New order to boost Brunei’s tourism industry
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (The Brunei Times/ANN) - Tourism Order 2016 covers four main areas namely the establishment of the Brunei Tourism Board which has been officially gazetted under the new order, the licensing of travel agents, licensing of tourist guides and the registration of tourist accommodation premises.
The Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT) has announced the establishment of the Tourism Order 2016, a new order that is aimed to promote better governance in the country’s tourism industry.
This was revealed by Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Hj Ali Hj Apong during a certificate presentation ceremony that was held on Wednesday at the Setia Pahlawan Hall of the ministry’s building.
He said that the Tourism Order 2016 was consented by His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam on October 26.
According to the minister the Tourism Order 2016 covers four main areas namely the establishment of the Brunei Tourism Board which has been officially gazetted under the new order, the licensing of travel agents, licensing of tourist guides and the registration of tourist accommodation premises.
“Through the Brunei Tourism Board, the MPRT will be working closely with main tourism stakeholders such as travel agencies, airlines, hotels, associations, food and beverage establishments, government agencies and the public in general,” he said.
The minister added that the Brunei Tourism Board will also function as a platform for dialogues in setting up policy directives for the tourism industry.
“It is our hope that the introduction of the new Tourism Order 2016 will also serve as a new framework for the sustainability of the industry and hence will facilitate the realization of our goals,” added YB Dato Hj Ali.
Speaking to The Brunei Times, Nor-Irrafidah Hj Ismail, a tourism officer overseeing the licensing and enforcement under the new legislation, said that the Tourism Order will also be used to encourage tourism related enterprises to register under the ministry.
“The tourism industry encompasses a lot of things, not just travel agents but also accommodation such as homestays and hotels or any company that provides tours whether they cater to local or foreign tourists and regardless of the mode of transportation that they use,” she said.
By doing this, she added, it allows the ministry to ensure the safety of the tourists all around the sultanate by monitoring, regulating and keeping track of all companies providing tourism related services.
“Whether you are a company providing bicycle tours or providing tours using a water vessel, you are required legally to register under the ministry (so) that god forbid, if anything happens we are aware of the tour agencies involved and we can address the problems immediately,” she said.
Nor-Irrafidah said that these requirements are not new as they fall under the country’s Travel Agents Act which has since come under the Tourism Order 2016, however she added that the order is a means for the ministry to reinforce the requirements to safeguard the quality of the sultanate’s tourism industry.