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Taipei International Travel Fair



The Taipei International Travel Fair (Taipei ITF) 2008 will take place from October 31 to November 3 at the Hall 1 of Taipei World Trade Center. Taipei ITF is the biggest and the most important Travel and tourism industry fair in Asia.


More than 60 countries will participate in Taipei ITF 2008. New participants include emerging Europe country Slovenia, Singapore Airlines, and Taiwan Tobacco & Liquor Corporation. With high demand of travel and leisure population in Taiwan, even the domestic liquor company also aims to develop tourism. One of the distinguishing features of Taipei ITF is that every other half hour each participated country would take turn to perform fabulous program.




Brunei Tourism is leading the delegation in this years participation of the Travel Fair in taipei with the aim of maintaining and enhancing awareness of Brunei as a leisure and business destination to the Taiwanese market.


Taiwanese visitors fly to Brunei either via Hong Kong or Kota Kinabalu. Altough we currently do not have direct flights to Brunei form Taipei, it is still important for continuous efforts in destination awareness activities such as this to be carried out.


Participating agencies:


Brunei Tourism Development

Brunei Trade and Tourism Representative Office in Taiwan

Royal Brunei Airlines GSA - Federal Transportation Company Ltd

Bonasia Holiday Management Services

PJ Majestic Tours

Pan Bright Travel Service

Lively Dancers





Istana records 101,890 Raya visitors



Monday, October 6, 2008, Number queuing to meet and greet HM & Royal Family just shy of 2006 record, OVER 100,000 people were reported to have visited the Istana Nurul Iman throughout the three days that the residential palace was open to the public for the Hari Raya Aidil Fitri celebrations. This year's figure of 101,890 visitors fell shy of the 2006 record, when a total of 102,599 people converged to meet and greet with His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and the Royal Family.

Thousands upon thousands of the Sultanate's loyal subjects, expatriates and foreign visitors of all ages flocked through the majestic entrance of the Istana Nurul Iman yesterday as the residential palace welcomed the public for the final day of its Hari Raya open house.

In spite of the presence of stormy clouds still lingering overhead from the previous night's torrential downpour, an eager crowd had already formed within the early morning hours, patiently waiting for their chance to convey their Raya greetings to His Majesty and other members of the Royal Family.

After passing through the registration and security checkpoints, His Majesty's guests were treated with the utmost hospitality as hotel-quality meals and free-flowing beverages were served, while festive music and decorations filled the backdrop to accompany the luxurious buffet.

With happily satisfied stomachs, they then proceeded to line up in the winding queue which spanned through the various halls of the grand palace. Parents stood cradling young children in their arms, while senior citizens were given tentative care and respect while they awaited their turn for a close-up encounter with the benevolent ruler and and the royal entourage.

Police, Fire and Rescue Service officers were on hand to ensure that the queue was orderly and were in the appropriate attire to be in the presence of royalty. The crowd was then ushered to the hall where the public could convey their Raya greetings to His Majesty and the Royal Family.

With a smile, the monarch shared a few words with his adoring public as they each took their turn to shake hands with His Majesty in one of the halls of the Istana Nurul Iman.

Also present to greet the masses were His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince, His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Malik and His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Mateen as well as other members of His Majesty's immediate family.

Meanwhile in another hall of the Istana, Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha along with Her Royal Highness Pengiran Isteri Azrinaz Mazhar, Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah and other immediate Royal Family members received the female visitors to the palace.

After they each had their opportunity to meet with the Royal Family, the crowd was then directed to a station where goodies, greeting cards and green packets were handed out, in line with the generous mood that Hari Raya brings every year. Yesterday, the number of visitors reached 17,464 people to Istana Nurul Iman in the morning session alone. Some 8,321 visitors registered for the afternoon meet and greet session.

During the third day of the palace's open house last year, some 29,358 people were reported to have attended the event. In 2007, a total of 95,669 people showed up over the three days that the Istana was open to the public during Hari Raya. In the previous years, it was not unusual to find that the number of visitors surpassed 40,000 each day.

Truly an experience unique to the Sultanate, the Hari Raya open house at the Istana Nurul Iman is one of the much anticipated highlights of the year. Visitors, both local and foreign, throng to the palace annually to personally meet with the ruler of the nation, an opportunity considered rare in most countries. (ODM1)


-- Courtesy of The Brunei Times







Sentosa, August 25: Australia’s Rick Kulacz is one of the exciting breed of newcomers on the Asian Tour this season after his maiden win at the Brunei Open on Sunday.

Kulacz, the 2001 Australian Junior champion, holed a solid bunker shot for birdie and defeated Chinese Taipei veteran Lu Wen-teh in the play-off to emerge as the first Australian winner on the Asian Tour this year.
“My uncle Terry died earlier this year and he’s always told me to believe in myself. I want to dedicate this to him and I felt that he was with me during the play-off,” said Kulacz, who earned a two-year exemption on the Asian Tour as a result of his success.
The 23-year-old Australian collected US$55,641 in total earnings this year and shot up to 51st place on the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit. He also gains automatic entry into the HSBC Champions in November.
“This win takes the pressure off as I can pick and choose my events. It’s a huge weight off my career as I was well down the Order of Merit,” said the Perth-based Kulacz, who turned professional in 2007.
Kulacz is a proven winner as he enjoyed an illustrious amateur career. After having lifted the New South Wales Open title on home soil as an amateur in 2006, Kulacz was paired with Greg Norman in the third round at the Australian Open.
In 2007, he qualified for the US Amateur Championship and reached the quarter finals of the British Amateur. In the same year, he went on to win the Scratch Players Amateur in United States.
His proven track record helped defeat Chinese Taipei veteran Lu who had claimed his third top-10 finish this season at the Empire Hotel and Country Club.
“I hit a good bunker shot in the play-off but didn’t have the luck. Rick had the luck with him,” admitted Lu, who is placed 29th on the rankings with earnings of US$92,029.
Korean rookie Noh Seung-yul, who claimed three runner-up finishes this season, remained in 11th place on the Order of Merit after his tied 24th place finish in Brunei for total earnings of US$192,013.
South African Hendrik Buhrmann emerged as one of Asian Tour’s elite players to surpass the 200 mark when he competed in his 200th event at the Brunei Open.
The Asian Tour heads to Jakarta this week for the Pertamina Indonesia President Invitational with Main Sponsor Qatar Telecom where Filipino Juvic Pagunsan returns as defending champion.

Asian Tour’s Order of Merit top-20


Pos.  Player Winnings (US$)
1 Mark BROWN (NZL) $651,093
2 Jeev Milkha SINGH (IND) $540,694
3 S.S.P. CHOWRASIA (IND)  $439,930
4 Arjun ATWAL (IND) $419,387
5 Scott STRANGE (AUS) $283,340
6 Jyoti RANDHAWA (IND) $256,643
7 LIN Wen-tang (TPE) $255,910
8 Kane WEBBER (AUS) $230,304
9 Taichiro KIYOTA (JPN) $220,261
10 Simon GRIFFITHS (ENG) $198,271
11 NOH Seung-yul (KOR) $192,013
12 Prayad MARKSAENG (THA) $184,096
13 Thaworn WIRATCHANT (THA) $160,488
14 Digvijay SINGH (IND) $152,781
15 Scott HEND (AUS) $147,517
16  Scott BARR (AUS) $137,418
17 LIANG Wen-chong (CHN) $137,120
18 Gaurav GHEI (IND) $130,986
19 Shiv KAPUR (IND)  $121,294
20 HWANG In-choon (KOR) $118,57


-- Courtesy of AsianTour







Bandar Seri Begawan, August 24: Australian rookie Rick Kulacz holed a stunning bunker shot for birdie to defeat Chinese Taipei’s Lu Wen-teh in a play-off and win the Brunei Open on Sunday.

