Langkawi: Tourism sector operators must be more creative

by BERNAMA / pic by TMR FILE

TOURISM sector operators here are advised to be more creative in promoting their products to attract more local tourists even outside the peak season.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Special Functions) Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Yusof said initiatives such as offering tourism packages at lower prices to local tourists could be increased since the country’s borders were still closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Currently, they (tourism sector operators) are happy at the influx of tourists here (because of the school holiday season), but they also must think about what can be done to attract people to come outside the season.

“At the same time, tourists must practice the new norms in order to maintain the entry of people into Langkawi without the need to implement the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) again,” he told reporters after a dialogue session with hotel operators here, tonight.

The dialogue session with the Bumiputera Agenda Steering Unit (TERAJU) involved 50 hotel operators who were invited to discuss challenges in reviving the tourism sector in Langkawi.

Mohd Redzuan said, in order to maintain the sustainability of Langkawi, some proposals to diversify the economic sector on the island, such as aquaculture projects, needed to be scrutinised first.

“We have to check whether the proposal (aquaculture) can be done or not, if it does not negatively impact or harm the sustainability of Langkawi as a green area, it can be considered.

“But maybe not on a large scale, but more towards eco-tourism. It is good if you want to bring aquaculture to Langkawi, but you have to study the impact first,” he said.

Meanwhile, when speaking at the dialogue session, he said the Langkawi Development Authority (LADA) recorded 3.14 million tourist arrivals in Langkawi in 2019, compared to 1.6 million tourists until last November (down 54 per cent).

He said the revenue of the island’s tourism sector was also only RM900 million until last November, compared to RM1.7 billion in 2019.

“The 80 per cent decline in revenue is due to the closure of national borders following the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.