For the next few days, I have to turn to writing about general observations about Brunei or turn into a tourist blog depending on whichever material I happened to have handy. It's a bit harder writing about Brunei when I am about a couple of thousand miles away from my library. While waiting for my car, I managed to snap a photograph of the local police car and their control post (complete with sandbags - talk about being prepared)when we arrived at the airport at about 12.30 midnight Brunei time.
On the flight coming in, I was quite intrigued to read an article in the international newspaper about one of the Indian states - Kashmir turning towards marriage tourism. I have heard of all sorts of tourism especially eco-tourism which Brunei seems to be getting into but marriage tourism is a fairly new concept. But the more you think about it, it should not be quite an alien concept and probably more so suited to Brunei given the number of weddings in Brunei.
At the moment, some of the more enterprising local tourism companies in Brunei already do that. They would bring a small group of tourists to a Malay wedding so that the tourists can sample first hand what a wedding atmosphere in Brunei looked like. The tourists have been asked beforehand to consider also giving some token to the family holding the ceremony. If this was to be extended to a wider circle allowing more families to participate in this program probably can help pay for some of the wedding costs. This is like the foster family program. Afterall Brunei's weddings are still one of the bigger and more colourful occassions held regularly in the region.
That concept is different than what Kashmir is offering. The Kashmir program is offering tourists the option of getting married in Kashmir and providing the whole works of having the honeymoon and taking lovely photographs with the Kashmir background. That too we can provide. I have seen some of the modern wedding photographs done by Erwan Said and David Cheok and you would not, believe me, recognise the Brunei places where some of these newly married couples had their photographs taken. I think we can attract tourists to do their wedding ceremonies and have them take photographs in Brunei too with unusual backgrounds.
Maybe something for the tourism folks to think about.