Brunei Q1: Tourist arrivals down

National 3 minutes, 37 seconds


INTERNATIONAL tourist arrivals through Brunei International Airport declined 2.8 per cent on year in the first quarter due to a number of factors.

Visitors totaled 56,431 in the first quarter compared with 58,038 in the first quarter of 2015, according to the Tourism Development Department under the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism which released the quarterly statistics yesterday.

The department said the decline in terms of visitor growth was mainly attributed to annual seasonal fluctuation, a declining trend in travel demand and negative growth from the main source markets.

The main source market comprised the Australia/New Zealand markets, which decreased by 18.2 per cent, followed by ASEAN at 4.6 per cent and long haul markets at 1.1 per cent.

Meanwhile, the Far East region such as China, Hong Kong and Japan continued to show positive growth at 8.3 per cent.

Four ASEAN countries as well as China contributed 66.3 per cent of international tourist arrivals for the first quarter.

Due to easy air accessibility and proximity to Brunei, Malaysians were the top international tourist arrivals in the first quarter at 25.8 per cent, compared with 26.4 per cent in the first quarter of 2015.

China placed second at 17.7 per cent, up from 16.5 per cent a year earlier.

This was followed by Indonesia at 9.4 per cent, flat versus 9.4 per cent in the first quarter of 2015, the Philippines at 7.5 per cent, up slightly on year from 7.4 per cent, and Singapore at 6 per cent, down from 6.8 per cent.

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

The ASEAN market continued to be the highest contributor with 52.4 per cent versus 53.4 per cent in the first quarter of 2015, followed by the Far East region market at 23.8 per cent, up from 21.4 per cent.

Long haul markets such as Europe and the Middle East represented 12.6 per cent versus 12.4 per cent a year earlier while visitors from the Australia and New Zealand markets contributed 5.1 per cent compared with 6.0 per cent.

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

A total of 42.2 percent visited Brunei for leisure and holiday compared with 37.6 percent in the first quarter of 2015.

A total of 17.4 per cent (18.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2015) travelled for business, while in-transit visitors were recorded at 15.8 per cent (14.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2015).

A total of 11.6 per cent of the visitors were in Brunei to visit friends and relatives versus 11.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2015.

Only 2.7 per cent (2.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2015) visited Brunei for government purposes. A total of 0.9 per cent visited Brunei for exhibition purposes compared with 1 per cent in the first quarter of 2015.

The statement added that 8 per cent (versus 8.4 per cent in the first quarter of 2015) were in Brunei under the purpose ‘Others’ while the purpose of 1.4 per cent (6.9 per cent in the first quarter of 2015) of arrivals wasn’t specified.

China and Malaysia remained the main contributors for the leisure and holiday market at 55.7 per cent for the first quarter of 2016.

Arrivals from China stood at 37.5 per cent while those from Malaysia were recorded at 18.2 per cent.

The statement, however, didn’t include the breakdown of countries for visitors travelling for other purposes.

Visitors also spent an average 2.2 days length of stay in the first quarter of 2016 compared with 2.1 days in the same period last year.

The hotel occupancy rate for the first quarter was 40.7 per cent compared with 37.3 per cent a year earlier.

Eighty one establishments were recorded in terms of accommodation in the first quarter of 2016.

They included luxury resorts (for example The Empire Hotel and Country Club), international standard hotels (for example Radisson Hotel), business standard, budget, lodgings, apartments, guest houses and homestays.

Out of the 81 establishments, 50 were hotels, resorts and apartments, 14 were homestays, 15 were guest houses and rest houses and two were government guest houses.

The total number of rooms and beds available were 4,084 rooms and 5,777 beds.

This was an increase from the first quarter of 2015, where the total number of establishments was 69, followed by 3,561 rooms and 5,028 beds available from the same categories of accommodations.

For the first quarter of 2016, the total number of registered travel agents under the Tourism Development Department was 58 compared with 57 establishments in the same period last year. All travel agents are based on inbound and outbound travel, the statement added.

The Brunei Times