LANGKAWI: The Langkawi Development Authority (LADA) aims to receive 3.2 million visitors to the resort island this year after successfully reaching the target of 2.5 million tourists throughout 2022.
Its Chief Executive Officer, Nasaruddin Abdul Muttalib, said that last year, Langkawi recorded a total of 2.57 million tourists and 1.45 million of them entered Langkawi by sea, while the rest chose the air route.
“Of the 2.57 million, 2.51 million are domestic tourists and 63,000 are international tourists with tourism income estimated to reach RM3.9 billion last year.
“This year, LADA is targeting 78 percent of domestic tourists and the rest are international tourists,” he told reporters after chairing the Langkawi Tourism Industry Players’ Meeting Session No. 1/2023 at the LADA Complex, today.
Nasaruddin explained that the target was made based on connectivity factors by air or sea with an average ferry trip of 105 trips and 229 flights per week.
He said, several promotional programs will also be implemented to ensure that the target is achieved such as participating in the Malaysian Travel and Tourism Agents Association (MATTA) Exhibition for domestic tourists and promotions in India, Australia, Thailand, the Middle East, Japan and London.
“LADA together with Tourism Malaysia will also negotiate to reopen the ferry route from Koh Lanta, Krabi in Thailand to here after receiving a visit from Thailand’s Minister of Tourism and Sports, Pipat Ratchakitprakarn last Friday in an effort to increase the number of foreign tourists to Langkawi,” he said.
In addition, he also stated that this year is an important year because the status of the geopark by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will be reassessed in June.
He said, LADA is confident of maintaining the green card for the status through the sustainability activities that have been held since last year in an effort to maintain the geopark status.
“In addition, we also request the cooperation of the Malaysian Maritime Department (JLM) to ensure that the dredging work in the Kuala Perlis shipping lane can be completed before the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition 2023 (LIMA ’23) is held later.
“Dredging work should have reached 83 percent by now, but the current status is only at 68 percent, which makes the work later than the set schedule.
“We hope that the Kuala Perlis ferry route can be restored to the way it was before so that the ferry schedule can be arranged regularly like in Kuala Kedah,” he said. – MESSENGER
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