BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN — Experts and industry players will gather for the first Brunei Mid-Year Conference and Exhibition (MYCE) in June to discuss key issues in four areas — Islam, forestry, energy and digital technology.
The Department of Tourism Development will host the month-long conference at the International Convention Centre, as part of its plans to attract more Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events (MICE) tourists.
In a press briefing on Thursday, the deputy chairman of Brunei MYCE 2021 Committee Hjh Tutiaty Hj Abdul Wahab said the conference will bring together local and foreign experts.
“However, the Brunei MYCE event in 2021 will focus more on the local audience and international speakers will only participate via teleconference,” said Hjh Tutiary, who is also permanent secretary of primary resources and tourism.
Brunei has yet to lift the travel ban that has been in place since March last year to curb the spread of COVID-19, but essential travellers who received permission from the Prime Minister’s Office can enter and leave the country.
Government data showed that only 62,000 tourist arrivals were recorded in 2020, a 81.3 percent decrease from 333,240 arrivals in 2019.
Hjh Tutiaty said Brunei MYCE 2021 aims to introduce tourism products in the form of knowledge-sharing and provide networking and business activities among scientists and entrepreneurs.
The conference is in line with the department’s vision to increase the number of tourists and contribute to the growth of economic sectors including hospitality, aviation, restaurants and transport, she added.
The permanent secretary said the four themes — Islam, forestry, digital technology and energy — were selected based on the country’s comparative advantage.
Various government agencies will be involved in organising the theme-based seminars.
There are also plans to make Brunei MYCE an annual event, where organisations, companies and NGOs can leverage on the platform and brand to promote their events, said Hjh Tutiaty.
“This is something that we would definitely like to support. MPRT would be supporting in terms of facilitating,” she added.
The conference is organised to complement the annual Brunei December Festival.