Boosting the Island’s Tourism Industry to Reach 3.2 Million Tourist Arrivals
16 December 2022, Kuala Lumpur – The future looks bright for Langkawi, as they are expected to welcome more than 20,000 cruise passengers by Q2 2023. These expected numbers are a step in the right direction to boost the island’s tourism industry and help the local economy that was deeply affected by the pandemic.
Commenting on this announcement, Mr. Nasaruddin Abdul Muttalib, Langkawi Development Authority’s (LADA) Chief Executive Officer said, “For the last couple of years, cruises have been an important contributing factor for Langkawi. We are incredibly ecstatic to be able to welcome the resumption of cruises and we are glad to see the industry sail through the waters to enjoy new, blue horizons that await travellers. From December 2022 until May 2023, a total of 10 cruise ships are expected to visit Langkawi. We estimate about 2,000 passengers from each of these cruise ships to arrive and experience the magic of this island”
He added, “In 2019 alone, Langkawi saw tourist arrivals standing at an impressive 3.9 million, however these numbers decreased in 2020 and 2021 due to the travel restrictions. Having restrictions lifted in most countries is sure to have a ripple effect on these numbers in a positive way. Next year, we aim to have 50 cruise ships arriving in Langkawi before targeting for a jump to 90 cruise ships docking in 2024. Based on that premise and how cruise ships can generate the local economy, we are targeting 3.2 million tourist arrivals next year.
As of today, Meenviks Nature Holidays Sdn Bhd are the main operators of the cruise ships docking in Langkawi. Cruise ships under Meenviks Nature Travels can house between 2,500 to 2,800 people at one time. Tourists arriving from the cruise consist of tourists’ part of the tour packages as well as independent travelers. The enchanting beauty of these cruises also attract excursionists. Content with spending their nights on the cruise itself, these tourists are saved from the hassle of booking other forms of accommodations.
Tourists hopping off from the mega cruise ships will be treated to a cultural reception from locals upon debarking. The reception is intended to give tourists an insight into the local traditions, such as the dance and form of clothing that truly captures the essence of Langkawi. Part of the tour packages offered include a visit to the Mangrove Tour, Cable Car, Paddy Field, Eagle Square, Tanjung Rhu, Makam Mahsuri, Rubber Plantation as well as activities such as, island hopping and kayaking.
The impact of having around 20,000 visitors through the waters cannot be understated. 22 tour buses and 6 regular buses will be used to shuttle passengers from the dock to various locations. Adding on, more than 80 taxis will benefit from the arrival of cruise ships with large number of passengers looking to embark on their personal excursions. Operating from harbors as near and Penang and making its way to as far as Sri Lanka, it is clear to see the international tourist scene shining a lot brighter in the 99 Magical Islands in The Sun.