Brunei is hoping to secure over $140 million in tourism dollars by targeting 278,000 tourist arrivals this year — 14 per cent more than last year — nearly doubling the revenue it gets from visitors.
Data from the Tourism Development Department stated that as of November 2017, the sultanate recorded 238,150 tourist arrivals, with an estimated receipt of $77 million.
The implementation of visa facilities such as visa-on-arrival; multiple-entry visas for Chinese passport holders; and visa waivers for Turkish and Russian nationals are also expected to increase tourist arrivals into the country.
Russians can visit the country without visa for up to 14 days, while Turkish passport holders can visit for up to 30 days without a visa.
According to government data, Malaysia, China and the Philippines were the top three sources of visitors as of November 2017.
Malaysia remains the top country for tourist arrivals for two consecutive years, with 54,295 people crossing the borders into Brunei. China came a close second with 47,713 visitors. The data for the number of visitors from Philippines was not available.
Rounding out the top 10 are Indonesia, Singapore, United Kingdom, Korea, India, Australia and Thailand.
Brunei’s tourist arrivals for 2017 is expected to be a 10 per cent increase from 2016 figures, when the total number of visitors was 218,809.
The Tourism Development Department said the increase was a result of collaborative efforts between government and private sector to promote and facilitate tourist arrivals into the country.
Royal Brunei Airlines has also introduced new routes in the past year, adding more Chinese destinations and identifying new tourism markets such as South Korea. The flag carrier is also working with government agencies in Brunei and China to restart services to Beijing, the department added.