Pulau Langkawi, the ‘Jewel of Kedah’, accorded the World Geopark status by UNESCO in 2007, holds great promise for the tourism industry in Malaysia. In a recent interview with the Top 10 of Malaysia, Tan Sri Khalid Ramli, the Chief Executive Officer of the Langkawi Development Authority (LADA) gave his insights into the Langkawi Tourism Blueprint and his visions to make it a success.
T10 : What would you describe as the “second curve for Langkawi Development Authority” when the Langkawi Tourism Blueprint (2011-2015) was launched by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak towards the end of 2011?
TSKR : Langkawi Tourism Blueprint 2011-2015 is a guideline for LADA to improvise its services towards the public. It will be focusing more on development while preserving Langkawi’s natural island. LADA will move even more aggressively to ensure that all initiatives in the Langkawi Tourism Blueprint are carried out successfully. We also believe that the Blueprint is the best platform for us to identify the projects that are needed to be implemented to make Langkawi as the top 10 tourist destinations in the world. Our action plans will have a focus on improving LADA’s administration, delivery and monitoring system in order to provide better services, infrastructure developments and opportunities for fulfilling social responsibilities.
T10 : The PM had mentioned that an investment of RM5 billion would be needed during the implementation period of Langkawi Tourism Blueprint and that the majority of the funding would be generated by the private sector. How much is that percentage (52%? 92%?)?
TSKR : As mentioned in the Blueprint, the investment will come entirely, 100% that is, from the private sector. We do provide some incentives to lure investors to Langkawi.
T10 : Are there any corporate players who have expressed an interest in going for the big projects in Langkawi? Is Taylor’s University’s Tourism Academy one of them? If yes, how will Langkawi benefit from this venture between the university and the Higher Education Ministry?
TSKR : Since the launch of the Blueprint towards the end of last year, there has been an interest by various parties to take up 15 potential projects. Amongst the interested parties are, Tradewinds Corporation Berhad and Khazanah Nasional Berhad. Taylor’s University’s Tourism Academy is also one of them and this will see a collaboration between them and the local community college in the enhancement of the academic syllabus. This will put the students in good stead to venture into the tourism industry.
T10 : Some 4,200 jobs are expected to be created during the implementation period of the
Langkawi Tourism Blueprint. Will this be significantly beneficial for the local people of Langkawi and how will this go towards fulfilling the PM’s vision of a high income economy in Malaysia?
TSKR : 4,200 jobs will be created every year and of course the local community will be given priority to take them up. With the appropriate training and coaching that they will obtain from the tourism academy, the level of competency as well as quality of the local community workforce will be raised. They can then expect to earn higher incomes for the quality services that they will be providing.
T10 : There is just about 4 years to put the blueprint in place. Would you have enough time?
TSKR : Yes, we do have enough time to put the Langkawi Tourism Blueprint in place.
T10 : In December last year, the Prime Minister had requested that LADA take immediate action to address the threat of erosion affecting Pantai Cenang, a popular beach with the tourists. Since then, what measures have been taken by LADA so far on this matter?
TSKR : Currently the department of town and regional planning together with the state and economic planning unit are in the process of finalising a special local plan for Pantai Cenang. It will address all the pertinent issues, including that of sanitation.
T10 : The ease of accessibility into Langkawi has always been one of the problems affecting Langkawi’s growth as a tourism destination. Although air charters have been one of the solutions, what more will, and can be done to help Langkawi reach its full potential among the world’s top 10 island destinations?
TSKR : There have been initiatives launched by Malaysia Airport Berhad to give incentives for charter flights programmes from around the world. The Langkawi Charter Flight Incentive Programme (LCFIP) aims to provide lead charterers with a fund to support promotional initiatives undertaken by the charterers to bring more tourists into Langkawi. It will be applicable for 4 years effective from 1 Januari 2012 to 31 December 2015.
Interview with TOP10 of Malaysia.. Something that you can read & know what's LADA plan in the future..
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