Kulacz, the 2001 world junior champion, produced one of the shots of the season to capture his maiden Asian Tour title at Empire Hotel and Country Club after tying Lu on 13-under-par 271.
The 23-year-old, who held the overnight lead, overcame an early double bogey on his first hole en route to a one-under-par 70 in the final round but was caught by Lu, who closed out with a 67.
Thailand’s Somkiat Srisanga and American Anthony Kang, who both held the lead during an enthralling back nine duel, shared third place after a 68 and 67 respectively to finish one behind the winner.
In the first hole of a sudden-death shootout, Kulacz and Lu found the greenside bunker at the par four 18th hole and after Lu had splashed out to five feet, the Perth-based Kulacz produced the unlikeliest of winning shots.
“My uncle Terry died earlier this year and he’s always told me to believe in myself. I want to dedicate this to him and I felt that he was with me during the play-off,” said Kulacz, who earned US$47,550.
“It feels pretty good. I couldn’t get too far ahead of myself. I was saying in the morning that if nothing goes well early in the day, you can’t give up. I just hung in there and started to feel more confident coming down the stretch which was surprising.”
Kulacz missed a 15-foot birdie attempt on the 18th hole in regulation play to seal a victory but made up for it with the bunker shot, which landed a few feet from the pin before trickling into the hole.
“I’ve been hitting into bunkers all week and I finally found one that was sitting up perfectly. It was the easiest shot. I just had to splash it out and hope for the best. I’ve never been that excited.
“This win takes the pressure off as I can pick and choose my events. It’s a huge weight off my career as I was well down the Order of Merit,” said Kulacz, who will earn a two-year exemption on the Asian Tour and a start at the HSBC Champions in Shanghai in November.
The 45-year-old Lu, chasing his fifth Asian Tour victory, produced a great with his six-birdie round but couldn’t do much at the end.
“I hit a good bunker shot in the play-off but didn’t have the luck. Rick had the luck with him,” said Lu.
“I felt I had a chance to win on the back nine after I made birdies on the 15th and 17th holes and I was playing well coming in. The winds were quite swirly today and my approach in the play-off just carried into the bunker.”
Somkiat was pleased to record his best finish in an Asian Tour event and hopes to build on his Brunei Open performance in his quest for a maiden title. He briefly tied for the lead with a birdie on 15 but couldn’t find any more birdies in his remaining holes to tie the two leaders.
“I’m very happy. I had to save pars on 16 and 17. The winds kept changing and I couldn’t get my clubbing right. I didn’t know I was tied for the lead but I just kept to my routine. I wanted to win badly but it wasn’t to be. I played good this week and hopefully I can have another chance to win,” said the Thai.
Kang was hoping to end a seven-year winless spell and set the early pace with an outward 32. He birdied the 10th as well but lipped out the 12th and 13th holes and missed a birdie on 18 from 20 feet which would have earned him a place in the play-off.
“With the way the scores were going, I didn’t think I was that close to the lead when I was 12-under-par. I found out on the 14th hole that I was tied for the lead and tried to play solid coming down the stretch but it wasn’t to be.
“I was disappointed that I didn’t birdie the par five 15th hole as everyone birdied that. I had 237 yards to the flag and hit it fat,” said Kang.

Inaugural Brunei Open champion Terry Pilkadaris of Australia, compatriot Andrew Dodt and Thai star Thaworn Wiratchant shared fifth place on 273.



Leading final scores


271 - Rick Kulacz (AUS) 68-66-67-70, Lu Wen-Teh (TPE) 70-65-69-67

(Kulacz wins in the first hole of sudden-death play-off)
272 - Anthony Kang (USA) 68-68-69-67, Somkiat Srisanga (THA) 64-70-70-68
273 - Terry Pilkadaris (AUS) 65-67-74-67, Andrew Dodt (AUS) 66-72-66-69, Thaworn Wiratchant (THA) 67-69-66-71
274 - Iain Steel (MAS) 69-70-67-68
275 - Jason King (AUS) 69-69-72-65, Chinnarat Phadungsil (THA) 70-69-69-67, Simon Dunn (SCO) 70-69-69-67, David Gleeson (AUS) 69-70-67-69, Scott Hend (AUS) 69-65-71-70, Mitchell Brown (AUS) 69-70-66-70, Ted Oh (KOR) 65-66-71-73
276 - Marcus Both (AUS) 68-68-71-69, Atthaphon Prathummanee (THA) 69-69-69-69, Wang Ter-chang (TPE) 69-68-69-70, Adam Blyth (AUS) 67-74-65-70, Darren Beck (AUS) 69-70-67-70, Juvic Pagunsan (PHI) 72-69-65-70, Chang Tse-peng (TPE) 69-67-69-71


-- Courtesy of AsianTour







Bandar Seri Begawan, August 22: Korea’s Ted Oh charged into the halfway lead at the Brunei Open on Friday to give himself a shot at winning a maiden Asian Tour title.

The United States-based Oh fired a five-under-par 66 in the second round at Empire Hotel and Country Club to lead by one stroke from inaugural Brunei Open champion Terry Pilkadaris of Australia, who carded a 67.
There was a four-way tie for third place with Thailand’s Somkiat Srisanga, New Zealand’s Richard Lee and Australian duo Scott Hend and rookie Rick Kulacz lying three off the pace in the US$300,000 Asian Tour event.
Overnight leader Young Nam of Korea endured a disappointing triple bogey at his last hole for a 73 to fall six behind. Title holder Lin Wen-tang’s hopes of a successful defence fizzled out with a 72 but compatriot Lu Wen-teh stayed in the hunt with a 65.
History was also made when local amateur Seruji Setia became the first Bruneian to make the halfway cut in the four-year history of the event after shooting second round 69.
Oh, who turns 32 next week, is determined to end his winless run in Asia since winning the Qualifying School in 2001. His lead could have been wider if not for a double bogey on the 17th hole after seven birdies earlier on but the Korean shrugged off the late mistake.
“I played solid. I’m hitting the ball pretty good and keeping it in play and making a few putts. It’s a pretty good combination,” said Oh, who leads on 11-under-par 131. “On 17, I lost my focus and it’s a lesson for me. I’ll just be more patient. I’m over it.”
Playing in Brunei for the first time, Oh said the hard work put in during the summer break has made a big difference. He also brought down his own expectations, admitting he put too much pressure on himself to perform at the start of the year.
“I always have these crazy goals and put too much pressure on myself and it messes me up. I had a nice month and a half break in Los Angeles and won one tournament (Long Beach Open).
“A lot of times, I would make a good start but had a hard time closing it. I don’t think I was in the right physical shape then and tired out in the weekend. That’s one thing I’ve been working on as you know in Asia, it gets pretty warm.
“My swing was a bit loose as well but at the Long Beach, I finished well and won it. I feel my swing is getting better from the work that I’ve put and I’ve gained more confidence.”
Unlike Oh, the straight-hitting Pilkadaris has won three times in the region but his last success was the 2005 Brunei Open. A card that included five birdies against a lone bogey put him in prime position to end his three-year drought.
“I’d prefer to be leading but got a little sloppy from nine to 12. I realised I didn’t eat enough food out there and made a few mistakes around the turn. I started eating after that and then made some birdies coming home,” said the Aussie.
A return to the Jack Nicklaus-designed Empire course brings good vibes for Pilkadaris. “You just get a good feeling here. There are certain holes where you know you’re going to hit it close. It’s been a while (since his last win) and it’s been a frustrating last couple of years.”
The 34-year-old Somkiat shot two birdies against a lone bogey from a three-putt for a 70 to stay in the hunt for a first victory on the Asian Tour. “I played a lot better than yesterday, it was nearly perfect but I just couldn’t hole the putts,” said the Thai.
“It’s nice to be in contention but it’ll be important for me to stick to my routine and not think of it too much,” he added.
Lee, winner of the Thailand Open in 2005, produced his best round of the year with a 64 to shoot into contention. It was a welcome turn in fortunes for the Kiwi, who was in the money on only three occasions from 13 previous starts this year.
“It’s a change compared to what’s been going on the last few months. It’s been pretty tough. I’ve been working on my swing after a friend asked me to play with a fade and last two days, I played with a fade and hit 18 greens today.
“I’m surprised, it could have been 10 or 11 under, I missed a few putts and made bogey on a par five. It’s good. I’ve not shot seven under for a long time,” said Lee.
Seruji, a 39 year old acting chief immigration officer, was over the moon after making the halfway cut, the first from his country to achieve the feat. “I feel very, very happy. I’ve created history by being the first Bruneian to qualify for the weekend rounds of an Asian Tour event. I’m just so happy.”


The cut was set at even par 142 with 69 players qualifying for the final two rounds.



Leading second round scores


131 - Ted Oh (KOR) 65-66

132 - Terry Pilkadaris (AUS) 65-67

134 - Scott Hend (AUS) 69-65, Somkiat Srisanga (THA) 64-70, Richard Lee (NZL) 70-64, Rick Kulacz (AUS) 68-66

135 - Lu Wen-teh (TPE) 70-65

136 - Artemio Murakami (PHI) 71-65, Anthony Kang (USA) 68-68, Chang Tse-peng (TPE) 69-67,

Thaworn Wiratchant (THA) 67-69, Gaurav Ghei (IND) 71-65, Marcus Both (AUS) 68-68, Brad Kennedy (AUS) 65-71

137 - Thammanoon Srirot (THA) 68-69, Young Nam (KOR) 64-73, Will Yanagisawa (USA) 68-69, Adam Le Vesconte (AUS) 70-67, Wang Ter-chang (TPE) 69-68, Antonio Lascuna (PHI) 67-70


-- Courtesy of AsianTour





Nam and Somkiat lead Brunei Open



Korea's Nam Young and Somkiat Srisanga of Thailand ended the first round of the Brunei Open as joint leaders after carding blistering seven-under-par 64s on Thursday.


