BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- China and Brunei successfully held a cultural tourism promotion and business matching event on Friday in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei's capital, with dozens of tourism industry players from both countries looking for tourism cooperation opportunities.
As the first important activity of the Brunei-China Tourism Year 2020, the event attracted nearly 50 major cultural and tourism enterprises and institutions from China and Brunei. Zhang Xu, China's vice minister of culture and tourism, Haji Ali, Brunei's Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism, and Yu Hong, Chinese ambassador to Brunei attended the event.
In his speech, Zhang Xu briefed the Brunei tourism industry on the development of China's cultural tourism, pointing out that China attaches great importance to tourism cooperation with Southeast Asian countries and countries along the "Belt and Road".
"The Brunei-China Tourism Year 2020 will open a new chapter in China-Brunei tourism exchanges," he noted.
Deputy permanent secretary of the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism Wadi bin Haji Muhammad Ali, welcomed the Chinese government and business delegation to Brunei for business talks. He said the event is the first of its kind between China and Brunei on the platform of the Brunei-China Tourism Year 2020.
"I wish all participants in the business session a happy return. I hope all participants can exchange ideas and promote practical cooperation", he added.
According to Brunei government statistics, China is one of the top source markets for tourist arrivals for Brunei with a recorded number of 43,000 tourist arrivals by July 2019. In 2018, Brunei saw an increase of 21.1 percent to 65,563 tourist arrivals from China in comparison to tourist arrivals of 54,125 in 2017.
With the launch of the Brunei-China Tourism Year 2020, together with direct and increased air connectivity between the two countries, such as the new route of Royal Brunei Airlines to Beijing, it is hoped that this initiative will boost tourist traffic and economic growth between the two countries.