Five Boeing Dreamliners and brand new airport arriving soonThe scene is now set for Brunei Darussalam to become a highly desirable and accessible incentive destination. It has quality hotels, visitor attractions, unique culture and an experienced, recently modernised national airline with multiple connections.
Brunei is an independent country in the northern part of the island of Borneo. It is ruled over by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah. He has proved himself very willing to give maximum support to his country’s aim to develop its tourism, especially its business tourism.
For three days annually during celebration of the Muslim festival of the Sighting of the Moon, the Sultan opens his magnificent palace to visitors. He personally welcomes every visitor and has been known to shake hands 57,000 times. It is believed that the palace has been a ruler’s residence longer than any other in the world. Visiting palaces and mosques is one of the many cultural options for groups in Brunei.
The name of the state, Brunei Darussalam, signifies a ‘haven of peace and tranquillity’.
With a population of 400,000, it takes up very little space on the world map, but it has some major experiences to offer groups. ‘It is the gateway’, says Dermot Mannion, ‘to Borneo’s pristine rainforest. Within 30 minutes from the capital city, Bandar Seri Begawan, you can be in an untouched natural wonderland the size of the UK.’
In keeping with Brunei’s initiative to attract visitors from around the world, Dermot Mannion, Deputy Chairman of Royal Brunei Airlines, was in London to present the airline’s new livery and logo. It has adopted a bright yellow slash of colour across the state flag to bring attention and give a sense of excitement and sunshine.
‘It is also designed to show that the 38-year-old airline is being modernised and revitalised’, Dermot continues, ‘both in the air and on the ground’.
A brand new airport will open in 2014, but before that the airline is taking delivery during 2013 of the first of its five Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.
It was interesting to hear from Dermot that the intra-ASEAN travel business is booming. ‘We are experiencing a rapidly growing demand in the region for short-haul Business Class’, he says.
Passengers can break their journey if they wish, with a stopover at Dubai in either direction at no extra charge.