The duo stole the early thunder at the Empire Hotel and Country Club to lead by one stroke from inaugural champion Terry Pilkadaris of Australia, compatriot Brad Kennedy and Korea's Ted Oh.


Unheralded Filipino Benjie Magada and Andrew Dodt of Australia were a further stroke back after matching 66s while title holder Lin Wen-tang of Taiwan opened his defence with a 68.


While Nam and Somkiat are chasing the elusive maiden Asian Tour victory at this week's US$300,000 event, they have had to overcome various challenges in their careers due to poor health in recent times.


The 35-year-old Nam was told four years ago that playing sparingly until last season but received another scare when a cyst was removed from his neck just six weeks ago.


"It's been a great day. I don't think I deserve to be in this position. In the past two months, this is only my fourth round of golf. I've got 11 stitches on my neck and thankfully the cyst was benign," said Nam.


"I think God helped me out there. I'm more than happy with my result and I'll just try to hang in there. Every hole was a highlight for me. Every time I hit a shot, I said "wow, not bad'. I feel I don't deserve the round but I'll take it," he said.


"You know, when I was diagnosed with spinal meningitis in 2004, the doctor said I may not be able to play golf again and that I could die or even suffer a memory loss after the surgery. So I'm just happy to be out here playing," said Nam.


Somkiat holed a birdie at the last to join Nam atop the leaderboard late in the afternoon. He was delighted with his round which included six consecutive birdies from the eighth to 13th holes.


The 34-year-old has been suffering from a heart ailment since last year and while it may not be as life-threatening as what Nam had faced, the Thai said that any stress and fatigue would be a physical bane for him.


"I've played well in Brunei for the past three years but have always finished poorly in the weekend. I'll try to push for a first win but because of my heart problem, I tend to get tired very quickly. The doctors have said I can't do anything about my health, so I've got to live with it," said Somkiat.


Pilkadaris propelled into contention with a seven birdie round.


"I've been playing well enough these days and I'm close. The game is starting to come back and I just need to get out there to play. It's all starting to come together," he said.  


-- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin





Seruji makes history



Bandar Seri Begawan, August 22: Seruji Setia wrote a slice of golf history at the Brunei Open when he became the first local player to qualify for the weekend rounds at the US$300,000 Asian Tour event on Friday.
The 39-year-old fired a commendable two-under-par 69 at Empire Hotel and Country Club to safely make the halfway cut with his two-day total of three-under-par 139 in the US$300,000 Asian Tour event.
It was the first time since the Brunei Open’s inauguration in 2005 that a local player will feature in the weekend rounds.
“I feel very, very happy. I’ve created history by being the first Bruneian to qualify for the weekend rounds of an Asian Tour event. I’m just so happy,” said a jubilant Seruji.
He said he was under no pressure to deliver despite knowing he was on the verge of achieving a breakthrough for Brunei golf.
“I had a good night’s sleep. There was no pressure on me and I came out here and took it as another day. I struck the ball well and putted well but the greens were so fast.
“This is my fourth time competing in the Brunei Open. Each year I’ve learned so much as it’s a great experience to play with the pros. You learn how they manage their games,” said Seruji.
His gallant run marks a victory of sorts for golf in Brunei, which launched the national championship with the intention of stimulating the growth of the game in the sultanate. As he works as the acting chief immigration officer, Seruji has had to juggle between his commitment at work and golf.
“Normally after work at 5pm, I’ll head straight to the practice range,” he said.
Approaching 40, Seruji has been coaxed by friends to take the plunge and turn professional but he is hesitant due to his age and the fact that he already holds a senior position with the government.
“I am thinking of turning professional. Someone approached me and if I finish well this week, I may make a decision. But the problem is that I also have a good job. That has stopped me from becoming pro all these while,” he said.
However, Seruji hopes that his history-making run will create keener interests amongst the younger generation of golfers in Brunei. He lauded the launch of the Brunei Open on the Asian Tour, saying that it has created a positive spin amongst the locals.
“This year, we had 30 amateurs at the selection trial to play in the Brunei Open while over the last few years, we only saw about 15 players showing an interest to compete.
“I have noticed that there are now more young players learning the game. Some young adults are also taking up the game which is a good sign.
“With the introduction of the Brunei Open, there is an opportunity for us to attract young players to play golf in Brunei. Of course there is a future for golf in Brunei. There are several talented young players and some of them are getting better and better.”


-- Courtesy of AsianTour





           I labeled him the “Federer of Brunei Golf” because he has won many local tournaments under his belt and for any local to make the next round, the chances are high for Seruji Setia. He became the first Bruneian to break the jinx as he made the final cut for the final rounds of the Brunei Open 2008. He shot a 70 and 69 and he’s 8 strokes off the leader Ted Oh from Korea (65-66) followed by former champion Terry Pilkadaris (65-67). The first day round leader Somkiat Srisanga had a poor 2nd day finishing 8 under (64-70).


“I feel very, very happy. I’ve created history by being the first Bruneian to qualify for the weekend rounds of an Asian Tour event. I’m just so happy,” said a jubilant Seruji. He said he was under no pressure to deliver despite knowing he was on the verge of achieving a breakthrough for Brunei golf.


“I had a good night’s sleep. There was no pressure on me and I came out here and took it as another day. I struck the ball well and putted well but the greens were so fast. “This is my fourth time competing in the Brunei Open. Each year I’ve learned so much as it’s a great experience to play with the pros. You learn how they manage their games,” said Seruji.


Pg Hassanal, the only professional local player, withdrew from the tournament after a poor 84 on the first day. Faiz Damit had a 79-76 effort while Ak Wira finished 80-80. The rest of the local players failed to make the cut for the Brunei Open but it’s a good experience for most of them.


-- Posted by ranoadidas.com







Bandar Seri Begawan, August 20: Malaysia’s Ben Leong plans to live up to one of golf’s oldest clichés in his bid for a fourth straight tournament victory at the Brunei Open starting on Thursday.


The 22-year-old Leong is the man in form heading into the US$300,000 event at Empire Hotel and Country Club following three wins on home soil over the past month, including a breakthrough Asian Tour triumph a fortnight ago.


The talented Malaysian revealed that his secret to success has been due to taking it “one shot at a time”, a proverbial line so often used by sportsmen. “I’m not expecting anything this week. I think that’s worked well for me in the last three wins and I’m just focusing on one shot at a time,” said Leong.


“I’m just going to enjoy myself here like how I did in my three previous tournaments. Take it one shot at a time and stick to my routine.”


He outduelled two-time Asian Tour number one Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand to triumph in the Worldwide Selangor Masters which he celebrated with numerous dinners with family and friends upon his return to his hometown in Kota Kinabalu, which is a 20 minute flight from Brunei.


“I took it a bit easy last week. I didn’t practice too much, just chipped and putted a bit to keep my touch. I’m refreshed and ready to go again,” said Leong.


“I’m not going to put any pressure on myself. Everything is great in Brunei, the golf course and hotel is very good. You have to drive it really well here and the key is to putt well and stay really patient.”


Leong is amongst a strong Asian Tour field competing in the fourth edition of the Brunei Open. Other top names include title holder Lin Wen-tang of Chinese Taipei, Thai star Thaworn Wiratchant, Australians Kane Webber and Scott Hend, and former Brunei Open champions Wang Ter-chang of Chinese Taipei and Australian Terry Pilkadaris.


The Malaysian will have to contend with another exciting young prospect in 17-year-old Korean, Noh Seung-yul. The teenage phenom has taken the Asian Tour by storm in his rookie professional season with three runner-up finishes and is gunning for a first title in Brunei.


“I’ve had three runner-up finishes and many people have been asking me when I will be able to win. At every tournament I will do my best and I do hope to win the Brunei Open,” said Noh.


“There is a bit of pressure and I try not to think about it and will keep working hard. A lot of people think winning is the most important matter but I’m looking more at gaining experience on the Asian Tour. Sooner or later, I’m sure I can win.”


Like Leong, Noh also has his father on caddying duties and said that it has helped him sustain his push for glory. “My father knows me inside out. He knows when I’m angry and he can control me and helps me play better. I will always go with my father’s call,” said Noh.


On the opposite age scale, Thai veteran Thaworn Wiratchant returns to action for the first time in the second half of the season with every intention of improving his record at the Brunei Open.


