Miri in Sarawak saw relatively few Bruneian visitors last weekend despite it being the first week of the December school holidays.
Yanti, on a day trip to the border town said the queue was short at Sungai Tujoh checkpoint and popular shopping malls – Bintang Megamall and Permaisuri Imperial City Mall – were relatively less crowded with few Bruneian shoppers.
She said, “I guess Bruneians are waiting for the year-end bonus or the mid-month salary to spend on stationery items for next year’s back-to-school season.”
Another cross-border shopper, Farisha, said she went to Miri to buy winter clothes for a vacation to Europe. She chose to go to Miri for better pricings and favourable currency exchange rates.
She said E-mart located near the border checkpoint is a popular shopping destination for Bruneians particularly for fruits, vegetables and groceries.
Tourism Malaysia Director General Dato’ Haji Zainuddin Abdul Wahab in an interview said Malaysia welcomes Brunei tourists not only on weekends but also for longer stays in Sabah and Sarawak, but also West Malaysia.
He said Malaysia received 25,655 arrivals from the Sultanate in August and the figure jumped 79 per cent to 45,960 in September. The director-general said the total number of arrivals from Brunei in the first nine months of 2022 were 87,038.
Meanwhile, Sabah Tourism Board Chief Executive Officer Noredah Othman said some 20,000 Bruneians visited Sabah from January to September this year with Kota Kinabalu being the most popular.