Brunei eyes Vietnam tourists

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Brunei is calling for Vietnamese tour operators to survey its tourism industry so as to arrange tours for Vietnamese tourists, a tourism official said. Dato Hamdillah, Brunei deputy minister of industry and primary resources and chairman of the Brunei tourism board, said his country would offer hotel rooms, air tickets and other services for tour operators who come to survey Brunei.

"Two months ago, some HCM City tour operators surveyed Brunei. We continue to welcome all of you to my country," he said.

Speaking at a ceremony held in HCM City over the weekend by Royal Brunei Airlines to announce its direct air service between Bandar Seri Begawan and HCMC, he said the new air service was important for both Brunei Airlines and travel industry.

The tourism board is also planning to host its tourism year in the next two years called "Visit Brunei 2008" for tourists. The Royal Brunei Airlines will also organize a seminar in HCM City to promote its services, network and fares to ticketing agents and travel agents.

"We are late to fly to Vietnam but it is better late than never," he said.

He said the Brunei travel industry expected to sell short tours to guests who transit in Brunei on the way from Vietnam to Australia.

He said few Vietnamese tourists had visited Brunei, with only 198 people traveling to the country last year. But with the new air service and new promotions, Brunei is eying 1,000 travelers a year in the coming time.

Royal Brunei Airlines launched three weekly flights between Bandar Seri Begawan and HCM City early last month.

The airline told the Daily that after a month of operation, its seat occupancy would reach 50% and 70%  thereafter.

The airline charges US$158 on a return HCM City-Bandar Seri Begawan ticket.

HCM City-based Ben Thanh Tourist launched tours to Brunei a month ago.


(Source: SGT)

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