By Encik Nasaruddin Bin Abdul Muttalib, Chief Executive Officer of Langkawi Development Authority
With regards to recent news highlighting that the tourism industry in Langkawi is still struggling and witnessing a decrease in tourist arrivals, the Langkawi Development Authority (LADA) would like to share that the number of inbound travellers on the island have been steadily increasing since the reopening of borders in April 2022.
Langkawi has recorded over 200,000 visitors a month of recent and is currently on track to achieve the target of 2.5 million inbound travellers by year end. This number is a huge rise from the initial projections that were made by LADA, with the highest number of travellers was recorded during the school holidays/long weekend at 172,623.
This fact is further reinstated by hoteliers and tour operators in Langkawi:
“The occupancy rate at our hotel is at its highest and we have been witnessing this since the implementation of the Langkawi International Travel Bubble initiative by the government. On average, our occupancy rate is at 76% and we are so thankful to see this growth, since most of the local community relies heavily on the tourism industry to survive. These promising numbers are proof that the island is recovering and we look forward to welcoming more tourist in the near future,” said Effendi Ramley, General Manager from Dash Resort, Langkawi.
Some netizens have raised concerns that the expenses needed to travel to Langkawi are costly, however, Langkawi offers more than just food and entertainment. Its scenic beauty and vast stretches of beaches offer a wide range of experiences that appeals to all types of travellers including budget travellers, backpackers, small or large families, honeymooners, nature lovers, adrenaline junkies and even silver hairs. There’s no doubt many experiences that Langkawi has to offer with its 99 magical islands under the sun, some at no cost, and some priceless – from bird watching to spot some exotic avians, hiking to the peak of Gunung Raya or Gunung Machinchang and lounging at the vibrant yet beautiful sandy beaches of Pantai Chenang and Pantai Tengah.
We do acknowledge that many local tourists travel to Langkawi by ferry and the pandemic had impacted the dredging works which in turn has affected the availability of the ferry services to and from the island. For this, LADA has been vigilantly working with the relevant authorities, mainly with the operators and the Jabatan Laut Malaysia to expedite the process of clearing the passageway for more ferries to ply the route.
One of our partners in this matter, shares this:
“Together with LADA, our hope is to increase the frequency of the ferries travelling to and from the island – at least 4 trips a day from Kuala Kedah and from Kuala Perlis on a fixed schedule from 7am to 7pm. We believe that with an increase in frequency of the ferry rides to the island, we would be able to attract more tourist and provide a more convenient experience for all,” said Captain Dr Baharin Baharom, Human Resources & Operation Manager, Consortium Ferry Line Ventures Sdn Bhd. At LADA, we acknowledge that this is a pressing concern for many, and we are pro-actively looking at pragmatic solutions to restore Langkawi for the benefit of all. Our goal is to position Langkawi as the tourist destination of choice for both international and local travellers. While faced with many challenges, we believe that we are on the right track to achieve this goal and we confidently look forward to the growth of the tourism industry in Langkawi.