Travel startup to promote Brunei as ‘hidden gem’

National 1 minute, 43 seconds


RISING startup wants to add Brunei to its growing list of travel destinations as it is looking to expand its offerings to travellers worldwide.

Ha Lam, co-founder of the global travel platform that enables people to experience unique tours crafted by locals, views the Sultanate’s tourism potential as a “hidden gem” among more mainstream travel destinations in Southeast Asia.

“We definitely see the potential to promote Brunei to travellers around the globe,” she said, noting visitors to the region were keen to explore lesser-known places.

While the majority of travellers flock to popular destinations such as Angkor Wat in Cambodia and Halong Bay in Vietnam, the company believes there is untapped demand for tourism in countries such as Brunei which continues to register the lowest tourist arrivals in ASEAN.

By offering tours of the tiny oil-rich nation on, Ha hoped it will pull in more travellers as a gateway to other places in the region.

“I see the gap in the travel industry with the leading countries being Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam and Malaysia... But we want travellers to experience other ASEAN countries, because the region is very unique and diverse,” she said.

However, she pointed out heavy promotion will be required as there is currently a lack of information about Brunei online from the perspectives of locals and travellers.

“No one understands Brunei better than Bruneians. We want local experts to show us the (real) Brunei and then we can introduce to travellers the beauty of its people and culture... I see a huge potential if Brunei doesn’t close its doors to visitors from around the world,” she said.

Besides collaborating with locals, will also work with people who have visited Brunei to share their experiences with potential travellers.

“The power of word-of-mouth is stronger than (other forms of advertising). Also, we can take advantage of social media to promote more of Brunei because in Southeast Asia, in terms of travel, Brunei is still behind compared to other countries,” said Ha.

The Brunei Times