Bandar Seri Begawan, Feb 6
The Brunei government launches a new tourism package to attract domestic and foreign tourists despite a recent surge in daily Covid-19 cases in the Southeast Asian country.
According to Brunei's Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism, the tourism products are designed specifically for Brunei-Muara district, where the national capital Bandar Seri Begawan is located and has various landmarks.
The Ministry on Saturday said that the move was part of the government's efforts to support the local tourism industry, which is dramatically affected by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Xinhua news agency reported.
The new package followed the recent launch of a similar one for Temburong district, and more others are expected to come for the remaining two of the country's four districts, Belait and Tudong.
The Ministry added that the packages cover promoting places of interest, assisting tourism stakeholders such as hotels, tourist guides, and tourist agents in providing complete and flexible itineraries, and developing new tourist attractions.
They are also meant to make preparations "for school holidays promotion in April, August and December this year" and "for tourist arrivals from abroad once borders are open".
A country of over 420,000 population, Brunei has confirmed more than 17,000 infected cases in its second wave of Covid-19 which began in August 2021, with the tourism industry hit hard.
The country announced being in the endemic phase under its National Covid-19 Recovery Framework in December 2021, with local infections dropping gradually after it imposed strict social distancing rules, including work-from-home for government and private sector employees as well as a curfew.
However, Brunei has seen a rebound in daily Covid-19 cases, mainly local infections over recent days.
It recorded 82, 133, 200, and 140 cases for the first four days of February. On Saturday, it reported 373 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the total tally to 17,404 with 102 deaths.
According to the Health Ministry, the newly recorded cases included 368 local infections and five imported cases.
At present, 1,196 active cases are being treated and monitored in the country.