Bandar Seri Begawan won a regional award recently for its cleanliness and sustainability at the ASEAN Tourism Minister’s Meeting in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Asides from clinching the ASEAN Clean Tourist City award, during the event, Brunei also accepted several others including the ASEAN Green Hotel Award received by Ulu-Ulu Resort and Radisson Hotel as well as the ASEAN MICE Venue Award to Radisson Hotel, V-Plaza Hotel and The Empire Hotel and Country Club.

Other cities awarded the ASEAN Clean Tourist City includes Vietnam’s Hue and the Philippines’s San Carlos City. In total, there were 47 recipients for the ASEAN Green Hotel Award, 47 recipients for the ASEAN MICE Venue Award, and 23 awardees for the ASEAN Clean Tourist City Award.

“The purpose of the ASEAN Clean Tourist City Standard (ACTCS) is to provide ASEAN member countries with a tool that will improve the quality of tourism in their cities [and] increase their marketing competitiveness,” the ASEAN website stated.

YB Dato Hj Ali Hj Apong (4th R) spring the ASEAN Tourism Minister’s meeting in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Photo: Courtesy of Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism

The standard focuses on tourist cities where cultural, natural and/ or man-made attractions exist.
The indicators evaluated in the ACTCS are based on a couple of criteria including environmental management, cleanliness, waste management and green spaces.

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Preceding the awards, Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism YB Dato Seri Setia Hj Ali Hj Apong also met with other tourism ministers from the region at the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2018 from January 25 to 26.

During the forum, it was disclosed ASEAN is expected to receive 125 million international visitors, exceeding the target of 121 million international tourist arrivals to the region set for Visit ASEAN@50 Campaign which was led by Brunei.

This new record posts a growth of four per cent from 2016, where the arrivals were dominated by intra-ASEAN travel, accounting for 42 per cent of total international arrivals. In addition to visitor arrivals target, the targets of stay length and revenue have also been achieved, with ASEAN hosting a total of 7.98 days of stay of international tourists, and generated US$93 billion from tourism in 2017.

The success of the Visit ASEAN@50 Campaign was attributed to various marketing and
promotional activities undertaken in 2016 and 2017, owing also to the significant support provided by ASEAN-China Centre (ACC), ASEAN-Japan Centre (AJC), ASEAN-Korea Centre (AKC) and GoASEAN among others.