Brunei eyeing tourism investments in Himachal Pradesh

June 14th, 2009 - 5:25 pm ICT by IANS  

By Vishal Gulati
Shimla, June 14 (IANS) Brunei Darussalam, the third largest oil producer in Southeast Asia, is eyeing business prospects in hospitality industry in this hill station, a senior functionary said here Sunday.

“We are exploring business prospects in the hospitality industry here,” Brunei’s High Commissioner to India Sidek Ali told IANS.

Ali was here to attend a tourism conclave organised by the Himachal Pradesh government in association with the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

“Shimla’s unique attractions like imperial monuments and buildings constructed by the British, greenery, nature and climate are quite awesome,” he said.

“Our main focus primarily would be on setting up tourist class hotels and resorts. But still, I am exploring the possibilities of finding a foothold here. So far, we have made no investment in tourism in this country.”

He went on to explain: “Every year during school vacations (December-end), thousands of tourists from Brunei prefer to travel to ASEAN countries especially Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand. But not many are aware about tourist spots in India.”

The Brunei Investment Agency, which deals with investments in foreign countries, has acquired “tourist class” hotels in the US, Britain and Singapore, Ali said. Now, apparently, it’s India’s turn.

However, Ali admitted, Brunei isn’t strong in the tourism sector. “Tourism and hospitality is a new industry in my country. We are banking on nature, culture and heritage.”

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