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4 May 2008

The rise in cruises, arrivals buoys sultanate

There has been a significant increase in number of cruises visiting Brunei ports, according to Dato Paduka Hj Hamdillah Hj Abd Wahab, the country’s deputy minister of industry and primary resources.

Launching the Second Consumer Fair 2008 earlier this month in Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital, the minister said the number of cruises has increased from four in 2006 to 20 in 2008, while that of passengers has grown from 1,004 in 2006 to 17,000 in 2008.

He noted that tourism could be important platforms that can facilitate and contribute to the economic diversification agenda.

The number of major conference events has also increased from four in 2006 to at least nine in 2008, while that of delegates has risen from 2,800 in 2006 to 5,500 in 2008, according to government statistics.

Meanwhile, the number of charter flights has increased from four in 2006 to 97 in 2008 and passenger arrivals have risen from 2,082 in 2006 to an estimated 16,000 in 2008.

Over the last four months, Brunei has also received more than 4,000 Koreans - a higher figure than that recorded for the whole of last year.

“These numbers speak huge volumes and I cannot help but feel very optimistic,” the minister said.

The sultanate’s main attractions and places of interests, such as the Royal Regalia and museums among others, would be more heavily utilised and thus may be under pressure to withstand the expected number of visitors, he added.




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