The Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister said that she welcomed the news by the Prime Minister who had announced the initiative, subject to certain conditions and a local vaccination rate of 80%.
"Langkawi was chosen as a ‘testing ground’ project to revive the tourism industry that has long been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic considering that the island is isolated," she said in a post on Facebook today (Sept 2).
"Thankfully, this is good news not only to the ministry, but all the industry players who had been badly affected, due to hotel and restaurant closures at the holiday island after the crisis was sparked by the Covid-19 pandemic," she added.
She said that the other factor for choosing Langkawi was to facilitate monitoring purposes.
"The selected pilot destination has its own strengths such as having a network of public and international flights, as well as having a variety of accommodation facilities for various types of the tourist segment.
"If this Langkawi pilot project is successful, I believe it can restore the people's confidence to travel because seeing is believing," she said.
The government had announced that local tourists will get to visit Langkawi from Sept 16 under the much-anticipated pilot project of a tourism bubble as the nation eases back to recreational activity.
The starting date was agreed to at a meeting of the Special Committee to Address Covid-19, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
"Other tourist destinations will be allowed to operate once the local vaccination rate reaches 80%," he said.