Local tour operator Intrepid Management Services is keen to further develop Brunei as a destination for marine tourism through expedition-styled events like its Sail Brunei, now in its fifth edition.
Managing Director of Intrepid Allan Riches said that the 13 yachts taking part in Sail Brunei – mostly manned by married couples – were from Australia, New Zealand, France, United Kingdom and the United States, and were likely to return to their countries to write in travel blogs and share their experiences amongst their yachting clubs.
“We’ve linked up with Tourism (Brunei) to develop more events (such as this) to bring more people into Brunei,” said Riches at the sidelines of Sail Brunei’s participation presentation ceremony at Kampong Sungai Bunga earlier this afternoon. “Hopefully not only will Sail Brunei be bigger (in its next edition) but we can host similarly styled packages.”
Sail Brunei is a three-month journey that sets sail from West Malaysia and explores the coasts of Borneo, including Brunei, before concluding in the east of Sabah. The 27 people sailing docked in Brunei on July 7 in Kuala Belait and will stay until His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam birthday procession this weekend.
Riches added that during their stay the group visited Teraja waterfalls in Labi, Belait as well as the Ulu Temburong National Park. They also spent a day visiting Kg Ayer, where they learned how to cook and prepare local specialties and products such as prawn crackers and lekor.
The Tourism Development Department said in a press statement that they welcomed initiatives by local tour operators, as the Sultanate looks to build on its 258,955 tourists arrivals recorded last year – which was the highest since 2011.