In three previous outings, the 2006 Asian Tour number one, who holds the most victories in the region with 10 titles, has not fared better than 16th place which he achieved last season.


“I don’t know why I always play badly on this golf course. I guess it favours the long hitters as they can reach three of the par fives easily which I can’t,” said the 41-year-old, who won a local Thai event last month.


“We are entering a busy run of events from now onwards and it’s my goal to try and win another tournament this year.”


-- Courtesy of AsianTour







Bandar Seri Begawan, August 19: Chinese Taipei’s Lin Wen-tang hopes that good advice from his wife will lead him to a successful title defence at the Brunei Open starting on Thursday.


The 34-year-old is aiming to become the first man to win back-to-back titles at Empire Hotel and Country Club where he will be challenged by top names like Thai star Thaworn Wiratchant, in-form Malaysian Ben Leong and former champions Terry Pilkadaris of Australia and compatriot Wang Ter-chang.


“My wife told me that I tend to get too quick with my swing. Before coming out to Brunei, she reminded me to just enjoy myself here and to get on with the game. She also reminded me to maintain my slow tempo. I think I’d better listen to her,” said Lin.


As the joint course record holder and being the highest ranked player in the US$300,000 Asian Tour event, Lin, a three-time winner in the region including this season’s Asian Tour International in Thailand, will no doubt be amongst the top contenders for the top prize again at the Jack Nicklaus-designed Empire course.


Lin is also enjoying the privilege of being the title holder where he has been put up in one of Empire’s many luxurious villas. “It’s very nice,” said Lin of his accommodation.


“It’s a good feeling to be back as the defending champion. Every year, I somehow hit good scores here. I was 11 under in the first two years (where he finished tied sixth on both occasions) and last year, I was 15 under to win the title.


“I enjoy being on this golf course. It’s a beautiful site and every where I look, I feel  happy. I like the greens as they roll really fast which I’m comfortable with,” added Lin, who is ranked seventh on the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit.


He added that his father-cum-coach, Lin Chia has challenged him to win more regularly around Asia, despite already owning a streak of winning once in every year since 2006.


“My father says it’s time that I try to win some more big events, so I’ll be aiming to achieve this. I also met up with Yeh Wei-tze who plays in Japan and he said that I should try to bulk up to gain more distance with my drives to compete at a higher level,” he said.


The Brunei Open, inaugurated in 2005, will be Filipino Angelo Que’s first tournament in the second half of the Asian Tour season following his major debut at the British Open last month. And he simply can’t wait to get back into the thick of action.

The reigning Philippine Open champion said: “I’m a bit rusty but I’ll use my excitement of wanting to be out here again to my advantage. I’ve been itching to come out here to play after being home for a while.


“I’ve missed the cut here in the last two years but I really like the golf course. It’s a beautiful course and conditions are always nice. It’s also the best hotel that we stay at the whole year round.


“I’m hitting my irons really good and if I can keep my ball on the fairways from off the tee, I can do well,” said Que.


All eyes will also be on Brunei’s Pengiran Hassanal Alhaj, the country’s lone professional golfer who gave up his amateur status on the eve of last year’s championship.


The 35-year-old hopes that his participation will eventually pave the way for the next generation of Bruneian golfers to come through the ranks. “Over the last four years, we’ve seen a lot of younger players wanting to know more about the game and learning to play golf.


“We need to aim for the younger generation of players who will have better potential to become great golfers like those from neighbouring countries,” said Hassanal, who is aiming to become the first Brunei player to play in all four rounds in his home Open.


-- Courtesy of Asian Tour





Brunei Open Embraces HoB Initiative


Bandar Seri Begawan - Many Asian Tour stars led by defending champion Lin Wen-tang of Chinese Taipei will he shooting for glory from tomorrow in the fourth episode of the Brunei Open, which will embrace the Heart of Borneo (HoB) programme that has been initiated to ensure that one of the last remaining rainforests in the world is maintained in a sustainable manner.




Lin will lead the region's elite players who have assembled for the US$300,000 Asia Tour event at the prestigious Empire Hotel and Country Club from August 21 to 24.


Other notable golfers in this year's Brunei Open include former winners Wang Terchang of Chinese Taipei and Terry Pilkadaris of Australia, in-form Malaysian Ben Leong, who won the Worldwide Selangor Masters two weeks ago, Filipino Angelo Que, former Asian Tour number one Thaworn Wiratchat of Thailand, India's Gautav Ghei and Korean young gun Noh Seung-yul.


This year’s competition is being supported by a myriad of corporations — including Brunei Shell, which is the event's title sponsor.


Brunei Shell Managing Director Dr Graheame Henderson said, "We are honored and delighted to play a major role in the staging of the fourth edition of the Brunei Open. As a corporate citizen of Brunei, we are compelled to support the initiative to develop professional golf in the country which I believe has a very promising future."


Director of Brunei Tourism Development Department, Sheikh Jamaluddin Sheikh Mohamed, who is also the Chairman of the Brunei Open 2008 Organizing Committee, in his opening remarks said, "Our commitment to nature preservation, the environment and our eco-tourism potential in 'The Green Heart of Borneo' initiative is exemplified by the trophy that we present to our Brunei Open whiners, in the shape of a nepenthes or pitcher plant, one of the most emblematic plant species in Borneo and Brunei, which can grow to impressive sizes, as we would like our golf and eco-tourism visitor numbers to!"


-- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

-- Photo Courtesy of Asian Tour





Brunei Products Featured At Tourism Fair In Japan


A wide range of Brunei products such as `sinjang' and ‘Cinta Sos’ are being sold at the ongoing Asean Tourism Fair 2008 in Kyushu City, Japan. The August 20-26 fair, which is being held at Kokura Itsuzuya Department, has been well received by the public.


According to a representative of Hashimoto Corporation, Japanese shoppers have expressed their interest in Brunei-made products because they are made from good quality and elegant materials.


Aside from this, bottles of `Cinta Sos' have been selling like hot cakes ever since the 'halal' product was introduced to the Japanese market. 'Extra hot' and 'Wan Tahai' are among the popular flavours.  


-- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin







The Empire Hotel & Country Club, Jerudong, Brunei, July 14: The Brunei Open will make its return to the Asian Tour Schedule from August 21 to 24 with defending champion Lin Wen-tang of Chinese Taipei leading an array of stars to the Sultanate.



The US$300,000 Championship will be held once again at the highly acclaimed Empire Hotel and Country Club, voted by the players as the ‘Host Venue of the Year’ three years ago.


Since its inauguration in 2005, the Brunei Open has attracted many of Asia’s top players including the likes of Chinese star Liang Wen-chong, winner of the 2007 Asian Tour’s Order of Merit, and Thailand’s Thaworn Wiratchant, holder of the most titles in the region.


Organisers are anticipating another strong turnout of stars next month with the talented Lin, already a winner on the Asian Tour this year, attempting to become the first man to win back-to-back Brunei Open titles.


Brunei Shell Petroleum will title sponsor the Brunei Open for the second successive year where it was also a main sponsor during the inaugural event. Brunei Tourism, under the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources, The Empire Hotel and Country Club, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports and Brunei Darussalam Golf Association are extending their support towards the championship once again together with Cross Creek and Asian Tour partner Srixon.


Profitable Group, an international company which encompasses a range of activities from the highly commercial to the philanthropic, will for the first time to be the presenting sponsor for the Brunei Open 2008.


Brunei Shell Managing Director Dr. Grahaeme Henderson said: "Brunei Shell Petroleum's participation in this event is an extension of our social commitment to provide strong support to the Government's economic diversification programme, where the tourism sector has been earmarked as playing an important role. Both as the premier energy company and leading private corporation in the country, Brunei Shell Petroleum will continue to provide strong support for the Government's efforts in this area."

"Besides contributing towards, tourism marketing and promotional activities, we also support the Government on its parallel efforts to upgrade tourism infrastructure and develop tourist attractions."


Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources and head of Brunei Tourism Board Dato Hamdillah A. H. Wahab said: “When we initiated the Brunei Open back in 2005, we believed that it would become a major event on the Asian Tour and we are delighted that this dream has become a reality.”


“Through the support from the corporate sector, the stature of the Brunei Open has grown immensely and the event has received tremendous media coverage across Asia and internationally. Last year, we welcomed the first professional player from Brunei who competed in the event and it remains our ambition to produce a local winner of the Brunei Open.”


Australian Terry Pilkadaris enjoyed the honor of becoming the first Brunei Open champion in 2005 and he was succeeded by Chinese Taipei veteran Wang Ter-chang, who defeated David Gleeson of Australian in a play-off. Wang’s compatriot, Lin ensured the trophy remained in Taipei for a second year with a magnificent triumph nearly 12 months ago.


