Peace key to success of Islamic tourism
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
UPHOLDING peace is key to promoting Islamic tourism in Brunei, said a consultant for the local tourism industry recently.
Kg Sg Matan Village Head Pg Hj Abdul Rahman Pg Hj Zainal told The Brunei Times that the sultanate needs to market its social harmony as it is considered rare in this fast growing economy where civil unrest and social instabilty are common in other parts of the world.
The grassroots leader said upholding Islamic cultures and values can help improve Brunei’s image as a peaceful and safe country to visit.
“Brunei is a peaceful country. We need to use this to persuade tourists seeking simple and peaceful holidays. Peace and harmony are our main selling point to tap into global Islamic travel market,” he said on the sidelines of the recent fishing competition at Kg Sungai Bunga.
Pg Hj Abdul Rahman went on to say that Islamic tourism is seen as one of the potential drivers to accelerate economic diversification and create job opportunities.
Government agencies need to cooperate with the communities in promoting peace and harmony to make Islamic tourism a success, said Pg Hj Abdul Rahman.
The government needs to boost cooperation with the public to curb the crime rate as this is vital in promoting peace and harmony, he said.
According to statistics published by The Royal Brunei Police Force in 2014, a total of 6,824 crimes were reported, an increase from 6,441 in 2013.
Pg Hj Abdul Rahman said the increase in criminal activity will push away tourists in the long run and government agencies need to improve security measures in the country for the success of Islamic tourism.
He pointed out that tourists from Malaysia, Australia and Dubai – who visited Kg Sungai Matan in recent years – wanted to visit the sultanate again in the future because of its social stability.
City-tourists who seldom experience the quiet life in the village opted to visit Brunei again and this has benefitted local home-based entrepreneurs offering homestay programmes and selling local products.
According to Major (Rtd) Hjh Sopiah Hj Husaini, general manager and trainer of a local consultant company A & A Management and Training Centre, Brunei needs to showcase its harmonious society to cater to wealthy Muslim travelers who seek to enjoy the serenity and charms of solitude in a village setting.
Major (Rtd) Hjh Sopiah recently held a seminar on improving Brunei’s tourism industry with homestay owners and marketing managers from Brunei-Muara and Tutong at Kg Sungai Besar
“Those people who are busy with working life in the city will be willing to pay more for the price of peace and serenity. They want to live in a country where they can enjoy their holidays without getting robbed when traveling,” she said.
The Brunei Times