Travel agents call for setting up of tourist info centres
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
THE Association of Travel Agents Brunei (ATAB) is proposing for tourist information centres and a hotline to improve the sultanate’s tourism industry standards.
Wong Thye Sing, assistant treasurer of the newly-rebranded association, said tourist information centres will offer advice and up-to-date information to visitors such as accommodation, transportation and places of interest.
The suggestion was put forward following recent discussions between ATAB members in a bid to come up with solutions to address challenges in the industry.
“Many people who come here say they just don’t know where to get information. A lot of websites with information about Brunei are outdated. Not all travel companies have good websites that are regularly updated,” said Wong in a recent interview.
By having tourist information centres, he said they would be able to disseminate information to visitors, particularly independent travellers.
The assistant treasurer said ATAB has approached Brunei Tourism under the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT) with the proposal to set up tourist information centres at various strategic locations.
“We are trying to see if we can get tourist information centres at the Brunei International Airport and the Royal Wharf in the capital,” he said.
The association is looking to run the tourist information centres independently if the proposal is approved, but Wong added they are open to collaboration with government agencies including MPRT.
“We are getting a lot of support from MPRT. We had a discussion with them... so we’re still looking at the options,” he said.
In addition to the tourist information centres, ATAB is also proposing for a hotline which the public can contact for enquiries and to report information such as incidents involving unlicensed travel operators or activities.
Wong said travel agents often meet tourists who complain about being unhappy about certain activities, but they are unsure where to report to.
“For example, they booked a boat to bring them out to the sea, but the boat never came... Potentially, if we had tourist information centres, we could also have a hotline for tourists and travel agents to make reports,” he explained.
Reports received via the hotline would enable ATAB inform the authorities and take action to prevent incidents that could mar the travel industry.
The Brunei Times