Tourism Development Department, Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism in collaboration with the Embassy of Brunei Darussalam in Japan and ASEAN-Japan Centre held a webinar session on Eco-tourism in Japan.
Thirty-one representatives of government agencies (Forestry Department, Fisheries Department, District Offices), education institutions (Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Universiti Teknologi Brunei and Sixth Form Centres), travel agencies and tourism service providers participated.
The webinar session served as a platform to further understand ecotourism from Japan to better equip tourism stakeholders by improving facilities and services offered.
The initiative was in line with Brunei Darussalam’s tourism development strategy, which focusses its tourism product offerings, based on the principle of sustainable, responsible and inclusive tourism by placing emphasis on conservation efforts; preserving and respecting the natural environment, culture, history and local heritage as well as to engage the local community in tourism activities.
Founding Chair of Asian Ecotourism Network (AEN) from Eco Tourism Network and Director of Ecotourism in Japan Masaru Takayama also participated.
Since 2005, Takayama founded Japan Ecolodge Association, the first in Asia with a Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC-recognised standard), that later merged into Asian Ecotourism Network (2015) to promote authentic ecotourism in the Asia Pacific region by creating a networking platform.
Takayama has also been playing a pivotal role in organising the Sustainable Tourism Forums in Japan, working with a number of partners including international organisations, governments and NGOs such as UNWTO. He has visited and toured Brunei in 2014.