New tourism campaign will ensure COVID-19 preventive measures

James Kon

At the launching of ‘Selera Bruneiku’ and Islamic Values in Tourism Services, Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Apong assured that the latest domestic tourism campaign will continue to adhere to the measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The minister said, “In promoting domestic tourism, the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT), in collaboration with other government agencies and travel agents, are continuously working to ensure that measures to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 are adhered to; this includes body temperature checks, hand washing and social or physical distancing.

“The level of safety, cleanliness and comfort of visitors is also always emphasised when handling tourism activities.”

The minister hoped the tourism campaign would ensure business continuity for entrepreneurs, together with employment in the local tourism industry: “The availability of new products or bespoke travel packages can generally open up many employment and business opportunities for the local people.

“According to statistics received by the Tourism Development Department, over 100 local personnel have been given employment opportunities with this domestic tourism packages.
“The Tourism Development Department has held joint consultations with hotels, local travel agents, tourism service providers, village consultative councils (MPKs) and relevant government agencies, such as District Offices, to make the Domestic Tourism packages a success.

Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Apong with representatives of the archery class. PHOTO: JAMES KON

“Some of the packages comprise a cruise on the Brunei River, participating in the Parang Making Workshop in Kampong Lamunin, Tutong District, and a visit to Mendaram Besar and Teraja longhouses located in Mukim Labi, Belait.

“Insya Allah, we hope to see more tourism stakeholders offer domestic tourism activities in the long term.

He added, “The Domestic Tourism campaign is also in preparation for the school holidays this December. Due to limited travel activities, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is expected that locals will spend their holidays visiting interesting places in the country with their families.

“It is timely for the campaign and these local travel packages to be made ready now.

“In accordance with the Malay Islamic Monarchy (MIB) concept, the MPRT has incorporated Islamic values as part of our customer service training, in the ways we treat our guests as customers and tourists visiting the country.

“Several training programme sessions and talks on customer service were held by the Tourism Development Department, in collaboration with educational training institutions, such as SEAMEO Voctech and the Religious Teachers University College of Seri Begawan (KUPU SB).

“Participants comprised owners, managers, and supervisors of hotels, restaurants.

“In the initial phase, six restaurants often visited by tourists were selected to participate in the training. This training will also be extended to other restaurants, government agencies, hotels, tourism service providers, as well as travel agency staff, especially tour guides.

“Through this campaign, it is hoped that it will contribute to the country’s economic growth by encouraging locals and residents to spend locally.

“This in turn, will also help open up more business opportunities for our local entrepreneurs in the fields of agriculture, livestock and fisheries industries, as there would be higher demand for meat products, poultry, fish, seafood, vegetables and the like in local restaurants.”