2ND TERM

Written by root. Posted in IN PERSON

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Published on April 27, 2016 with No Comments

Appointed for the second year, RB Brand Ambassador Wu Chun shares his experience of the past year and his aspirations moving forward.

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RB has extended your appointment as their Brand Ambassador. Tell us how the last year had been.
2015 had been an interesting year. Riding on my celebrity status in China, we (RB and I) visited various cities to meet my fans. We have been indirectly promoting Brunei as there are still many in China who is unaware of where Brunei is, and what we have to offer. Through these sessions, we have had the opportunity to present what Brunei has to offer and we are very confident we have created awareness for the RB Shanghai route. According to Dermot Mannion, RB’s Deputy Chairman, the number of tourists coming in from China has grown substantially in the one short year.

For the China market this year, we are looking at more promotions and awareness campaigns via group and media partnerships instead of having meet the fans events. We know it takes time and we are glad and very encouraged to see larger numbers of tourists from China especially from Hong Kong and Shanghai coming in to Brunei not only as a stopover to Melbourne or other RB destinations via Brunei but to visit the Sultanate as well!

What were some of the lessons you’ve taken from a year of partnering RB?
It is one aspect to promote Brunei via RB, Brunei Tourism and travel agencies. However, I feel Bruneians too have to equally play their role because whenever a tourist or visitor comes to Brunei, all of us play a part to contribute to their overall experience. I am sharing my previous media experience in showbiz with RB to maximise our impact in promoting Brunei abroad. I feel very positive and encouraged about this year’s promotion activities.

How has this partnership benefited you individually?
In some ways, RB is an endorsement of me in Brunei, and for Brunei. I might not be as well known in Brunei as I am overseas in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan so this brand endorsement with RB too allowed more Bruneians to know me better.

I took two years off showbiz to spend more time with my family and my newborn son. So while ‘grounded’ in Brunei, I took the opportunity to spend more time doing things I have always wanted to do: concentrate on promoting a healthy lifestyle to Bruneians, launched a Taiwanese franchise bakery and hair saloon.

What are your aspirations as second term brand ambassador for RB?
His Majesty is placing emphasis on tourism with the restructuring of the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources (MIPR) to the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT). This means tourism is given priority in economic diversification towards Vision 2035. This is in line with RB’s vision in promoting Brunei locally and abroad. As the recipient of the “Youth Award 2015” from His Majesty recently, I am further inspired to do my part as a Bruneian, as an international celebrity, and as a father and family man to realise this vision.

Bruneians need to be ready, too. What experiences we have we need to try to put them in place and work with the government agencies and support His Majesty’s vision. Again, to be successful we need a collective effort: “Teamwork makes the dream work”.

We should celebrate our diversity. For example, while Brunei has now implemented the Syariah law, we still honour other cultures. During the Chinese New Year celebrations for example, His Majesty and the Royal Family joins the Chinese community at a gala dinner, visits our homes and join in the festivities. This unique Bruneian trait is what we should showcase to the world.

Bringing awareness to the RB brand must be tough, particularly with competition from regional airlines including no-frills carriers. How do you face this challenge?
I must say RB tries – which to me is the Number ONE attitude. RB has invested in a new fleet of aircraft – the Boeing Dreamliner and Airbus Neo. By the time RB takes delivery of all the aircraft, it will have the newest fleet in the region. Their recent rebranding exercise promotes more Bruneian traditions, heritage and culture. More local dishes have been introduced in the Sky Lounge and RB inflight meals such as nasi lemak, rending and local cakes/desserts such as kuih batik and bingka susu. With the re-launch of the Royal Skies cards providing more benefits to its valued members, RB is also garnering more awareness via new member acquisition. RB is also spreading its reach by having code share flights with other airlines.

Last year you spoke of some of Brunei’s interesting features/places to visit for the first time visitor. What can you recommend a return visitor to Brunei do?
Besides discovering the must-see sites in Brunei, I would like returning visitors to try something different. Instead of staying in hotels, they could perhaps experience a homestay or stay with friends in Brunei to truly experience the local culture, take part in Brunei charity runs to explore Brunei while running with locals, have a picnic and take a leisure walk on any of Brunei’s pristine beaches, go fishing, take a boat ride around the water villages, shop at the local traditional markets. These are some simple but interesting daily activities to ‘see’ Brunei.

You have been busy. What projects are you working on?
Last year, I was privileged to meet Michael Jordan in Shanghai as he marked the 30th anniversary of Air Jordan. Michael Jordan is a legend and he inspires me. Part of the celebration was an immersive basketball court simulator experience called “The Last Shot”. As an appreciation of loyalty to the brand, I was deeply honoured to be selected as one of the 12-team members of Team 23, alongside retired Chinese tennis player Li Na and retired Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang, to shoot some balls.

I have some showbiz projects in the pipeline. Right now, I am looking at a script for a Hollywood sci-fi movie. Filming starts soon in Australia for about one and a half months. I am looking forward to the experience. It will be my first English language film. Every project and person I meet, I learn something new. Learning never stops for me. It challenges me to keep improving and to be better.

I also hope to work on a healthy lifestyle campaign with the Ministries of Health, Education, and Culture, Youth & Sports to instill healthy eating habits in children and help them be more mentally and physically active. Brunei’s statistics for coronary, stroke and diabetes are high. By educating them young, I believe we can change and lower those statistics for this and the next generations to come.

One of my dreams is also looking to establish schools in remote villages in Tibet and dream of starting my own foundation. And last but not least, my family keeps me busy. Despite my busy schedule, I would dearly love to spend more time with my young family. If we surround our lives with love then everything will just falls into place.

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