Langkawi Development Authority (LADA) chief executive officer Tan Sri Khalid Ramli said the island was taking its cue from Penang, which enjoys a multi-million ringgit turnover from healthcare-related services in its private hospitals.
He said Langkawi offered a suitable place for medical tourism due to its natural landscape.
“The island resort is generally good for rehabilitation due to its pristine hills and beaches. It can also act as a research incubator for the healthcare sector,” he said in an interview.
Since over a million people visit Langkawi annually, he said it would be good for tourists to also explore health matters during their stay.
Investors and researchers, he added, could tap the huge natural resources of the island including the sea cucumber (gamat) which has medicinal value.
Khalid, a former Penang state secretary and a former Implementation Coordination Unit director-general, has big plans for the island.
LADA was recently given RM5bil in federal grant to upgrade the status of Langkawi as a premier international tourism destination.
He said that besides medical tourism, LADA was keen to position Langkawi as an eco- tourism haven.
On the hospitality side, Khalid announced that LADA was also keen to lure investors for six-star property since there was a growing market for luxurious resorts.
LADA’s target is to record three million visitor arrivals by 2015 compared to an average of over one million in the last ten years.
I might not be in line with the suggestion. Why want to make Langkawi as Medical tourism centre? Cant we just concentrate on what we have. Another idea injected in without having a deep through study & examination. LADA always like this..
Medical tourism will make Langkawi in direct competition with Penang & Kuala Lumpur. Waste medical management will be another problem.