In 2017, the Tourism Development Department, Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism recorded an increase of 18-point 3 percent in the number of tourist arrivals to Brunei Darussalam through Brunei International airport, up to 258 thousand 955 tourists compared to 218 thousand 809 in 2016. The number has exceeded the 10 percent target for 2017. It is also the highest number recorded since 2011, which was 242 thousand 61 tourists.
The increase in the number of tourist arrivals in the last three years shows a continued positive effect on the tourism industry in the country. This is in part due to the high travel demand from the main market and the introduction and improvement of several tourist products. Other factors that have also helped contribute to this increase are the improved air connectivity from Royal Brunei Airlines, RB and Lucky Air through the introduction of new services for tourists from the Republic of Korea and the People's Republic of China as well as the introduction of 'visa on arrival' and 'multiple entry visa' to citizens from the People's Republic of China and Taiwan.
The events held in conjunction with the Golden Jubilee Celebration of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam's Accession to the Throne last year were also among the contributors that have led to an increase in the number of tourist arrivals to the country.
In 2017, statistics show that 23-point 2 percent tourists are from Malaysia due to its and proximity to the country. This is followed by tourists from the People's Republic of China with 20.2 percent, the Republic of Philippines with 8.9 percent, the Republic of Indonesia with 8.7 percent and the Republic of Singapore with 5.8 percent. Overall, these top 5 countries have contributed a large majority of international tourist arrivals to the country, accounting for 66.8 percent from the total number of tourist arrivals in 2017. South Korea was also among countries to record strong growth - increasing by 145.1 percent from January 2017, from 3 thousand 551 tourists in 2016 to 8 thousand 705 last year.
For 2017, ASEAN remained as the main market for the country, accounting for 50.3 percent. This is followed by the Far East with 27.1 percent; the long-haul market such as Europe and Middle East with 10.9 percent; and the Australia and New Zealand market with 3.9 percent.
Source: Radio Television Brunei