BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, March 18 (Xinhua) -- The total number of international tourist arrivals to Brunei through the Brunei International Airport reached 218,809 in 2016, up 0.3 percent year-on-year.
The increase can be attributed to the high travel demand from the East Asia market, visa facilitation (visa on arrival) for China and chartered flights from China and South Korea, a local daily reported on Saturday.
According to latest statistics from Brunei's Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT), the East Asia region was the only source market that has continued to show positive growth in 2016 at 10.4 percent, especially from countries such as South Korea, China and Japan which have grown by 23.7 percent, 10.7 percent and 3.2 per cent respectively.
Malaysia contributed to the top tourist arrivals in 2016 due to its easy air accessibility and proximity with 24.8 percent (26.6 percent in 2015), followed by China in second place with 18.7 percent (16.9 percent in 2015).
Indonesia moved up one ranking at 9.5 percent (7.9 percent in 2015), Philippines dropped to fourth place at 7.8 percent (8.2 percent in 2015) and Singapore remained at the same position from last year at 6.6 percent (7.4 percent in 2015).
Last year, the top five countries have contributed the majority portion of international tourist arrivals into the country at 67.4 percent.
According to MPRT, the main of visit to Brunei was for leisure and holiday purposes at 42.8 percent (40.7 percent in 2015).
About 17.1 percent of tourists travelled to Brunei for business (19.0 percent in 2015), followed by visiting friends and relatives at 11.6 percent (12.1 percent in 2015).
China and Malaysia remained as the main contributors for the leisure and holiday market with each comprising 39 percent and 17.6 percent respectively.