Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Bridge is the longest bridge in Southeast Asia, and thus a source of pride for our country. Sadly, it is overlooked as an income generator through sports tourism, which is the fastest growing sector of global tourism that is worth an estimated USD587.87 billion.
Perhaps it is time for the authorities to allow special sporting events to take place on the bridge, such as marathon and cycling, to not only bring fun to sports enthusiasts but also allow the country to capture a slice of the multi-billion-dollar global tourism pie, effectively generating job opportunities and stimulating economic growth.
For instance, these sporting events could be held during the annual Brunei December Festival.
We could even tap into the talents in our sports community, by asking them to volunteer their expertise through managing the events alongside the authorities.
Countries, such as Malaysia, have been using their infrastructures to boost sports tourism for decades, notably the Penang Bridge International Marathon, which regularly attracts tens of thousands of participants from all over the world.
Perhaps someday, Brunei can have its own Brunei International Marathon. Imagine the spectacle on the bridge.