Tim Goldring, Group Managing Director of Profitable Group said the company which has been involved with sports sponsorship globally, was pleased to support the Brunei Open. “Although it is still relatively new, the Brunei Open has become a truly international golf tournament on the Asian Tour. We fully support the initiative to stage the Brunei Open as it will stimulate the growth of the game in Brunei. This is the first time that our group has been involved with professional golf in Asia and we believe that it fits perfectly with our brand objectives.”


Dato Paduka Hj Yakub bin Ahmad, President Brunei Darussalam Golf Association, said the Brunei Open’s association with the Asian Tour has benefited golf in the country. “The popularity of the game of golf has increased over the years and it’s very much due to the Brunei Open. Over the past three years, we have enjoyed the privilege of witnessing world-class golf and it has created a big impact amongst our golfers, especially the juniors.”


The Empire Hotel and Country Club, a signature course of Jack Nicklaus, offers many breathtaking views and with its immaculate course conditions, the Brunei Open has become one of the most popular events amongst the Asian Tour stars.


Asian Tour Executive Chairman Kyi Hla Han said: “On behalf of our talented players, I would like to extend our appreciation to Brunei Shell Petroleum, Brunei Tourism, Profitable Group and Brunei Darussalam Golf Association who have played major roles in the success of the Brunei Open.


“The Asian Tour will stage a record 29 tournaments with over US$38 million in total prize money this year and it is only through the continued success of top events like the Brunei Open that we are able to sustain our growth and create playing opportunities for Asia’s talented players.”


The Empire Hotel and Country Club General Manager Manfred Keiler said the club was looking forward to the fourth edition of the Brunei Open: “Our championship course has witnessed many great battles in the Brunei Open and I’m sure spectators and television viewers will be treated to another world-class golf tournament.


“We are excited to host the Brunei Open once again and believe that this championship will continue to create a buzz for young Bruneians to learn and master the game of golf and also increase sports tourism through the popular game of golf,” added Sheikh Jamaluddin bin Sheikh Mohamed, Director of the Brunei Tourism Development Department and Chairman of the Brunei Open Organizing Committee


-- Photo Courtesy of Asian Tour





Kampong Ayer Cultural Centre up soon to boost Brunei tourism



Saturday, 12 July 2008, BRUNEI'S tourism industry will receive a boost with the construction of the $3 million Kampong Ayer Cultural and Tourism Centre, which is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

One of the main features of the building is an observation tower, which would offer tourists "sweeping views" of Kg Ayer and Bandar Seri Begawan, said Sheikh Jamaluddin Sheikh Mohamed, chief executive officer of the Brunei Tourism Board, adding that visitors will be able to scan the city skyline from the tower.

The water-village sets Brunei apart from other destinations in the region. Thus the importance of the centre's role in enabling tourists to better understand the unique way of life that has existed in Brunei since people first decided to establish settlements on the Brunei River, he said.

"This was our way of life, this is the way our (ancestors) have lived... by the river," he told The Brunei Times.

The project hoped to provide tourists visiting the water-village a first-stop venue to learn about the history, culture and traditions of Kampong Ayer before they ventured forth through the network of wooden walkway-bridges, winding their way through the stilt-standing houses.

It was also hoped that the centre would become one of the sultanate's iconic landmarks, adding yet another attraction to cater to the "rapidly" growing number of visitors to Brunei.

The chief executive officer also said that the building's design was supposed to blend in with the surrounding water-village and its roof would be similar to the Yayasan Sultan Hj Hassanal Bolkiah Shopping Complex.

The centre which is located at Kampong Lorong Sikuna, within the sights of the capital's waterfront, is a project undertaken by the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources' Tourism Development Department.

A ceremony at the construction site was held yesterday to bless the centre, which was attended by Minister of Industry and Primary Resources Pehin Orang Kaya Setia Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Ahmad Hj Jumat.

The minister was shown the blueprints of the building by the architect from Kayahartamas Sdn Bhd, Abdul Ghani Hj Mohamed, who was in charge of constructing the project.

The proposed centre would have five galleries surrounding a main exhibition area located at the centre of the building. A tourist information centre, an area for the display and sales of handicrafts, toilets, rest and praying facilities were also part of the construction plans.


--  Courtesy of Brunei Times





KNK Campaign Spreads Is Reach


Monday, 26 May 2008 - Brunei Tourism is continuing its domestic awareness creation campaign, holding presentations as part of its plan to highlight to government officials the importance of the tourism industry as a key driver for economic diversification as well as an employment generator.

Over 200 Ministry of Finance (MOF) personnel yesterday showed up for the Kenali Negara Kitani (KNK) presentation, which was held at the ministry.

Ever since the campaign began in 2007, presentations have been held at different ministries and learning institutions throughout the country.

The KNK campaign focuses on getting the people of Brunei to take time out to explore the wonders the Sultanate has to offer; take up more sporting and leisure activities; sample regional delicacies and purchase local products and crafts.

By promoting the domestic tourism concept, not only can a reduction of outflow of foreign exchange be expected, but the campaign will also encourage the public to use the services of local professional tourism service providers to enjoy out-of-the-ordinary activities.

This will result in the creation of employment opportunities, improve the business outlook for tourism SMEs, help in developing new tourism products and services, and pave the way to making Brunei a more attractive destination for international tourism. In addition to the KNK presentation by the Tourism Department, a product update on the latest facilities available at the Ulu-Ulu Resort in Temburong was also presented, highlighting the improvements the national park accommodation has seen since it was privatised in a pioneering PPP (Public-Private Partnership) agreement last year.

Other KNK partners that came to promote their products included Mona Flora Fauna Tours, SheratonUtama Hotel, Freme Travel Services, Pan Bright Travel Service, Holiday Lodge, Rizqun International as well as Centrepoint Hotel.

The presentation was well received by the audience who appeared keen on making plans for the upcoming school holidays.

The scope of the KNK campaign which will be an ongoing effort over the next two years is to reach all Brunei residents in both their personal and official capacity, convincing them not only that the tourism industry has great importance as an economic activity for Brunei, but that enjoying tourism activities in the country is a worthy and interesting proposition. 


 --  Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin






Monday, 12th May, 2008, Bandar Seri Begawan - Adventurous couple Norhayati Abu Bakar and her Austrian husband Harun Kurt Eichbauer finally returned home yesterday morning after embarking on a 13-month expedition that covered 52,137km of land in Africa, Middle East, Europe and Asia, crossing some 37 countries on their Toyota Land Cruiser.


They were greeted at the Sungai Tujoh Control Post by Deputy Minister of Industry and Primary Resources, Dato Paduka Hj Hamdillah Hj Abd Wahab, as well as a fleet of vehicles and motorbikes. It marked the fourth completed expedition for 41-year-old Norhayati, who told the Bulletin yesterday that she also had the opportunity to perform the Umrah together with her husband, and taking in the beauty of Mecca and Jeddah had to be the entire journey's most memorable experience.


Among the challenges they faced were the 50-degree heat in Sudan, a desert storm and an unforeseen glitch while trying to cross the border from Loas to Cambodia. The whole journey cost over $100,000. flciudina their vehicle's maintenance end modifications, fuel consumption, Iccommodation, ferry fees and visas. emong others.

About 65 per cent of the expedition vas self-financed but the couple acknowledged the generous contributions from local companies in the form cash and services. They also noted the warmth and i‘.zenerosity of countries like Saudi Arabia, Nepal, Pakistan and Myanmar that waived their travel visas and sponsored their accommodation. Some of the countries and regions they covered in the expedition included Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt, Syria, Greece, Italy, Croatia, Iran, Pakistan, Nepal, Yemen, India and Turkey, among others.


The couple was also pleased to fly the Brunei flag along their route to promote the Sultanate, while also handing out flyers and brochures to many curious people who wanted to know about the country. The first leg of their journey that covered Africa and Austria was held from April to October last year, while its second part to 25 European, Middle East and. Asian countries began in December and ended in Kuching. Norhayati added that she hopes to inspire and motivate Bruneian women with the expedition, urging them to explore possibilities and achieve all manners of things they may previously have thought impossible.


They made history by being the first Muslim couple from Brunei to complete a journey crossing South Africa, North Africa, Europe, the Middle East, India and Southeast Asia on a four-wheel drive. Their past expeditions included promoting the Visit Brunei campaign in 1999 by travelling 21,000km through Europe, Middle East and North Africa, as well as leading five Bruneian women to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro to mark the Visit Bnmei Year in 2001. Norhayati added that her husband remains her best travel companion due to his passion and understanding. If time and health pennit, they are open to embark on another expedition.


-- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin





Australia NZ Strong Marts For Brunei Tourism



25 March 2008 - Bandar Seri Begawan - Brunei Tourism, Royal Brunei Airlines, Sabah Tourism Board and Sarawak Tourism Board were among the exhibitors at the recent Sydney Travel Expo.


The collaboration of the three tourism boards promoted Destination Borneo as a destination of choice among Australians, a press release stated.


Pg Azmanishah Pg Hj Abd Rahman, project supervisor from the Brunei Tourism Board covering the Australian and New Zealand Markets, said Australia and New Zealand, being our priority markets, have seen an increase in tourism arrivals by 8.7 per cent from 2006 to 2007 with a total of 20,888 tourists coming in 2007.


Joint sales visits to the wholesaler was also organised by Royal Brunei Airlines, where a lot of positive feedback was given on nature, culture and heritage destinations


The highlights of the product updates included the Water Village Culture Centre at Kampong Ayer, which started construction early this year, with a targeted completion at the end of 2009, and the Ulu Ulu Resort at Temburong National Park.


More than 10,000 visitors came to the March 15-16 travel show. Many Queries were received and a lot of interest was generated among the visitors.


To strengthen the Borneo brand, the Destination Borneo booth was decorated with a jungle theme. Stuffed proboscis monkeys and orang utans hanging from the bamboos gave it the Borneo feel with background posters of the destination.


Brunei appeals to the mature, silver haired, eco-lover and family segments. With more exposure and continual support and cooperation among the airlines and tourism boards we will definitely see positive growth, according to a Brunei Tourism press release.


The Getaway Channel 9 Australia's travel TV channel will be airing soon a travelogue on Brunei to give Brunei a boost on its awareness.


Overall the show was a success and Brunei Tourism will be continuing its road show to Queensland by end of March 2008.


Brunei Tourism is the Tourism Development Department in Brunei's Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources, in charge of the international promotion and marketing of Brunei as a tourism destination of choice, acting as secretariat and executor of Brunei Tourism Board's mandate.


-- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin








Release Date: 17 March 2008 / Published Date: 18 March 2008


Brunei Tourism Department with the support of the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) will be hosting a 3 day seminar on Tourism Marketing and Statistics for relevant Government Agencies as well as members from the tourism private sector from the 17th to the 19th March 2008 at the Dewan Setia Pahlawan Multipurpose Hall, Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources.


The seminar is one of the first human resource development programs to be coordinated together with the UNWTO since Brunei Darussalam became a new member of the World Tourism Organisation on the 23rd November 2007 during the 17th General Assembly of the UNWTO at Cartgena de Indias, Colombia last year.


The two speakers representing the UNWTO are Dr. Sandra Carvao, UWNTO’s Market Intelligence Deputy Chief and Dr. Stanley Fleetwood, a Tourism Statistics Expert from Australia. Mr Jean Christophe Robles Espinosa, the Director of Marketing and Promotions, Brunei Tourism Development Department will also be presenting a report status of the tourism industry in Brunei.


The main objectives of the seminar are as follows:


  • To create a better understanding of the specific data collection needs of the tourism industry for the stakeholders in charge of compiling data

  • To share information on best practice or methods used for data collection and analysis techniques of the information obtained

  • To create a better understanding of the importance of marketing, the current methods and best marketing practices around the world, the emerging and future trends and the kind of marketing and promotion that will be needed to address those trends


Brunei Tourism Development Department also hopes that through this seminar, the related Government personnel and stakeholders will come out better prepared to market the destination, as well as the products and services offered.





Brunei Tourism Goes Trekking To Link Up Kg Senukoh For KNK


7th March 2008 - The Brunei Tourism Department made a working visit to Kg Senukoh Labu in the Temburong District yesterday.


The visit was led by Director of Brunei Tourism Development Department, Sheikh Jamaluddin Sheikh Mohamed, along with officers as well as "Kenali Negara Ketani" (KNK) partners from the tourism sector.


The visit was to liaise with the Kg Senukoh village council to develop a homestay programme, hence increasing the number of tourism products in Temburong District. Tourism efforts are hand in hand with the "one product one kampong" concept introduced by the Ministry of Home Affairs.


Kg Senukoh Labu Temburong is a village which still retains its authenticity of a traditional kampong, located on the eastern side of Temburong District some 20 km from Bangar town heading towards the Temburong and Lawas Sarawak order. There are two main ethnic groups staying in the area, namely the Murut and the Melayu Kedayan. Both groups have a unique culture and way of life related to agriculture (padi), fruit farming, fishing and hunting practised to this day.


Temburong has seen growth in tourist arrivals where an estimated 10% of the 179,000 tourist arrivals in 2007 had actually joined excursions to Temburong District, mainly to visit the Ulu Temburong National Park for the Eco Tourism product.


This coming April, 4,000 tourists from Korea flying via charter flights are expected to make their way to Temburong District to see the beautiful nature that Brunei Darussalam has to offer. The developments carried out at the Ulu-Ulu resort in the national park will require more additional tourism products to compliment ecotourism.


The Brunei Tourism Department hopes more village councils will join the “Kenali Negara Ketani” campaign.


-- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin





Patriotic Promotions from Brunei Tourism Team  Down Under



Release Date: 22th February 2008 / Published Date: 23rd February 2008


Brunei Tourism delegation led by Sheikh Jamaluddin Sheik Mohamed had participated in the Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo (AIME) in Melbourne, Australia on the 19th to the 20th February 2008, back to back after participating in the Perth Holiday and Travel Expo in Perth, Western Australia from the 15th to the 17th  February 2008  last week to promote Brunei Darussalam as a new tourist destination as well as a Meetings, Incentives, Conference and Exhibitions (MICE) destination.


The Brunei Tourism delegation who participated in the Perth Holiday and Travel Expo 2008 included Brunei Tourism Project Supervisor, Pg Azmanishah Pg Hj Abd Rahman, Mr. Anthony Kong from the Orchid Garden Hotel and representatives from Royal Brunei Airlines in Perth.


The main goal of participating in the Perth Holiday and Travel Expo 2008 was to promote Destination Borneo together with representatives from the neighboring Sabah Tourism Board and the Sarawak Tourism Board with Royal Brunei Airlines as the main airline. This was carried out through an attractive major prize for an 8 days/6 nights Destination Borneo experience for 2 people offered to visitors to the travel expo.


The Brunei team also actively participated in a Travel Agents function held at the Perth Zoo on the 13th February 2008, where more prizes kindly contributed by Sunshine Borneo Tours and Travel, The Orchid Garden Hotel, The Empire Hotel, Golf and Country Club, The Brunei Hotel and The Ridzqun Hotel were given away to the lucky agents. Among the tourism products highlighted during their promotional presentation to the agents were the developments of the Ulu-Ulu Resort in the Ulu Temburong National Park, the recent upgrading carried out at the Orchid Garden Hotel and the development of the Cultural Water Village in Kampong Ayer. 


After finishing up with their much need promotional activities in Perth, Western Australia, the Brunei Tourism delegation flew to Melbourne, Australia to participate in the Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo (AIME) in Melbourne, Australia on the 19th to the 20th February 2008. The Brunei Delegation in Melbourne was again led by the Director of Brunei Tourism cum CEO of the Brunei Tourism Board, Sheikh Jamaluddin Sheikh Mohamed and included Brunei Tourism Officers and representatives from Royal Brunei Airlines, The Orchid Garden Hotel, Sunshine Borneo Tours and Travel, Good Miles, Bonasia Holiday and The Empire Hotel and Country Club.


AIME 2008, the 16th Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo was held at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre, Australia, and is organized by Reed Travel Exhibitions on behalf of the Melbourne Convention + Visitors Bureau. The AIME 2008 is one of the 5 main exhibitions targeting the MICE market group attended by Brunei Tourism annually.   


Brunei Darussalam’s participation had seen a significant amount of interest as a new destination from incentive houses (professional trip organizers), meeting planners and decision makers. Brunei Darussalam saw an increase of 8.7% in tourist arrivals from Australia and New Zealand in 2007 as compared to visitor arrivals in 2006. Brunei Darussalam has also seen a steady growth in the demand for the MICE services business where over the years big group events such the Asia Insurance Congress, and Amyway had been organized in Brunei. Coming up in April 2008, a Korean group of 4,000 pax will be coming for an incentive trip, coming in 3 arrivals to Brunei staying 5 nights and will to contribute an estimated B$5.5 million (B$911.00 per pax) in revenue to the destination.


