ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Brunei needs more attractions, better pricing to attract Indonesian visitors
BRUNEI needs to expand its tourism options and apply more competitive pricing to attract more tourists from Indonesia, a senior official from the embassy saidthe day before yesterday.
Rudhito Widagdo, Minister Counsellor and Economic Coordinator at the Indonesian Embassy to Brunei, said that Indonesians visiting Brunei have lamented the limited options and high prices.
“The prices of some products in Brunei are too expensive for Indonesian visitors who then spend their money in neighbouring countries knowing that they can get more value for their money,” he told The Brunei Times.
In April, Nurul Qomar, the Indonesian Ambassador to Brunei, said that tourism-related links between both countries have been “far behind” potential. “Indonesia is not yet a significant destination for Brunei’s investors and vice versa,and the same thing happens in the tourism industry,” she said at that time.
She said that air links needs to be boosted to support tourism and also improve connectivity. A stronger tourism sector will also support the aviation industry, a senior official from Brunei’s national carrier said in October.
Karam Chand, Royal Brunei Airlines (RB) chief commercial and planning officer, said that airline needed to grow the number of inbound passengers but that can only happen when tourism is developed further.
“The aviation side is easy to change. We’ve got lots of seats that are empty so we can always fill our planes more. But the bigger challenge is finding out what the country offers,” Chand said at that time. According to him, there are about 220,00 international inbound passengers to Brunei per year and an estimated 400,000 outbound passengers.
On the other hand, Malaysia recorded 25 million international inbound tourists for 2012, according to data from the World Bank.
He said that growth is also challenging for the airline if it were to depend solely on the local travel market which has already reached a maturity point. Economies such as India and China have more potential in terms of people to travel so there is more room to grow, he said. --The Brunei Times
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