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Shanghai Expo To Spur Brunei Tourist Arrivals
2010. 2 April
by Goh De No Jean Christophe Robles Espinosa, the board's director of marketing and promotion, told The Brunei Times that coupled with Royal Brunei Airlines' (RBA) resumption of direct flights to Shanghai, Brunei's Expo participation would net more tourists from China.
(brudirect.com) Bandar Seri Begawan - The Brunei Tourism Board expects the Sultanate's participation in the Shanghai World Expo to spur tourist arrivals for the year.
Jean Christophe Robles Espinosa, the board's director of marketing and promotion, told The Brunei Times that coupled with Royal Brunei Airlines' (RBA) resumption of direct flights to Shanghai, Brunei's Expo participation would net more tourists from China.
Last year, 15,800 Chinese travellers visited Brunei, putting them behind Malaysians, who accounted for the biggest group of visitors by origin, the board's inbound tourist data showed.
"This year, that figure will definitely increase because of Royal Brunei Airlines' resumption of their Shanghai sector. Actually, in 2008, the decrease of Chinese tourists was due to the RBA's cancellation of that route," he said on the sidelines of a tourism workshop.
Roble hopes that movements from Australia or Indonesia to Shanghai for the World Expo 2010 will be positive for Brunei.
"Hopefully, visitors will consider flying RBA and that stopover in Brunei will be a good sign for Brunei. Also, with the Brunei Pavilion at the World Expo in Shanghai, that will generate interest and create more opportunities," he said.
Robles confirmed that there has been recovery in Brunei's tourism sector since the last quarter of 2009.
"We can see a trend of recovery towards the end of last year although there was a downturn in 2009 because of Influenza A (MINI) or the economy crisis, but hopefully this year, we can regain some lost ground. For 2010, we don't have the figures yet, but all indications say we are ahead of what we were last year. The numbers have picked up and cruise ships coming in have increased in numbers."
Tourism data from the board showed that Brunei had 401,428 arrivals at the Brunei International Airport in 2009, and of that, 39.23 per cent arc foreign tourists.
The Brunei Tourism Board is hoping to have a more efficient way of gathering data on inbound tourists especially those that come into the country by land.
Robles said that the board needs better data and better analysis of the inbound data.
"Because we don't have the overall number of people coming into Brunei as majority come in by land and we don't have part of the numbers coming in by land that means we don't know what is the percentage of those visitors are tourists as per the definitions of a tourist," he said.
He added a lot of people come through borders but may just be border-crossers or workers but are not tourists and should not be considered tourists.
"We don't look at the people who pass one by one through immigration counters and we miss out on that data, but from market intelligence we know that the figures we get by air are relatively close to the actual facts on the ground in terms of tourism activity," he said. -- Courtesy of The Brunei Times