In overall, the Brunei Tourism delegations participation in this years Perth Holiday and Travel Expo as well as the AIME 2008 accomplished a positive meeting with interested Tourism and MICE industry players in Australia and New Zealand, however, more marketing and promotional efforts needs to be carried out to ensure a continuous momentum on creating the awareness that will lead to more Tourism and MICE business coming to Brunei Darussalam in the future.





Window On Tour For Transit Flyers


Bandar Seri Begawan - Royal Brunei Airlines and Sunshine Borneo Tours signed an agreement yesterday for the "Window on Brunei" Transit Tour Programme.


Signing the agreement was the Chairman of Sunshine Borneo Tours, YAM Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Wadood Bolkiah, and RBA Senior Vice President Commercial Yield and Planning Captain Sheikh Rashid Sheikh Hj Abd Salam.


Under the agreement, passengers who are transiting in Brunei for more than four hours will have the opportunity to experience a complimentary city tour that gives a brief glimpse of what Brunei has to offer as a tourist destination.


Sunshine Borneo Tours will bring passengers to Bandar Seri Begawan's waterfront that overlooks Kampong Ayer, Yayasan Shopping Centre, Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque, Istana Nurul Iman and Subangsih Mulia.

"Sunshine Borneo Tours sees the transit tour programme as a great opportunity to introduce Brunei to passengers who are travelling through our country," said YAM Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Wadood.


Passengers who wish to stay at the airport during their transit may opt for a complimentary meal voucher at the Coffee Garden in the Brunei International Airport departure hall.


-- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin





Chinese Tourists Come In Big Numbers


Bandar Seri Begawan - In a span of six days beginning yesterday, some 406 tourists from the People's Republic of China will be arriving in Brunei Darussalam.


The first of three batches of tourists numbering 156 people from Guangzhou, China were welcomed by the sounds of hadrah, gulingtangan last night at the Brunei International Airport.


Present at the airport was Awang Nordin Ahmad, Acting Assistant Director of Brunei Tourism.


The Chinese tourist influx can be attributed to the marketing and promotion efforts made by Brunei Tourism in a road show held in Nanning, Kunming and Chong Qing in China last November.


The special chartered flights that carry the Chinese tourists to Brunei are handled by PJ Majestic Tours. During the three-day, two-night stay, the tourists will be visiting the water village, Jame' Asr Mosque, Royal Regalia, Istana Nurul Iman and Jerudong Park.


The next flight carrying 150 Chinese tourists from Shanghai to Brunei's capital will be arriving Sunday afternoon while the final batch of 100 tourists will be touching down Monday evening.


-- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin







19th January 2008 - 24th January 2008 - Brunei Japan Friendship Association (BJFA) will present Kiriyo Ori - a Japanese Traditional Arts and Handicraft Exhibition by MS. Kiriyo Kuchina, master weaver of Saganishiki for 6 days from 19 to 24th JAnuary 2008 at the Lobby Ridzqun International Hotel, Gadong.


The exhibition will be open to public and admission free.


Press Release courtesy of:
Hj Mohd Yusof Mohd Yassin
Head of Media and Publicity
Brunei Japan Friendship Association (BJFA)
Tel: 8732088





Bringing Brunei To the World



January 7th, 2008 in Brunei Darussalam - Hats off to our local adventurer, Norhayati Abu Bakar as she and her husband begin stage two of their grand adventure. Her daily updates on stage one of the adventure provided fascinating reading and I expect the same of this stage. Stage two will take the couple to 25 countries, Austria (Klagenfurt) – Slovenia – Croatia - Bosnia-Herzegovina – Italy (ferry crossing) – Greece (ferry crossing) – Turkey – Syria – Jordan - Saudi Arabia - Yemen / Aden – Oman – Dubai (ferry crossing) – Iran – Pakistan – India – Nepal – Bhutan – Myanmar – Thailand - Laos – Vietnam – Cambodia – Thailand - Malaysia (ferry crossing) - Malaysia (Kuching, Sarawak).


They barely had time to celebrate New Year in Harun’s hometown of Klagenfurt in far-away snowy Austria, before climbing into their trusty Toyota Land Cruiser for a planned five-month journey through 25 European and Asian countries - believed to be the first time a Muslim couple have attempted such a solo venture. If everything goes according to plan - and on such an expedition, that can never be guaranteed - we can hope to welcome them back in May this year.


“Bringing Brunei to the World” is a very appropriate name for this new Expedition. Because very few people in the 25 countries to be visited will know much about Brunei Darussalam. Most would probably be unable to identify it on a world map - they may even confuse the country with similar-sounding nations, Bahrain and Bhutan. Norhayati will quite literally be flying the flag for Brunei as she shares her pride in being a Bruneian with the thousands of people she meets en route.


That is the main aim of this latest venture, hopefully enabling people in those countries to increase their knowledge and awareness about Brunei Darussalam.


Brunei Tourism’s Chief Executive, Sheikh Jamaluddin, led a large group of friends, supporters and sponsors in formally providing a fitting farewell to the couple at Brunei International Airport last week. He acknowledged the important role being played by Norhayati and Harun to support the work of Brunei Tourism. “We concentrate our resources on our major target markets in North America, Western Europe, East Asia and Australia. So, I am grateful that this Expedition will reach out to other countries from which we are also keen to attract visitors.”

The Expedition also hopes that Brunei’s position as an Eco-Tourism destination for tourists from European, Middle East and Asean countries can also be promoted.


And Norhayati is hopeful that this adventure will succeed in sharing the importance of extreme sports as a motivation for Brunei’s young people and will inspire them to love a challenge as a base for success in their lives.

But, the less advantaged are not forgotten in this Expedition. Pusat Ehsan and SMARTER have particularly been identified as charities which will benefit from a campaign during the next few months when viewers of RTB’s “Rampai Pagi” will be encouraged to offer their financial support to these two worthy organisations.


For now, Norhayati and Harun are concentrating their minds and their energies on the commencement of their epic five-month journey. To say that it will not be like a leisurely drive along the highway is an understatement.

Many of the roads along which they travel will be similar to the roughest of rough jungle tracks. And the peaceful environment of Brunei Darussalam will not be typical of many of the countries to be visited. Some of the world’s “political hot-spots” feature in the list of 25 countries which they plan to visit. Pakistan, Myanmar and Iran stand out as being potentially difficult. Even Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Turkey, Syria and Thailand are often referred to in international TV news reports for their social unrest.


Sheikh Jamaluddin’s final words to the couple at the Airport will remain in their minds over the coming months, “We look forward to hearing about your progress and your adventures, but mostly, we look forward to your safe return to Brunei in the middle of May.”


Norhayati and Harun have already made good progress. Having left Klagenfurt on New Year’s Day, after a quiet New Year’s Eve celebration, they have already overcome the snow and ice of Austria, traversed Slovenia and moved through Croatia, heading towards Bosnia-Herzegovina.


Bruneians can keep in touch with the progress made by Norhayati and Harun throughout the next five months in the “Weekend” issue of this newspaper each Saturday. RTB TV viewers can watch “Rampai Pagi” every Sunday morning to view the latest pictures and hear Norhayati’s live update over satellite phone. Radio listeners are not forgotten as PilihanFM 95.9 will broadcast a report each Monday lunchtime during “Morning Buzz”. And, for those preferring the Internet as a source of news, www.overthehorizon.net will provide regular updates.


-- Courtesy of anakbrunei.org





City Tours For Passengers In Transit



4th January 2008, Bandar Seri Begawan - Royal Brunei Airlines in conjunction with Brunei Tourism Board launched the "Window on Brunei" Transit Tour Programme yesterday.


The programme offers passengers who are in transit for more than four hours at the Brunei International Airport a complimentary city tour that gives a brief glimpse of what Brunei can offer.


The complimentary city tour also includes a complimentary meal at the Coffee Garden in the departure hall of the airport for passengers who transit in excess of four hours.


Transit tours will run four times a day, bringing passengers to a selection of tourist attractions including Bandar Seri Begawan's waterfront that overlooks Kampong Ayer, Yayasan Shopping Centre, Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque, Istana Nurul Iman and Sumbangsih Mulia.


"We hope this value-added service for our passengers will contribute to Brunei's tourism and enhance the passenger experience during transit," said RBA Chief Executive Officer, Mr Ray Sayer.


-- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin





Bruneiana Exhibition At OGH


4th January 2008, Bandar Seri Begawan - The Orchid Garden Hotel will be holding the 'Bruneiana Exhibition' which will feature accessories worn by Bruneians between the period of 1850 and 1950.


The items are from the collections of Kandarzari Krafts International and features household items and jewelleries related to the Brunei Malay society of the set period.


The exhibited items also feature the seven ethnic races and sub-ethnic races in Brunei Darussalam.


