8.6% hike in tourist arrivals

National 2 minutes, 49 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

BRUNEI recorded an 8.6 per cent increase in international visitor arrivals last year with 218,213 visits compared to 200,989 in 2014.

The Tourism Development Department, Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism, released the year-on-year statistics yesterday. The statistics focused only on selected criteria.

The Ministry added that the 8.6 per cent increase (year-on-year) in terms of visitor growth was mainly attributed to high travel demand and positive growth from the main source markets that comprise ASEAN countries, Far East region such as China and Japan, Australia and long haul markets such as UK.

The Far East market contributed to the highest visitor growth with 32 per cent (69,828 visitors) followed by the ASEAN market at 4.7 per cent (10,256 visitors). Australia, New Zealand and long haul markets each grew steadily at one per cent (year-on-year), the ministry added.

Five ASEAN countries contributed to 67 per cent (146,202) of international visitor arrivals for 2015.

Due to easy air accessibility and proximity (to Brunei), Malaysia presented the country’s top international visitor arrival last year with 26.6 per cent. The number stands at 27.3 per cent in 2014.

China placed second at 16.9 per cent (13.3 per cent in 2014). This was followed by Philippines at 8.2 per cent (9.2 per cent in 2014), Indonesia at 7.9 per cent (7.7 per cent in 2014) and Singapore at 7.4 per cent (8.2 per cent in 2014).

The ministry also broke down the main source markets for international visitor arrivals to the country.

ASEAN market continues to be the biggest contributor with 54 per cent (56 per cent in 2014). This was followed by Far East market at 21.8 per cent (17.9 per cent in 2014).

Long Haul market such as Europe and Middle East represented 12.4 per cent of visitor arrivals (13.4 per cent in 2014), while visitors from Australia and New Zealand contributed to 5.3 per cent (5.8 per cent in 2014).

The department also divided the percentage of visitors according to their main purpose of visit to the sultanate.

A total of 40.7 per cent visited Brunei for leisure and holiday (39 per cent in 2014). Less than half of that, 19.6 per cent travelled to Brunei for Business and Meeting Incentives Convention and Exhibitions (MICE) (22.4 per cent in 2014).

A total of 12.1 per cent of the visitors last year were in Brunei to visit friends and relatives, while in-transit visitors were also recorded at 11 per cent (9.7 per cent in 2014).

Only three per cent visited Brunei for government purposes (3.6 per cent in 2014).

China and Malaysia contributed to the majority of the leisure and holiday market at 55.3 per cent of the total international visitor arrivals in 2015.

Arrivals from China stood at 36 per cent, while Malaysia recorded 19.3 per cent arrivals for leisure and holiday.

The statement however did not include the breakdown of countries for visitors travelling for other purposes.

Visitors also spent an average of 5.9 days in length of stay last year, compared to 6.0 days in 2014.

Seventy four establishments were recorded in terms of accommodation last year, compared to 69 in 2014.

The establishments range from luxury resorts (The Empire Hotel & Country Club), Internationally Managed Hotel (Radisson Hotel), business standards, budget, lodgings, apartments, guest houses and homestays.

Out of the 74 establishments - 46 are hotels, 14 homestays with the remainder being guest houses and rest houses.

The total number of beds and rooms available were 5,297 beds and 3,680 rooms. This was an increase from 5,107 beds and 3,678 rooms available from the 69 establishments in 2014.

The statement added that 2015 recorded an average hotel occupancy rate of 37.9 per cent, which was based on 33 accommodations, compared to 40.3 per cent in 2014 with only 13 accommodations.

The Brunei Times