BRUNEI Darussalam received several accolades at the Asean Tourism Standards Awards on Friday in Chiang Mai, Thailand, in conjunction with the Asean Tourism Forum (ATF) 2018.
The Asean Green Hotel Award was received by Ulu-Ulu Resort and Radisson Hotel while the Asean MICE (Meetings, Incentives, conferences and Exhibitions) Venue Award was presented to Radisson Hotel, V-Plaza Hotel and The Empire Hotel & Country Club.
Meanwhile, the Asean Clean Tourist City Award was given to Bandar Seri Begawan. The awards were presented by Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Haji Apong, Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism.
There were seven awardees for the Asean Green Hotel Award, 47 awardees for the Asean MICE Venue Award, and 23 awardees for the Asean Clean Tourist City Award.
The Asean Tourism Ministers who attended the forum noted the progress of adding two new categories to the Asean MICE Venue Standard for the Meeting Room category, namely Meeting Room in Convention and Exhibition Centre setting; and Meeting Room in Public/Private Sector setting.
The Asean Tourism Forum 2018 saw several high-level meetings from January 25-26, 2018, in Chiang Mai, including the 21st Asean Tourism Ministers Meeting, 17th Asean Plus 3 (APT) Tourism Ministers Meeting and the 6th Asean-India Tourism Ministers Meeting.
As part of the forum, a travel exhibition (Travex) was also held from January 24-26, 2018 with the theme ‘Asean-Sustainable Connectivity, Boundless Prosp-erity’.
The exhibition was attended by 240 buyers, 650 sellers and 894 exhibitors. Brunei Darussalam was represented by the Tourism Development Department along with two tourism stakeholders, namely Royal Brunei Airlines and The Empire Hotel & Country Club.
Brunei Darussalam was promoting its variety of tourism packages available as well as international events that will be held in the country in 2018.
At the forum, the Asean ministers were pleased to note the growth of the APT region’s tourism industry in 2017, with the region welcoming 175 million international visitors, a growth of 6.7 per cent compared to 2016.
The ministers appreciated the progress made in the implementation the Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) on Asean Plus 3 Tourism Cooperation and adopted the APT Tourism Cooperation Work Plan 2018-2020 as the successor of the APT Tourism Cooperation Work Plan 2013-2017.
The 2018-2020 Work Plan will continue to provide direction to further enhance APT cooperation in facilitating travel and tourist visits, promoting the development of quality tourism, improving tourism knowledge and skill development, as well as sharing and exchanging information and best practices on tourism statistics, investment opportunities, and tourism marketing and promotion.
The ministers also applauded the vigorous, pivotal roles of the Asean-China Centre, Asean-Japan Centre and Asean-Korea Centre in promoting tourism, people-to-people and cultural exchanges between Asean and the Plus Three countries throughout the year 2017.
Keum Gihyung, Director-General, Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Republic of Korea, told the forum that according to the 2017 Korean Tour Trend Report, Skyscanner, Brunei Darussalam has emerged to be one of the top rising destinations for Korea Outbound Tour Trends.
This was largely due to the introduction of chartered flights to Korea and the publicity gained through media platforms of hosting popular Korean TV shows.