Langkawi tourism players call out for help to revitalize the dying sector

Published on : Saturday, November 21, 2020

In Langkawi, an archipelago in Malaysia, six associations representing the hospitality and business and tour guides are requesting the government to pay an attention to this exotic resort island immediately, to combat the challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The six associations are – the Kedah and Perlis Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH), the Langkawi Business Association (Niagakawi), Malaysian Association of Hotel Owners (MAHO) and the Kedah and Perlis Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA).

the Langkawi Chinese Chamber of Commerce, the Langkawi Tour Guides Association and ferry operator Ferry Line Ventures are the other names who have joined the appeal.

Niagakawi Deputy President, Datuk Alexander Isaac has explained that Langkawi’s tourism industry was decaying and would have a chain effect on the economy of the locals who are heavily dependent on tourist arrivals.
“This group represents over 8,000 workers who are directly or indirectly involved in the tourism sector. We urge the government to end the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) in Langkawi as the island is in a green zone.”

“Currently there are no tourists, but if the government ends the CMCO in Langkawi and allows travel between green zones, the decision will definitely return the shine to the island,” he said in a media conference on Wednesday.

Also, Alexander has mentioned that they thought the government would prepare a blanket moratorium and instant financial help to all businesses in Langkawi so that they can stay afloat.

Kedah and Perlis MAH chairman Eugene Dass, in the meantime hoped that the government would provide the electricity bill discounts to the hotel sector due to their loss in revenue stream during the Movement Control Order (MCO).

“The tourism sector, including hotels, have been badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, so we really require the government’s attention, if possible besides electricity bill discounts, perhaps consider continuing wage subsidies till June next year,” he said.

For the meantime, Ku Chin Loon, the Langkawi Chinese Chamber of Commerce Vice Chairman said that 300 to 400 association members are currently concerned about the announcement of the government during the 2021 Budget about taxing cigarettes and tobacco products at all duty-free islands beginning Jan 1 next year.

“Tourists come to Langkawi because of attractive packages that are offered, and they also buy duty free items like cigarettes. If the government goes through with this decision, it means that 300 to 400 association members will be affected.”

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