THE total number of international tourist arrivals to Brunei Darussalam through the Brunei International Airport (BIA) reached 218,809 in 2016 compared to 218,213 in 2015, recording a 0.3 per cent year-on-year increase.
The Brunei Tourism Development Department of the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT) said in a statement that in 2016, the Far East region was the only source market that has continued to show positive growth at 10.4 per cent especially from countries such as South Korea, Hong Kong, China and Japan which have all grown by 23.7 per cent, 19.4 per cent, 10.7 per cent and 3.2 per cent respectively.
Australia and New Zealand markets have both showed a decline at 18.7 per cent (year-on-year), followed by the long haul market such as the United Kingdom at 10.1 per cent and Asean markets such as Malaysia and Singapore at 1.1 per cent.
The overall increase can be attributed to the high travel demand from the Far East market, visa facilitation (visa on arrival) for China and chartered flights from China and South Korea, the department said.
Whereas, the weakening global economy and high regional competition from neighbouring countries in the Asean have affected the performance and growth of the Australia and New Zealand, Asean and long haul source markets in 2016 to some extent.
Malaysia contributed to the top tourist arrivals in 2016 due to its easy air accessibility and proximity with 24.8 per cent (26.6 per cent in 2015), followed by China in second place with 18.7 per cent (16.9 per cent in 2015).
Indonesia moved up one ranking at 9.5 per cent (7.9 per cent in 2015), Philippines dropped to fourth place at 7.8 per cent (8.2 per cent in 2015) and Singapore remained at the same position from last year at 6.6 per cent (7.4 per cent in 2015).
In total, the top five countries have contributed the majority portion of international tourist arrivals into the country in 2016 at 67.4 per cent.
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