M’sia records double-digit growth in Brunei tourist arrivals
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
A TOTAL of 277,013 Bruneian tourists visited Malaysia in the third quarter of last year.
This represents an 11.9 per cent increase in the number of Bruneian visitors to Malaysia in the previous quarter of 2015.
The numbers for the period between July and September 2015 – released by Tourism Malaysia on their website – was still lower than the third quarter of 2014 which logged 280,705 Bruneian arrivals during a period of stronger economic outlook for the sultanate.
Director of Tourism Malaysia in Brunei told The Brunei Times that while it was normal over the past few years for the number of arrivals from Brunei to rebound in the third quarter, the increase in numbers can also be attributed to the falling exchange rate during that period.
“The fasting month of Ramadhan is during June which is in the second quarter of the year so Bruneians will not travel during those months as there are a lot of religious events going on in that period,” said Zurina Abd Samad.
“However, the arrivals started to pick up in July, especially in the run up to Hari Raya Aidil Fitri when Bruneians tend to shop ahead of the festivities as well as the mid-term holiday break for students,” she said.
Zurina also affirmed that the falling exchange rate between the Bruneian dollar and the Malaysian ringgit, which increased Bruneians’ purchasing power in Malaysia, also pushed Bruneians to decide to do their Raya shopping across the border.
“The exchange rate had started to fall by early 2015 but after the leap in the rate of decline in the third quarter, we saw more Bruneians crossing the border to spend their money in Malaysia,” she said.
The exchange rate between the two currencies had been steady at below RM2.70 to $1 in the first quarter of 2015 but by the third quarter, the exchange rate had fallen to RM3 to $1.
The record for Bruneian tourist arrivals in Malaysia currently stands at 1.258 million recorded in 2012.
The number of visits recorded from January until September 2015 was 830,425.
It was previously reported that Malaysia is looking to promote itself as a shopping haven for Bruneians, with many of the outlets of international brands within driving distance from the country in the neighbouring Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak.
The Brunei Times