BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) -- Engagement with development partners such as China and Australia is key to the continuous growth of the tourism sector in the ASEAN's sub-regional growth area of BIMP-EAGA, Brunei tourism official said while highlighting the region's optimism of further tourism growth on Monday.
BIMP-EAGA is ASEAN sub-regional growth cluster that means Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area.
Speaking at the opening of 16th Joint Tourism Development Cluster Meeting in Brunei on Monday, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Brunei's Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism, Wardi Mohammad Ali said these type of engagements and collaboration with other partners remain relevant in supporting the sustainable and inclusive growth in the region in the face of uncertain global economic conditions.
The official said the BIMP-EAGA's tourism sector remains vibrant with total tourist arrivals growing at an average rate of 6.6 percent, reaching 88.2 million in 2017. The BIMP-EAGA sub-region also continues to be an attractive investment hub, with over 20 billion U.S. dollars mobilized from both foreign and domestic investment.
He said the thriving tourism sector and engagement with the private key stakeholders and development partners, such as the Northern Territory of Australia, the Asian Development Bank and China, will continue to generate growth and prosperity for BIMP-EAGA.
At the meeting, Wardi also urged BIMP-EAGA member countries to support and complement activities within ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan 2016-2025 and broaden partnerships with ASEAN's strategic partners to increase tourism employment opportunities and economic livelihoods for the mutual benefit of the local communities.