Friday, February 23, 2024
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Brunei Town

Reviving Tutong tourism

James Kon

The launch of Tourism Product Packages nationwide is aimed at promoting domestic tourism by encouraging the public to visit the array of interesting sites across the nation.

This was said by Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Apong yesterday at the launch of the Tutong Product Packages at the official residence of the Tutong District Officer.

Legislative Council members, deputy permanent secretary, Brunei Tourism Board members, Tutong Municipal Board Chairman, Acting Tutong District Officer, government officials and tourism stakeholders were also present.

“Alhamdulillah, all tourism product packages in all districts have been launched, the last one being Tutong,” said the minister. “Rich in culture and pristine forests, Tutong District has much to offer in terms of community-based tourism.”

The Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT), through the Tourism Development Department, reached out to all tourist destinations with the potential to be further developed by improving the standards of safety, cleanliness and facilities, said the minister.

In conjunction with the launch, brochures had been produced that included sample itineraries for visitors to choose from or design their own tours and activities through local travel agencies.

“The brochures, which include the prices of tours or activities, serve as a guide for domestic and foreign tourists,” said Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali.

ABOVE & BELOW: Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Apong tours the exhibition; and among the products on display. PHOTOS: JAMES KON

ABOVE & BELOW: Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali hands over the ASEAN Clean Tourist City Award to Tutong Municipal Board Chairman Haji Azmi bin Haji Abdul Rahim; and the minister tries out an activity

The minister also highlighted the importance of complying with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) to curb the spread of COVID-19, urging tourist destinations to implement strict SOPs for the safety of the visitors and its staff.

According to the Tourism Development Department, the launch of tourism product packages was aimed at promoting places of interests that offer ‘experiential tours’ service involving primary and emerging products from village consultative councils (MPK); assisting stakeholders such as hotels, tourguides, tour agents and tour service providers in providing complete and flexible itineraries; promoting new tourist attractions that are less known but have the potential to attract visitors; preparing for school holiday promotions in April, August and December; and preparing for the influx in tourists from abroad once borders re-open.

The event also witnessed the presentation of ASEAN Clean Tourist City Award by Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali to Pekan Tutong, represented by Tutong Municipal Board Chairman Haji Azmi bin Haji Abdul Rahim.

The ASEAN Clean Tourist City Award is a recognition of tourist cities within the ASEAN region where cultural, natural and/or man-made attractions exist, that comply with a number of criteria. The indicators evaluated in the ASEAN Clean Tourist City Standard are based on several criteria including environmental management, cleanliness, waste management, awareness-building about environmental protection and cleanliness, green spaces, health safety and urban safety and security as well as tourism infrastructure and facilities.

A familiarisation trip was also conducted for the media and travel agents, starting with a visit to Lakaba Jaya Gallery, Kampong Sengkarai, known for homemade chocolate and decoupage.

Hajah Sauyah binti Haji Mahmud, who established her Lakaba Jaya Gallery in 1997, gave a demonstration on decoupage, the art of cutting and pasting printed paper cutouts.

The minister along with other guests also visited Angkasa Oudh Agarwood, which is a locally owned company that makes products using agarwood; and Syarikat Wira Bina in Kampong Tanjong Maya, which is a local company that produces high quality virgin coconut oil.

The event also saw the entourage enjoy a brisk walk at a nearby forest and witness a demonstration of traditional games at Lamin Warisan.

On the impact of the third COVID-19 wave to businesses, Lamin Warisan Manager Nuraqibah binti Haji Abdul Hamid, in an interview, said, “We have received numerous calls of postponement to Lamin Warisan visit after the recent spike in COVID-19 cases. We have amended our SOPs to restrict unvaccinated children from visiting the establishment for public safety.”

The entourage also took a trip to Bintudoh Greenspring Resort and Eco Ponies Garden in Tutong District.