Belait Fair vendors get chance to recoup losses

National 3 minutes, 27 seconds


VENDORS who complained about the low visitor turnout during the recently-concluded Belait Fair are continuing their operations at the venue for another month in a bid to recoup losses after reaching an agreement with the fair organisers on a reduced rental rate.

Fourteen of the 16 vendors who were situated in the airconditioned section of the month-long Belait Fair will continue selling their goods at the venue at a rental rate of $300 for the month, significantly lower than the $1,500 they initially forked out to participate in the month-long fair. Two others had already made their own plans for Ramadhan.

Organisers of the fair said the vendors would now be incorporated into Belait’s Ramadhan stalls to help promote their businesses and give them another crack at earning profits after suffering from a disappointing response from the public during the fair, which ran for a month beginning May 5.

In an interview, fair co-event manager Rosnah Yusof and Sons (RYS) Entertainment’s Business Development Manager Foo Kian Ming said that the move is to help the vendors promote their businesses and give them the chance to earn after incurring losses at the Belait Fair.

The $300 rent, he said, will cover electricity costs, as the organisers will continue to provide airconditioned camps to the vendors until July 5.

This, he said, is cheap compared to usual rental rates for fairs that run for three to four days.

Foo said he had already forwarded applications for the vendors with the Belait Municipal Department, the next step is to register with Belait’s Department of Electrical Services so the cool zone vendors can continue getting electricity.

“The RYS Entertainment will be helping them to promote their goods; we had asked them to give one of the goods to be promoted, and we will help showcase them at our electronic banners to attract more customers to them,” he said.

The move was met with appreciation by some vendors who agreed to extend their operations with the organiser by another month.

One of the vendors, who only wished to be known as Hassan, said that he was satisfied with the agreement reached with the fair organisers, as the camp is now going to be located beside food stalls, which could increase foot traffic to their own area.

Abd Rahman Md Tahir, also one of the vendors in the air-conditioned section of the fair, also expressed gratitude to RYS Entertainment for the resolution of the impasse.

He however hoped that the company could promote their products as soon as possible, suggesting that they put the goods outside of the camps so passersby can see what the vendors can offer.

He also expressed hope that organisers would place signs that would let visitors know that the air-conditioned section has more stalls, as this could increase the chances of people checking out and buying their products.

Earlier, the vendors complained about the poor visitor turnout at the inaugural fair, which they blamed on the organisers’ failure to deliver on commitments that were designed to draw in the crowds.

The fair was supposed to be the biggest one ever set up in the district, with organisers promising to provide different activities for visitors. Vendors, however, claim that many of the promised activities, including horseback riding and a Flying Fox ride, did not materialise.

They added that when the Food Zone ended last May 22, vendors in the air-conditioned section, who were selling general merchandise including clothing and electronics, were left to themselves.

Yang Berhormat Hj Mohd Yusof Dulamin, head of Kg Mumong whose Village Consultative Council (MPK) was a co-organiser of the fair, apologised for the inability of the organisers to fulfill the promised activities throughout the month.

This, he said, was due to the unexpected and last minute decision of those who were invited to the organised activities to pull out. This, he added, prompted the committee to think of something else to fill in the gaps.

YB Hj Mohd Yusof also said that the experience could be used as a lesson in conducting future activities so the bad experience at the fair would not be repeated.-Waqiuddin Rajak

The Brunei Times