BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – With the influx of South Korean tourists coming into Brunei, the sultanate is keen to strengthen its capacity to serve Korean tourists, which has become Brunei’s fastest growing inbound tourism market.

On Thursday, Brunei Tourism revealed that 7,442 Korean tourists came to Brunei from January to October 2018, with the last two months of the year yet to be counted.

This figure is just 15 per cent short of the 2017 figure of 8,705, which was a 145 per cent increase from 2016.

The ASEAN-Korea Centre organised a capacity-building workshop for tourism stakeholders in Brunei on Thursday, aimed at promoting Bandar Seri Begawan as an attractive and growing travel destination for Korean tourists.

“This workshop is vital for the tourism industry in Brunei Darussalam in view of the increase of tourists from Korea every year,” said Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism, Wardi Hj Mohammad Ali.

He added that the workshop would also help the relevant agencies to create a better understanding of Korean tourism market trends in order to “better serve and attract Korean tourists”.

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“With the increase in the frequency of flights to Korea, I do hope hat there will be stronger collaborations between the airlines, travel agents and hotels”.

Wardi urged stakeholders to work together in developing creative and exciting packages that can attract more visitors to Brunei, with the government aiming to lure 450,000 tourists to the sultanate by 2020.

“Our other objectives are to increase the length of stay amongst tourists, to see more repeat visitors to Brunei, to see high quality and high income tourists.

“We believe by achieving all these objectives, it will help to increase the tourism industry’s contribution to our GDP”.