BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN — Visitors to the Royal Regalia Museum can now explore the displayed artefacts with a new digital audio tour guide.

On Tuesday, ebode by Dynamik Technologies launched the digital audio tour guide on the free izi.TRAVEL mobile app as part of its efforts towards the digitalisation of tourism in Brunei.

Consisting of content creators under Dynamik Technologies, ebode was set up to provide digital audio tours on Brunei’s cultural landmarks.

Virtual tours of the museum are also available on the app, giving the public the option of accessing the exhibition galleries from the comfort of their homes.

Done in collaboration with the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism and Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, the digital audio tour guide aims to promote Brunei’s history, landmarks, and culture to tourists.

CEO of Dynamik Technologies Haslina Taib speaks at the launch of the digital audio tour guide at Royal Regalia Museum. Photo: Rasidah Hj Abu Bakar/The scoop

Speaking at the launch, Chief Executive Officer of Dynamik Technologies Haslina Taib said the digital audio tours will be extended to other museums such as Balai Khazanah Islam Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah and Malay Technology Museum, as well as nature trails.

Audio tours for Balai Khazanah are expected to go live later this year. Quizzes and walking tours are also incorporated in the app, such as the Mahkota Jubli Emas Park Quest.

“We saw that digitalising Brunei tourism can create more robust tours, address the need for more tour guides, create consistency of information in different languages, create programmes and interactive elements, help structure tours and make it more interesting for tourists to get to know Brunei Darussalam,” said Haslina. 

Acting Deputy Director of Brunei Tourism Salinah Salleh said the digital audio tour guide provides added value to Brunei’s tourism offerings.

“We’ve always had this issue of lack of [tour] guides who are able to speak different languages,” she said in an interview.

The digital audio tours are currently available in five languages — English, Malay, Mandarin, Korean and Japanese.

Royal umbrellas displayed at the Royal Regalia Museum on January 5, 2022. Photo: Rasidah Abu Bakar/The Scoop

Reviving the tourism industry

Salinah added that Brunei tourism will focus on revitalising the industry in 2022 as it prepares to welcome back tourists when borders reopen.

The sultanate has been promoting domestic tourism in the past two years by improving services, safety and cleanliness.

“The Sumbiling Eco Village, The Abode and Trandie Marine Resort have been gearing up and improving their services and products for the reopening of not only our borders but also first and foremost our local guests. Most importantly, we want to welcome them back,” she said.

Authorities last week postponed plans of lifting COVID-19 travel restrictions following the emergence of the Omicron variant, dealing a blow to the tourism industry.

Tourism is one of the hardest-hit sectors in Brunei, with tourist arrivals falling 81 percent in 2020 due to the pandemic.

However, several events have been lined up to inject new life into the tourism industry, such as Brunei Gastronomy Week in February and Brunei Mid-Year Conference and Exhibition (MICE) in June . 

InshaAllah if the pandemic allows and everything’s okay, we’ll have the Brunei International Flower Show in October and Brunei December Festival.

“These are part of our events under MPRT in addition to promoting existing events like National Day, Hari Raya Aidilfitri and His Majesty’s birthday. So we have our own signature events that tourists can look forward to when they come to Brunei,” Salinah added.