An Increase of Tourists on the Horizon for Langkawi

Langkawi, the 99 Magical Islands in the Sun will see an increase of tourists in 2023 with the reopening of the China border that is targeted to take place in March, after a three long year hiatus. This news is a step in the right direction for the island, as tourists from China are known to be the  highest contributor in terms of arrivals and expenditure in the past.

Sharing his thoughts on welcoming tourists from China, Chief Executive Officer of Langkawi Development Authority (LADA), Encik Nasaruddin Abdul Muttalib said, “Statistics from previous years show that visitors from China have long been great admirers of Langkawi and we are extremely delighted to be able to welcome them back. In fact, I am sure these tourists too are hugely excited to return to the norm and this warrants for the best treatment possible, as they have gone through a very challenging period. We hope to give them the best experience possible when they visit Langkawi.”

En Nasaruddin added “We understand the concerns of Malaysian citizens due to the current wave of Covid-19 in China. However, we believe we are well equipped to manage the situation due to our past experience in implementing Langkawi as an International Travel Bubble Pilot Destination. Due to the success of this pilot project in Langkawi, the government then used this as a strong foundation and emulated it throughout the country, further reaffirming us that our strategy was a success.”

To reduce concerns regarding COVID-19 and the possible upturn in case numbers, LADA have reactivated their efforts in providing covid testing facilities. Safetrac Langkawi and BP Heathcare will be providing resources dedicated to on-the-spot testing. Having learnt and improved on past experiences, LADA will be working hand in hand with these private labs on the island to carryout COVID-19 screening for tourists arriving from China.

Adding on to the encouraging news, the ferry issue that has long affected tourists looking to travel between the island and the mainland is at the end of the road to resolution. The Langkawi Ferry Service, which is the backbone of the working-class community is set to resume services at a consistent rate. Information from the Marine Department reveals that dredging works at Kuala Kedah has already been completed with works at Kuala Perlis to be completed in February 2023. Services will be resuming on the 9th of January 2023 and 1st of March 2023 at the respective locations.

Encik Nasaruddin was delighted to add, “We spent months looking for pragmatic solutions and we are glad to be able to finally put this issue behind us. We are proud to announce that we will be having more trips in a day from Kuala Kedah and from Langkawi from 7am to 7pm. The frequency of trips will be increased depending on the demand for trips to the island. Preceding the pandemic, we had a total of 12 trips a day and that is the benchmark we aim to return to. We believe that with the resumption of ferry rides to the island, we will be able to attract more tourists and provide a more convenient experience for all to enjoy. Slowly but surely, our goal to position Langkawi as the destination of choice for both international and local travellers will be achieved.”

The reopening of China’s borders as well as the resumption of ferry services to the island is expected to have a positive impact on Langkawi’s tourism industry. In 2022 alone, statistics showed that 2.57 million tourists visited the island. This number is expected to increase in 2023 with 3.2 million visitors projected to visit this breath-taking island. In terms of ameliorating the local economy and creating more jobs for locals, there is no denying that the future does looks bright for this land of shimmering seas and picturesque views. The tourism industry in Langkawi is set for an upward trajectory due to LADA’s tremendous effort, hard work and dedication.