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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Langkawi is fast losing its shine

IT’S heartening to see both local and foreign tourists expressing their concern about the cleanliness and maintenance of our tourist sites and popular destinations as reflected in the many letters to the press lately.
While the authorities in Penang are starting to take note of the numerous complaints, especially on dirty beaches and are taking remedial steps, other states should not wait for a wake-up call before acting.

Cleanliness and maintenance of public facilities are not just for the sake of tourism alone as we should inculcate such good practice as a reflection of our culture.
To prove that unkempt places are not only restricted to Penang, a tourist who visited our legendary island of Langkawi a few times also aired his complaint, “Tourist yearns for improvement in Langkawi,” (The Star, Jan 4).

I feel obliged to give my observation as a regular travel and tourism observer owing to my capacity as a frequent traveller, blogger and travel consultant for more than 20 years.
I share the frustration over the deterioration of Langkawi’s overall surroundings and that things have not changed for the better during the last eight times of his visit.
Langkawi’s hey-day as a resort to match Phuket or Bali seems to have paled off after the former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s administration.

During his days, Langkawi was top in all matters of tourism developments, promotions and events. It looks like with every change in the government of the day, there is also a shift in development pattern.

Why can’t there be a continuous effort to spearhead its development and promotions even though there is a change politically?
After billions of ringgit were spent to develop the island paradise, to shift focus now or to neglect its potential, is surely a wastage of the worst kind!

I also wish to highlight the writer’s comment on transportation in Langkawi.
It is true that all this while, the taxis and the car rental agencies are monopolising the transportation business.
While they have been doing a good job thus far, will it benefit everyone?

Visitors to Langkawi also comprise backpackers who stay in budget hotels, hostels and kampung guest houses. And surely not all Langkawi islanders are rich enough to have their own cars to get from one point to another.

If bus service is not the answer to the transport woes, why not look at mini-vans or motorcycle squads as an alternative?

Petaling Jaya.

Anaklangkawi :-
Another dissapointing letter from hardcore tourist. This is call for the authorities should think about & improve its tourist friendly approach. Especially for low budget tourist.

Do not look down on such request due to if we see the statistic in Thailand, most of the tourist is backpakers & low income tourist.

p/s: hope that more complain & suggestion in the days to come. Let us improve not finger pointing.


Lisa said...

Don't worry about the complaint. People still go to Langkawi. I have a chance to listen to Sembang Utara on LangkawiFM. Everybody is mentioning the word pelancong in every complaint. Question is? What happen to local Langkawian compare to pelancong? Are they being left out? It shows that local Langkawian have no say about their own motherland.

anaklangkawi said...

Good point.. Sometimes the authority, state government, federal government etc is more concern about what the tourist have to say rather than local langkawi folks in the street.

i dont think they are left out. just that the media dont give enough attention to their grouses .. but thumbs up for Sinar Harian which gaves daily updates..