In the first quarter of 2018, the number of international tourists arriving in Brunei Darussalam through the Brunei International Airport reached 70,729 compared to 67,956 in the first quarter of last year. This is an increase of 4.1 percent year to year. The positive 4.1 percent growth is due to the high demand for travel from the Far East market comprising countries such as the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan which contribute significantly to the 2018 first quarterly performance.

While the Far East market shows continuous growth of 40.5 percent, other markets made up of the long-haul destinations including Australia and New Zealand as well as ASEAN have recorded a decline of 13.3 percent, 8.4 percent and 5.1 percent. Air connectivity also plays an important role for flights from the People's Republic of China and South Korea.

Among the contributors to this year's first quarter increase are tourists from the People's Republic of China spending the Chine New Year holidays in this country in February and watching the international sports events in March namely the 'Richard Mille Brunei 2018' Championship and Korean Ladies Professional Golf Association, KLPGA, Tournament which gave wide exposure to the Far East market.

The People's Republic of China is among the top five countries with the highest tourist arrivals into Brunei. This is due to better air connectivity through chartered flights, contributing 26.2 percent followed by Malaysia with 21.5 percent, the Republic of Indonesia contributing 10.5 percent, the Republic of the Philippines 7.3 percent and the Republic of Singapore with 4.5 percent. Overall, the 5 top countries have contributed the majority of tourists arriving in the country or 70.0 percent of the total tourist arrivals. Among the top performers is Hong Kong with more than double the number of tourists visiting Brunei from 307 in the first quarter of 2017 to 733 in the same period this year or an increase of 98.1 percent.

In 2018 so far, ASEAN remains as the major market with 47.0 percent, followed by the Far East with 33.3 percent and Australia and New Zealand contributing 4.0 percent.

Source:: Radio Television Brunei