Home Tourism Philippine-Brunei Sign Landmark Agreement for Tourism Cooperation

Philippine-Brunei Sign Landmark Agreement for Tourism Cooperation

Philippine President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. was on a State visit to Brunei Darussalam on 28 May 2024. During his visit, both Southeast countries agreed to promote cooperation in tourism. This landmark agreement can boost ties and collaboration between the Philippines and Brunei.

Christina Garcia Frasco, Secretary of the Department of Tourism (DOT), Philippines, and Dato Seri Setia Dr. Haji Abdul Manaf bin Haji Metussin, Brunei Darussalam’s Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism, signed the document under the supervision of the Sultan of Brunei, His Majesty Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah Ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien and President Marcos.

One of the primary objectives of this agreement is to increase the arrival of tourists through and to both countries. Both countries wish to focus on the global tourist-generating markets and facilitate a wide distribution of visitors to the numerous destinations and tourist attractions in each other.

According to a press release by the Department of Tourism, Philippines, this agreement outlines several areas where both countries will collaborate following their respective rules, laws, national policies, and regulations. They are:

  1. Halal and Muslim Friendly Tourism: Promoting Muslim Friendly Tourism and Halal Tourism concepts in infrastructure, facilities, products, and services.
  2. Exchange of Experiences: Exchanging best practices in tourism activities’ organisation, management, and business operations.
  3. Manpower Training: Conducting capacity development and training for tourism personnel and stakeholders, including academic exchanges and networking.
  4. Joint Promotion Programs: Collaborating on advertising and promotion initiatives.
  5. Tour Package Development: Creation and promotion of tour packages that highlight the unique attractions of both countries.
  6. Health and Medical Tourism: Supporting the enhancement and management of medical and health tourism.
  7. Investment in Tourism: Encouraging private and public sector investment in tourism programs and projects.
  8. Community-Based and Eco-Tourism: Promoting community-based tourism and eco-tourism initiatives.
  9. Business Tourism (MICE): Encouraging business tourism, including meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions.
  10. Information Exchange: Trading research studies, publications, and data on tourism legislation and statistics.
  11. Standardisation and Certification: Sharing experiences related to official standards and certifications in tourism.
  12. Exchange and IT Development: Facilitating the exchange of experts and information technology and developing joint comparative studies on training programs and skills improvement.
  13. Gender and Development Programs: Developing and exchanging gender-related programs and sustainable and accessible tourism for all.
  14. Airline Cooperation: Promoting commercial arrangements among national airlines.

President Marcos pointed out that the MoU is an outcome of the 3rd Brunei Darussalam-Philippines Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation held in August 2023. He added that this MoU will boost political, economic, and people-to-people ties. He also praised Brunei’s superior quality of tourists despite its small population. President Marcos added that such tourists would add to the tourism sector in the Philippines, for whom tourism is an integral part of the national economy.

Secretary Frasco further noted that the Philippines-Brunei Darussalam Tourism agreement would open up many opportunities for both nations to explore their unique strengths and offerings. It will help the nations to showcase their cultural heritage and natural heritage.