Sign up | Log in



Home  >>  Daily News  >>  ASEAN ANALYSIS


                                                                                                                           Asean Affairs August 15, 2013  

The ups, downs of Brunei tourism


MANY thoughts have been given as to how Brunei can attract more tourists to its small territory, which with no doubt boasts attractive tourist spots, but, on the other hand, is struggling with problems of its relative remoteness and its action-free environment.

The World Tourism Organisation of the United Nations in its latest tourism ranking has shown that tourism numbers to Brunei dropped 13.6 per cent to 209,000 in 2012. Brunei was the only country in ASEAN that experienced a decline in visitors, and its overall share of tourism within ASEAN shrunk to just 0.1 per cent.

It is not that Brunei has set tourism development on its top agenda, and it is also not necessary to boost tourism as a foreign exchange earner. But, tourism numbers are more than just a cold metric. Brunei could use tourism to present itself to the outer world in a way that it gets visible.

One way to do that would be to push Brunei more as a "special" stopover destination and point out its uniqueness. In fact, there rarely is a stopover destination quite like Brunei, a nation that combines strong Islamic traditions with Asian culture.

In addition to national airline Royal Brunei, there is actually are a number of regional airlines such as Thai Airways, Garuda or Singapore Airlines flying regularly to Brunei on their way to other destinations in Asia Pacific. On a stopover, short-time tourist can easily take a few days to explore the Sultanate with its wealth of nature and architecture.

A short stay of two days could include a day of exploration in the city and another in the rainforest. As opposed to other capitals in the region, Bandar Seri Begawan has no traffic jams, no smog and a quite laid-back lifestyle. It is safe, clean and easy to wander through.

Thus, the Sultanate could capitalise on its "uniqueness", tell potential visitors that there is no other country like it and make them curious.

Because, on the downside, people with less need for a calming surrounding and with greater adventurous spirit might quickly find it boring in Brunei. Those in search of vibrant nightlife will probably want to skip Brunei as this is a dry country and even smoking is widely banned, including shisha.

Brunei is quite expensive by Southeast Asian standards and the costs of tourism are roughly the same as in Singapore, but what's on the touristic menu can by no means be compared to Singapore. There is little cultural diversity in the country compared to surrounding Malaysia, and, last but not least, there are even reservations by some Bruneian officials not to open the country to too many tourists considering the downsides of "mass tourism" and fearing to dilute Brunei's uniqueness.

This dilemma is difficult to resolve and will cause those responsible for tourism one or two more headaches in the future.

The Brunei Times

Reach Southeast Asia!
10- Nations, 560- Million Consumers
And $1 -Trillion Market
We are the Voice of Southeast Asia Media Kit
The only Media Dedicated to Southeast Asia Advertising Rates for Magazine
Online Ad Rates

Comment on this Article. Send them to

Letters that do not contain full contact information cannot be published.
Letters become the property of AseanAffairs and may be republished in any format.
They typically run 150 words or less and may be edited
submit your comment in the box below

Today's  Stories    15  August 2013 Subsribe Now !
• Thai Stock Market Flood Relief Fund helps restore flood-hit historic sites Subcribe: Asean Affairs Global Magazine
• Thai bourse market report for July Asean Affairs Premium
• Thailand's plan to check Line messages gets flak
Research Reports
on Thailand 2007-2008

•Textiles and Garments Industry

•Coffee industry

•Leather and footwear industry

•Shrimp industry

• Myanmar to build largest international airport
• MMK 410 billion loan approved for state owned enterprises
• ACB's Kien manipulated legal loopholes
• Electric car is still on the charger
Asean Analysis           15 August 2013 Advertise Your Brand
• Asean Analysis- August 15, 2013: The ups, downs of Brunei tourism
• Asean Weekly:The Biweekly Update 9 August 2013
Asean Stock Watch     14 August  2013
• Asean Stock Watch-August 14, 2013 

ASEAN NEWS UPDATES      Updated: 04 January 2011

 • Women Shariah scholars see gender gap closing
• Bank Indonesia may hold key rate as inflation hits 7 percent
• Bursa Malaysia to revamp business rules
• Private property prices hit new high in Singapore • Bangkok moves on mass transport
• Thai retailers are upbeat
• Rice exports likely to decline • Vietnamese PM projects 10-year socioeconomic plan


This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






1.  Verifier

1. Verifier

For security purposes, we ask that you enter the security code that is shown in the graphic. Please enter the code exactly as it is shown in the graphic.
Your Code
Enter Code

Home | About Us | Contact Us | Special Feature | Features | News | Magazine | Events | TV | Press Release | Advertise With us

Our Products | Work with us | Terms of Use | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Refund Policy | Shipping/Delivery Policy | DISCLAIMER |

Version 5.0
Copyright © 2007-2015 TIME INTERNATIONAL MANAGEMENT ENTERPRISES CO., LTD. All rights reserved.
Bangkok, Thailand