2015 Matan Carnival Hopes to Boost Tourism in Sultanate (BruDirect (Brunei))

In an effort to further support and develop its tourism products and village activities to boost the village’s economic activity – the Consultative Council (MPK) of Kampong Sungai Matan yesterday launched the Matan Carnival 2015 and Matan River Cruise.

The ceremony was officially launched by Dr Haji Abd Manaf bin Awang Haji Metussin, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Home Affairs. The ceremony took place at the Sungai Matan Cultural Stage, located at Kg Sungai Matan water-village adbul.

The five-day carnival began on May 28 and will continue until June 1. The carnival is open from 6am to 6pm and is held at the housing compound of the Kampong Sungai Matan Village Head at No 702, Simpang 702, Kampong Sungai Matan and along the jetty of the Sungai Matan River.

The chief guest in his speech congratulated the committee members of Kampong Sungai Matan MPK in their continuous effort in organising the Matan Carnival and launching the new River Cruise tour boat, which he hopes could further increase the village’s income and enhance the village initiative. Dr Haji Abd Manaf also urged the villagers to continue enhancing and upgrading the products produced by them.

Also present at yesterday’s event was a Legislative Council member YB Haji Gapor @ Haji Mohd Daud bin Karim who is also the village head of Kampong Belimbing, the Brunei-Muara District Officer, Mohammad Sunadi bin Haji Buntar, government officers as well as committee members of MPK Kampong Sungai Matan, penghulu, and villages heads under Mukim Kota Batu.

The Village Head of Kampong Sungai Matan, Pengiran Haji Abdul Rahman bin Pengiran Haji Zainal, who is also the organising committee chairman of the carnival in his welcoming speech said the Matan Carnival 2015 is an annual event and has been organised seven times by the MPK of Kampong Sungai Matan.

The objectives of the event were to introduce and promote the village as a tourist destination in the country and at the same time to promote the products produced by them in order to enhance the village’s economy through bazaar sales and activities.

The carnival consists of various events and activities based on the concepts of economy, culture, sports and education. The carnival is open to all including government agencies and private sectors. Their activities also help support and promote the ‘KNK’ (Kenali Negara Kitani or Know Our Country) initiative by the Department of Tourism Development and to achieve the government’s ‘One Village, One Product’ initiative.

He added that the members of the MPK were also invited to participate in other exhibitions locally and overseas – like during the Asean Showcase Fair in Kuala Lumpur recently – to further promote their products outside the country. The village homestay programme also received an increase of tourists both locally and internationally.

With the launching of the tourist boat (Matan River Cruise), the village gained another achievement and it is hoped that the new tourist boat will help increase the villages’ income. The boat was an award presented to the Kampong Sungai Matan Consultative Council through a grant prize from the 2012 Village Excellence Award.

He said the tourism proceeds will be divided to all villages involved in with the Tourism Bureau. Last year, the village’s tourism activities generated more than B$17,000. From January to May this year the homestay programme received a lot of booking from tourists inside and outside the country, who wish to experience the village’s daily activities.

Other activities during the carnival include a cooking competition, traditional dance, colouring competition for children from five to eight years old, a Matan Carnival quiz competition and more. Kampong Sungai Matan is one of the villages in the Brunei-Muara District that became a popular tourist attraction visited by local and foreign tourists in the country.

Last year the village received a total of more than 7,000 foreign tourists from Asean member countries, Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, South Korea, USA, United Kingdom, Spain, France and Germany.

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