The exhibition, which is initiated by Mr Anthony Kong, is an effort undertaken by the Orchid Garden Hotel to support the KNK project that was introduced by Dato Paduka Hj Hamdillah, Deputy Minister of Industry and Primary Resources.


The exhibition will be open to the public on Jan 15 and will run for two months.


-- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin





Kenali Negara Kitani ends 2007 on a positive note



Tuesday, January 1, 2008. BRUNEI Tourism's initiative to boost domestic tourism has ended its first year on a high note, with more locals and stakeholders supporting the campaign to attract more visitors, a tourism officer said.

"The first of the three year Kenali Negara Kitani (Get to know your country) campaign has been a success because we managed to create awareness among locals on what can be done in Brunei and slowly changed their mindset that nothing interesting can be done in Brunei," said Salinah Salleh of Brunei Tourism at the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources.

The officer said that many locals were sceptic of Brunei's tourist attractions when they first heard of the campaign to promote domestic tourism. "Tourism starts from home, it doesn't help if locals say they've never been to Brunei's tourist places," she said, adding that attracting foreign visitors does not happen overnight.

The campaign helps people to understand how it can bring in the monetary profits and convince them Brunei has interesting places to visit. It has also jumpstarted other tourism activities, including a hotel organising a local bazaar and a travel and tour agency collaborating with a mukim to introduce tour packages that emphasise on eco-heritage and cultural tourism.

"By next year, we hope that there will be more products from the campaign and people coming forward to introduce programmes that are sustainable and viable," she added.

Public response has been very good. Over $12,000 worth of domestic tourism packages were sold during the five-day Brunei International Trade and Consumer Expo from November 28 to December 2.

The campaign also attracted $7,000 worth of package sales in other programmes, according to a Brunei Tourism press statement issued yesterday.

Publicity through roadshows at government departments and educational institutions, as well as consumer exhibitions, also contributed to the campaign's success.

"It is hoped that locals will be able to enjoy the tourism products and packages on offer and become great ambassadors for the destination in a bid to attract more foreign tourists to the country," the statement added.

Nine private companies from the hospitality sector are involved in the domestic tourism campaign.

-- Courtesy of The Brunei Times





Photo contest to win an air ticket








Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Setia Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Hj Ahmad Bin Hj Jumat, The Minister of Industry and Primary Resources, through the coordination of Brunei Tourism Development Department, hosted a two day visit by His Excellency Mr Francesco Frangialli, the Secretary General of the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO). His Excellency Mr Frangialli, arrived at the Brunei International Airport on the 12th December 2007 at 10:55 pm from Singapore. 


Francesco Frangialli ‎served as Deputy Secretary-General from January 1990 to September 1996, when he ‎assumed the post of Secretary-General ad interim. He was elected to the top post of ‎the Organization by the General Assembly in 1997 for the period 1998-2001. He was ‎re-elected as Secretary-General in 2001 for the period 2002-2005 and again in 2005 ‎for the period 2006-2009. He led the Organization’s conversion into a specialized ‎agency of the United Nations, which took effect in December 2003. Mr. Frangialli has ‎an extensive background in public administration and served from 1986 to 1990 as ‎Director of the Tourism Industry in the French ministry responsible for Tourism. He has ‎a degree in economics from the Paris School of Law and Economics, studied at the ‎National School of Administration (ENA) and is a graduate of the Paris Institute of ‎Political Studies, where he was a lecturer from 1972 to 1989.


The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO/OMT) is a specialized agency of the United ‎Nations and the leading international organization in the field of tourism. It serves as a ‎global forum for tourism policy issues and a practical source of tourism know-how. UNWTO plays a central and decisive role in promoting the development of responsible, ‎sustainable and universally accessible tourism, paying particular attention to the ‎interests of developing countries.


Brunei Darussalam through the Brunei Tourism Development Department, Ministry of Industry and Primary Resouces, had been officiated as one of the new members of UNWTO during the 17th Session of the UNWTO General Assembly on the 22nd to the 29th November 2007 in Cartaqena de Indias, Colombia. UNWTO currently has a membership of 157 countries and territories and more than 300 Affiliate ‎Members representing the private sector, educational institutions, tourism associations ‎and local tourism authorities.‎


During his two day visit to Brunei, His Excellency Mr Frangialli will be making courtesy calls to Yang Berhormat Pehin Dr Awang Hj Ahmad Bin Hj Jumat, Minister of Industry and Primary Resouces, a business lunch with members of the Brunei Tourism Board as well as plans to meet with representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. His Excellency Mr Frangialli aims to  discuss the future collaboration between Brunei and UNWTO for the development of tourism in Brunei. Brunei Tourism will be coordinating His Excellency’s visit and may include some site visits to the main tourism attractions in Brunei Darussalam such as the Water Village, Royal Regalia and the popular Proboscis Monkey.








Release Date: 23rd of November 2007 


Brunei Darussalam, a tourism destination steadily increasing its international profile, will take a major step in achieving greater recognition by joining the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) during its 17th General Assembly to be held in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, from 23 to 29 of November 2007.


Such an action by Brunei Darussalam is timely, with the UNWTO reporting that the global tourism industry is enjoying strong, above average growth, with worldwide tourist arrivals expected to reach 900 million tourists in 2007.


Though Brunei only receives a small percentage of global tourist arrival figures, it is fortunate to be favored by all the current and emerging regional and demographic trends that will shape the future of tourism. With its pristine nature, strong cultural traditions and ancient Royal heritage, modern infrastructure, facilities and activities, and especially its safety, stability, peacefulness and wholesomeness, Brunei will be able to position its strategic geographical location at the center of the world’s fastest growing region to capture its fair share of mature and experienced travelers from the region and beyond, who are increasingly looking for destinations offering unique holiday experiences far from crowded, more popular destinations.


Confirming that interest in Brunei is steadily rising are the latest statistical projections for 2007, when Brunei is expected to receive some 176 thousand tourists, an increase of 11.7% over 2006, showing its potential to achieve a significant growth in visitor numbers from its current small base, while still offering the peace and tranquility that visitors appreciate and while preserving the nation’s social fabric and natural environment. Becoming a member of the World Tourism Organization will help Brunei to carry this message to a wider audience, especially to investors looking for new destinations aligned with such growing trends.   


In Cartagena, Brunei will reach a new milestone in its tourism drive by joining the UNWTO, and will strive to make its presence felt by contributing constructively to the activities of the World tourism body.





Brunei Tourism delegation heads for World Travel Market 2007, ExCel, London



Release Date: 9th November 2007/Published Date: 10th November 2007


Tonight, the Brunei Tourism delegation will be leaving for London, The UK to participate in the World Travel Market 2007 from the 12th to the 15th November 2007 to be held in ExCel, London.


World Travel Market (WTM) is a four-day travel industry event and brings together worldwide buyers and sellers from every sector of the tourism industry. A record breaking 46,945 travel industry professionals participated at WTM 2006 representing 202 countries and regions. 


Sheikh Jamaluddin Sheikh Mohamed, the Director of Tourism Development Department cum CEO of the Brunei Tourism Board, will be leading the Brunei Tourism delegation which consists of Tourism officials and representatives from Royal Brunei Airlines, Sunshine Borneo Tours, Century Travel, Mega Borneo Tours and The Empire Hotel Golf and Country Club. 


The latest tourism figures of holiday visitor arrivals from January to August 2007 from The Brunei Tourism Development Department states that The Uk market is ranked 4th with a total of 3,459 visitors in total.


One of the main objectives of this years participation in WTM 2007 is to support the launch of a private sector marketing intiative – ‘Wings of Borneo’. The campaign is a promising and attractive campaign to promote Brunei Darussalam, Sabah and Sarawak under the Borneo banner. Sunshine Borneo Tours from Brunei is one of the pioneers of this project and hopes to further boost visitor arrivals from The UK and the rest of Europe.


The participation of the Brunei Tourism Team is a continuous effort by the Tourism Development Department with the support of the local tourism sector to market Brunei as a Tourism destination. The Brunei Tourism Team had recently just come back from the Brunei Tourism Roadshow in Nanning, Kunming and Chong Qing, China where positive results has been reported.


As a result of the first Roadshow in Nanning held recently, 120 pax incentive group is expected to be arriving in Brunei at the end of November 2007. There is also a keen interest from a Nanning based outbound agent specialising in China Government incentive tours to select Brunei Darussalam as their next destination for the 2008. The outbound agent is responsible for organising 30 group visits per year, this may lead to an average of 900 pax of Chinese Government incentives visitors to Brunei for 2008. Meanwhile, The roadshow in Kunming has reported to have attracted an incentive outbound agent to send 70 pax group to visit Brunei Darussalam in December 2007.





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