Ports Department, Ministry of Communications has lauded the services of these cruise liners in choosing Muara Port to be one of their ports of call, resulting in the increase in the number of tourists coming to the country.
The department will continue to work closely with the Brunei Tourism Board to conduct joint marketing and promotion including issuing printed promotional materials, maps, informational brochures and others such as upgrading facilities and signage in order to attract more foreigners in the region and around the world to visit the Sultanate.
The Ports Department will also continue its efforts in negotiating with cruise owners and shipping agents to attract more cruise vessels to make frequent calls at Muara Port without losing sight on the importance of maritime safety and security aspects.